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Moore Wins 2002 U.S. Amateur Public Links July 20, 2002 | Washington, Mich. By David Normoyle

(USGA/J.D. Cuban)

Ryan Moore roared to a 10 and 9 victory over Lee Williamson in the final of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship Saturday.

Moore, 19, of Puyallup, Wash., grabbed the lead on the second hole of the 36-hole final at the 7001-yard, par-72 Orchards Golf Club and never let Williamson, 23, of Crawfordsville, Ind., back into the match.

With the victory, Moore won the national championship trophy and an invitation to the 2003 Masters.

After stumbling at the first hole, Moore strung together 10 birdies in the first 18 holes, including the last four in a row, to finish 6 up at the turn. His 18-hole score was equivalent to 63, breaking his own course record of 65, set in the quarterfinal round.

“I’ve played in quite a few USGA championships,” said Moore, who played in the 2002 U.S. Open and was runner-up at the 2000 U.S. Junior Amateur. “It feels good to finally win one.”

Moore kept up the pressure in the afternoon portion of the match, adding four more birdies before the match ended on the 27th hole. All told, he had 14 birdies on the final day.

“I would have hated to play me today,” joked Moore. “But when you have thoughts of going to the Masters you don’t think about being tired. I just kept pressing.”

“When he birdied 15, 16, 17, and 18 I didn’t even come close to matching that,” said Williamson, the Big-10 Player of the Year and 1st Team All-American at Purdue. “That’s pretty tough to come back from.

“I gave him a soft lead early on. To make him feel so comfortable the way he was playing, that was it. I really regret the start.”

Moore compiled 23 birdies since picking up a new caddie midway through his quarterfinal round. On the 11th hole of Moore’s Friday morning match, Mark Soldan, 30, of Macomb Township, Mich., was watching from the tee as a spectator when he noticed Moore did not have a caddie. Soldan, who works on the assembly line at the local Ford Motor Co. plant, volunteered his services and the two of them were off to the races.

“The only caddie fee I charge is a trip to Augusta,” said Soldan.

It is still unclear whether he will accompany Moore to the Masters, but there is a chance he may caddie for Moore in next month’s U.S. Amateur.

Both Williamson and Moore receive exemptions into the 2002 U.S. Amateur Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

The U.S. Amateur Public Links is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.