Williams Rallies To Win Western Am Championship
Aug. 4, 2012
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. -- Washington All-American Chris Williams capped an impressive week on Saturday by winning twice in close match play action to capture the 110th Western Amateur Championship at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill.
Williams, the 72-hole stroke play qualifying medalist, came from behind to beat Jordan Russell 1 up in the afternoon match play final. Williams, who will be a senior for the Huskies this fall, fell behind on the first hole and trailed by as much as two through 10 holes. He finally caught Russell, who just wrapped up his All-America college career at Texas A&M, on the 12th hole. Williams needed a birdie on No. 11 and a double-bogey by Russell on No. 12 to square the match, but that was all the opening that the World Amateur Golf Rankings No. 4 rated player needed.
Williams would gain his first lead of the match on No. 14 when Russell bogeyed and he would kept that lead through 15 before severe thunderstorms forced both golfers to run for cover in the clubhouse. When play resumed, Williams scored par on the 16th hole while Russell double bogeyed to extend his lead by two. Russell would card a clutch birdie on the 17th hole to extend the match and cut the lead back to one. But, both golfers would par the 18th hole to give Williams the championship.
In the morning semifinals, Williams needed 19 holes to beat Abraham Ancer of Oklahoma. Both players battled back and forth with neither golfer gaining more than a hole advantage. Ancer jumped out to the lead on the first hole with a birdie, but Williams squared the match with a birdie on No. 7. The pair exchanged birdies on No. 8 and No. 9 to make the turn deadlocked.
On the back nine, Ancer jumped out with a birdie on No. 10, but Williams answered back on No. 11 with a birdie of his own. Williams was able to grab the lead on No. 12 when Ancer bogeyed, a lead he would hold until No. 16 when he carded a bogey of his own. The golfers both scored par on the final two holes to force the playoff.
Williams only needed one hole to determine the winner as Ancer conceded an eagle to the UW golfer after he bogeyed the par-5 first hole. Williams hit the flagstick from 225-yards out on his second shot, while Ancer flew the green missed his par pitch shot.
Williams will take a break until he plays in the U.S. Amateur Championship which starts in a week. His victory propelled him to No. 1 in the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings.