Beljan's daring shot at the flag pays off

Updated: July 28, 2002, 5:28 PM ET
Associated Press

DULUTH, Ga. -- Charlie Beljan birdied the second playoff hole to beat Zac Reynolds in the final of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club on Sunday.

The 17-year-old Beljan, from Mesa, Ariz., hit a 9-iron about 2 feet from the pin on the 154-yard, par-3 17th hole. After Reynolds missed a 30-footer for birdie, Beljan made his putt to win.

Reynolds, also 17, of Edmond, Okla., forced the playoff after Beljan hit his second shot into the water on the 18th hole.

"I thought to myself, 'I gave the win away on 18. I can't handle any more of this, let's win it or lose it here.' I said, '(Forget) the middle of the green,' '' Beljan said. "I took dead aim at the flag and hit it about 2 feet.''

Two down after 10 holes, Reynolds squared the match by making pars on 13 and 14. But he double-bogeyed the par-3 15th after hitting his tee shot in the water to go 1 down.

By reaching the final, both players are exempt from qualifying for the U.S. Amateur on Aug. 19-25 at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.


Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press

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