Birdie on 16 puts Harman into junior amateur final

CHEVY CHASE — CHEVY CHASE - After sinking a brilliant 25-foot putt, Brian Harman raised his arms in jubilation. The feeling had hit him; he was just one win from being crowned the best junior golfer in the world.

Harman's birdie on the 16th hole gave him the victory, 3 and 2, over Patton Kizzire of Tuscaloosa, Ala., in the semifinals of the 56th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Columbia Country Club. The win propelled Harman into the championship round, where he will face Jordan Cox of Redwood City, Calif.


Up two entering the par-3 16th, Harman placed his approach shot just left. After Kizzire narrowly missed a birdie opportunity, Harman perfectly read the slight break on the green in sinking the shot.

"I was just trying to get it close and lag it up there," said Harman, a Savannah, Ga., native. "But then I thought, 'Uh-oh, that one looks pretty good.' I just threw my hands up in the air because I knew it was money."


Harman, 16, has experience in this event. He made the quarterfinal round last year, but gave away a lead before losing to eventual champion Charlie Beljan.

Harman is also the top-ranked amateur in the country.

"I'm just trying to keep my ranking," Harman said. "I don't want to be number two."

Cox advanced to the final with a 4-and-3 victory over James Sacheck of Zionsville, Ind. At 15 years, 3 months, Cox would be the youngest player to win the junior amateur title should he gain a victory today. The record holder is Tiger Woods, who was 15 years, 6 months old when he won in 1991.

"It would be a great accomplishment," Cox said. "I definitely am going to try to break that record."

Tee time for today's final is 9 a.m.