Tyler Strafaci’s clutch finish brings home U.S. Amateur title at Bandon Dunes
The Strafaci family is back on top of the amateur golf world.
Tyler Strafaci, who at the beginning of the week was ranked no. 56 in the world amateur golf ranking, triumphed at the U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes. He was down as much as five holes during the 36-hole final to Ollie Osbourne, but came fighting back and fended off the fog to win on the 36th hole.
It was certainly in question until the end. Strafaci held a two up lead with three to play, but left his approach shots in penalty areas on the 34th and 35th holes. He lost both as Osbourne played clinical golf and as fog blew in off the Pacific Ocean. Then on the 36th hole, with both players in the fairway, Strafaci grabbed 4-iron from 246 yards away and hit the shot of his life.
It was an incredible shot. An unending memory of the ball flying in the air. “I’ll remember that shot for the rest my life,” he said to Jim Mackay when he reached the green. He hadn’t even won the event yet! But Strafaci knew how difficult the shot was.
When Osbourne’s approach flared short and right, he was in trouble. Strafaci’s eagle-putt fell off the right side, but a tap-in birdie was good enough for the win when Osbourne didn’t get up and down. The engraver could begin to spell out S-T-R-A-F-A-C-I on the Havemeyer Trophy.
As was discussed thoroughly on the broadcast all week, Tyler added to the great amateur history his grandfather, Frank. Frank was a decorated amateur who won the U.S. Public Links title in 1935, as well as the 1938 and 1939 North and South Amateur championship. He also made multiple appearances at the Masters, tying for 58th at the 1950 tournament. Oh, and his father was on the bag all week long.
The amateur victory caps off one helluva summer for Strafaci. He won the North and South at Pinehurst in July, as well as the Palmetto Amateur. With his victory, he’s now earned a spot in the 2021 Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship, and joins Bobby Jones, Matt Kuchar and Andy Ogletree as U.S. Amateur champions from Georgia Tech.