Perman ready for U.S. Junior Amateur

Hunt Valley resident among 156 boys in field

July 26, 1999|By SPECIAL TO THE SUN

YORK, Pa. -- Chad Perman, from Hunt Valley, will be among the 156 boys in the field when on-site qualifying for the 52nd annual U.S. Junior Amateur championship begins tomorrow at the Country Club of York.

Another with local ties is West Streib of Atlanta, who has relatives living in Baltimore. The two were the qualifiers from a sectional held at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club earlier this month.

For Perman, 17, the medalist with a 36-hole total of 147, it was success on his third try after failing on two previous attempts. It was the first attempt for Streib, 16, who made it with 148.

Among the nationally recognized players, James Oh of Lakewood, Calif., is in position to join some distinguished company.

He is the defending champion, and only Tiger Woods, who won three straight (1991-93), has successfully defended a title. Altogether, only five players have reached the championship match more than once.

A year ago, Oh drained a 23-foot downhill birdie putt on the 18th green to stop Aaron Baddeley of Australia, 1 up. Baddeley missed his bid to tie from eight feet.

During the competition in Lake Forest, Ill., Oh won four of his six matches, 1 up, including last-ditch putts of 15 feet in his quarterfinal and five feet in his semifinal.

The final was the 12th straight title-pairing to go to the last hole -- or extra holes -- since Brian Montgomery defeated Nicky Goetze, 2 and 1, in 1986 in Muirfield Village, Ohio. Of Woods' wins, one was at the 18th, and two went 19 holes.

Prior to this accomplishment, Oh had gained attention when he became the youngest U.S. Amateur qualifier in history at the age of 14 years, 4 months. He shot 86-73 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, outside of Portland, Ore. The record was held by Bobby Jones, 14 years, 5 months, set in 1916.

Two weeks ago, Oh won the Rolex Tournament of Champions, beating Hunter Mahan of McKinney, Texas, by a stroke at the Ohio State University complex.

Mahan, the No. 1-ranked Golfweek/Titleist junior, included a tournament-low 64 in his 284 total, but a double bogey on the last hole enabled Oh to win with a 5-under-par 283.

Two others come in off American Junior Golf Association victories last week. Jason Hartwick of Sacramento, Calif., at Coto de Caza, Calif., and Jeff Bell of Plano, Texas, at Abilene, Texas, in a playoff, topped their respective fields with sub-par totals.

In addition to Oh, two other semifinalists from a year ago, Kenneth Lewis of South Dennis, Mass., and Travis Whisman of Reno, Nev., were exempt from qualifying. Also, Jake Ellison of Santa Clara, Utah, reached the round of eight, and Brent Wanner of South Chatham, Mass., went to the third round.

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