WEB: Savage Leads After 34 Holes in N-S Final
Birdies are ruling the day as Matt Savage and Jamie Lovemark battle it out in the 36-hole final of the 108th North and South Men's Amateur Championship being held on Pinehurst No. 2 today. Both players birdied the 34th hole, leaving Savage 1-up with two holes to play. Savage responded to Lovemark's birdie on the 32nd hole with one of his own on the 33rd hole to take the 1-up lead. Savage landed about 12 feet away on the par-3 15th, while Lovemark's tee shot was inside's Savage's. But Savage rolled in his birdie attempt, while Lovemark missed his. Lovemark had made the match all square with his birdie on the 32nd hole.
Both players parred the 31st hole. Savage took the 1-up lead with a birdie on the 30th hole. After falling 4-down to Savage, Lovemark won four consecutive holes, and five of the first seven of the holes played in the afternoon portion of the final to get to all square. Savage finally broke the stalemate after both players had parred four holes in row with a birdie at the par-4 12th.
34th hole -- Both players birdied the par-5 16th hole.
33rd hole -- Savage rolls in his 12-foot birdie attempt on the par-3 15th, then watches as Lovemark's 10-footer misses, given Savage the 1-up lead.
32nd hole -- Both players find fairway on the par-4 14th, then Lovemark hits a dart on his approach shot, stopping about two feet from hole. Savage ends up 20 feet away with his approach shot. Savage misses his birdie atempt, then Lovemark makes it all-square with his made birdie putt followed by a short first pump.
31st hole -- Both players made pars on the par-4 13th.
30th hole -- Savage nailed his 135-yard approach shot inches from the hole for the tap in birdie. Lovemark hit the par-4 12th in regulation, but faced about a 20-foot putt for par. His attempt slid past the hole, and he conceded Savage's birdie putt.
29th hole -- Once again, the players both settled for pars on the par-4 11th. Savage did display a bit of flair with his short game. He flew the green with his approach shot, but chipped up within inches. Both players conceded par putts.
28th hole -- Both players had makable birdie puts on the par-5 10th, but both missed by inches. The par putts were conceded, leaving the match all square
27th hole -- Both players made routine pars.
26th hole -- Both players made routine pars.
25th hole -- Lovemark is short of the green on the par-4 seventh, while Savage finds a bunker. Lovemark chips up within several inches of the hole, while Savage's bunker shot rolls off the front of the green. Savage fails to make par, and concedes Lovemark's par putt.
24th hole -- Lovemark continues his comeback on the par-3 sixth when he taps in for par. Savage rolls off the back ofthe green, leaves his chip shot about 16 feet short, then misses his attempt for par. It is the third consecutive hole that Lovemark has won.
23rd hole -- Lovemark cuts into Savage's lead when he gets up and down from a bunker on the par-4 fifth. Savage, also in a bunker with his second shot, fails to get up and down. Lovemark's blast from the bunker got within two feet of the hole and Savage conceded the par putt.
22nd hole -- Lovemark converts four-foot birdie putt, while Savage three putts on the par-5 fourth. Savage now leads 3-up.
21st hole -- Both players hit monster drives on the par-4 third, with Savage hitting his approach shot within three feet, while Lovemark leaves himself with about a 15-footer. Lovemark misses, Savage taps in for birdie to go 4-up.
20th hole -- Both players chip up on the par-4 second hole, with Lovemark getting his third shot about two feet from hole, while Savage leaves his about six feet short. Lovemark misses par putt, while Savage makes his to take 3-up lead.
19th hole -- Both players hit the par-4 in regulation, but Savage misses his 25-foot birdie putt. Lovemark rolls in a 12-footer for birdie to cut Savage's lead to 2-up.
Morning Round -- In the opening 18 holes, Savage, the 20th seed entering match play, won holes eight, nine and 10 to go 3-up, but Lovemark battled back to win two holes, cutting Savage's lead to 1-up after 15 holes.
But Savage, who plays for Florida State, turned the heat back up on Lovemark, the championship's medalist who plays for Southern Cal, when he won the par-3 15th hole with a birdie to go 2-up.
Both players conceded par putts on the par-5 16th, and then Savage took advantage of another par-3 when he fired his tee shot to about eight feet on the 17th. Lovemark's first shot settled about 20 feet from the hole.
After Lovemark pushed his birdie putt wide left, Savage calmly rolled in his eight-footer for the win, and the 3-up advantage.
On the par-4 18th, both players hit excellent approach shots, setting up birdie putts from within eight feet for both players.
Neither was able to convert the birdie opportunities, and par putts were conceded, leaving Savage 3-up against Lovemark.
For continuous updates on the match, check back with The Pilot's Web site.
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