FORMER HORNET ROBERT HAMILTON FINISHES SECOND AT U.S. AMATEUR
ATLANTA --- Former Sacramento State golfer Robert
Hamilton capped a magnificent week by
finishing second at the 101st U.S. Amateur Sunday
afternoon at the East Lake Golf Club.
Hamilton fell to 20-year old Bubba Dickerson, 1-up, in
the 36-hole match-play final.
Hamilton, who starred for the Hornets in 1997 and 1998
and won a pair of Big Sky individual titles, built a
5-up lead through the first 14 holes. Dickerson,
however, won the final four holes of the morning round
to cut the deficit to 1-up.
Dickerson continued his surge at the start of the
second round, building a 1-up advantage after 11
holes. Hamilton, however, answered to square the match
and eventually reclaimed the lead.
Both players struggled to find the fairway throughout
the afternoon round and neither was able to build a
lead larger than 1-up. With the match squared entering
No. 16 (No. 34 overall), Hamilton reached the green in
two while Dickerson hit his drive into the trees and
needed three shots to reach the green.
The victory at No. 16 gave Hamilton a 1-up edge with
two holes left. The Carmichael, Calif., native opened
No. 17 by placing his drive into the right rough and
settled for a bogey while Dickerson parred the hole to
square the match.
Dickerson began the 18th by crushing a 4-iron to
within 12 feet of the pin on the 230-yard par 3.
Hamilton opted for a 3-iron but hooked the ball into
the left bunker. With the ball nearly plugged into the
front lip, Hamilton was only able to advance the ball
onto the fringe and needed two more shots before
Dickerson sank his putt to win.
Despite the loss in the final, Hamilton was awarded an
invitation to compete in the 2002 Masters. Dickerson,
who won the Western Open earlier this year and was a
member of Florida''s NCAA Tournament championship team,
will also compete in the Masters as well as the U.S.
Open and British Open.
Hamilton, who played his final two collegiate seasons
at Cal, was appearing in his first Amateur after
attempting to qualify six previous times. He was
joined throughout the week by his best friend and
caddie, former Hornet Phil Cuthbertson.