Dorn's late birdies help him repeat in Ohio Am

 

The Associated Press

The second trophy was harder to get, Andrew Dorn said.

Dorn birdied the 15th and 16th holes and passed 17-year-old Will Grimmer down the stretch in a head-to-head battle to capture his second consecutive Ohio Amateur championship on Friday at Coldstream Country Club.

"There's always the pressure of repeating," said the Coastal Carolina senior-to-be from West Chester. "Many people will tell you it's difficult winning any tournament two years in a row. But I kept my head in the game and tried to take it a shot at a time."

That strategy paid off, particularly with Dorn playing in the final threesome against Grimmer, who started the final round with a three-stroke head start.

The 21-year-old Dorn caught Grimmer with a birdie on the 15th hole, taking advantage of forward tees to drive the par-4 hole and then two-putt from 40 feet while Grimmer was making par.

Both players, with separation from the rest of the field, birdied the 16th hole to remain deadlocked.

Then Grimmer, who will be a senior at Mariemont High School in suburban Cincinnati, made one of his few mistakes of the week. He missed the fairway and ended up right of the green with his second shot, then failed to get up and down. His bogey gave Dorn a lead that he held onto by hitting a nervy 5-foot par putt at 17.

After both missed the fairway on the closing hole, Grimmer applied pressure by hitting his third shot to 3 feet. That meant that Dorn had to two-putt to clinch the win.

"It was a tricky downhiller," he said. "But I lagged the first putt to a foot."

Dorn becomes the 10th player in the tournament's 108 years to win back-to-back. Others who have done it include Arnold Palmer, John Cook and current PGA Tour pros Ben Curtis and Jason Kokrak.

"It's really a great honor to be mentioned in the same breath with great players like them," Dorn said.

His 5-under 66 matched Grimmer's second-round score on Wednesday for the low 18 of the week. It left Dorn at 8-under 276 and a shot ahead of Grimmer, who closed with a 70.

Despite living just a few miles apart, the two barely knew each other before this week. Grimmer, who has committed to Ohio State, asked Dorn to play a practice round on Monday. Then they played together in each of the first two rounds and again in the final round.

"It was really fun to play with him, somebody who was playing that good this week," Dorn said. "After we finished, I told him to just keep his head up, that he had played really well and his future was in front of him."

Dublin's Jack Sparling, who will be a junior at Miami (Ohio) this fall, closed with a 67 and was alone in third at 281. Ohio State senior Boo Timko of Girard was fourth, shooting a 69 to finish at 2-under 282.

Tim Crouch, a former Florida Southern player from Mount Vernon, was fifth after a 74 that put him at 284.

Cincinnati's Bill Williamson (69) and Columbus' Michael Ricaurte (71) were next at 287, followed by Dover's Ryan Troyer (70) and Dayton's Alec Tahy (72) at 288.

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