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Chris Botsford Win Western Amateur

August 4, 2003

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ Chris Botsford defeated J.J. Jakovac 3 and 2 on Sunday to win the Western Amateur Championship at Point O’Woods Golf and Country Club.

Botsford, 22, of Pasadena, Calif., took the lead with a birdie on the par-5, 523-yard second hole. He went 4-up by winning the third, fourth and sixth holes with pars.

Jakovac, 21, of Napa, Calif., was down six holes after playing No. 10, but stormed back to win four of the next five and cut Botsford’s lead to 2-up with three to play.

But Botsford, a co-captain on Southern California’s golf team, sealed the win with a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 16.

``I knew J.J. had it in him to come back. He’s a great player,″ Botsford said. ``I knew he was going to make a run, but I thought if I could just make pars and a few birdies I’d halve some of the holes. I was trying to stick to my game plan and weather the storm.″

Jackovac said he struggled on the front nine.

``I thought, `What’s going on?′ I played great all week and was playing horribly,″ said Jakovac, a junior at Cal State-Chico. ``But he played solid and made the putts. It was a great match. I can’t expect to win if I’m 3 over par on the front.″

With the victory, Botsford joined previous Western Amateur winners such as Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Hal Sutton, Curtis Strange, Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard.

``I never won a tournament in college and this is my first major trophy,″ Botsford said. ``It hasn’t sunk in yet. When I see my name on that trophy, with names like Tiger’s, it will.″

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