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17-year-old Nicholas Dunlap wins US Junior Amateur

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — Nicholas Dunlap won the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship on Saturday at The Country Club of North Carolina, beating Cohen Trolio 3 and 2 in the 36-hole final.

The 17-year-old Dunlap, from Huntsville, Alabama, won three straight holes to take control and finished off the 18-year-old Trolio, from West Point, Mississippi, with a par win on the par-3 34th.

In calm conditions on the tree-lined Dogwood Course, Dunlap tied it with a birdie on the par-5 27th, took the lead with a par on the par-4 28th and made it 2 up with another par win on the par-4 29th.

Trolio missed a chance to take the par-5 30th when he pulled a 4-foot birdie putt left, and Dunlap increased his lead to three with a par win on the par-3 31st.

Trolio won the par-4 33rd with a par after Dunlap drove into the right-side trees, hit out sideways and couldn’t get a 15-footer to fall for par. On the par-3 34th, Dunlap hit out of a greenside bunker to 2 feet for a conceded par, and Trolio missed a 10-foot par putt to end the match.

In the middle of the match, Dunlap won the par-4 17th with a birdie to take a 2-up lead, and Trolio rallied with birdie wins on the par-5 18th, par-4 20th and par-5 23rd to take a 1-up lead.

Dunlap earned a spot next year in the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Dunlap and Trolio had already secured spots in the U.S. Amateur next month at Oakmont before the event began.

Dunlap’s caddie, Jeff Curl, is a former professional player and son of Rod Curl, the first Native American to win a PGA Tour event (1974 Colonial).

Trolio, an incoming at LSU freshman, was a semifinalist in the 2019 U.S. Amateur at nearby Pinehurst No. 2. He’s the son of Old Waverly Golf Club head of instruction V.J. Trolio.

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