Zalatoris tops Riley to win U.S. Junior Amateur

The Woodlands, TX ( - William Zalatoris defeated Davis Riley 5 & 3 to win the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship 36-hole match play final on Saturday.

Playing in his fifth U.S. Junior Amateur, Zalatoris won holes 30, 32 and 33 to clinch the championship. For the second straight year, Riley finished runner- up at this event. He also lost in the 36-hole final to Scottie Scheffler last year.

Through the first 18 holes on the Nicklaus Course at The Club at Carlton Woods, Zalatoris and Riley went back-and-forth, with both of them holding a lead at some point.

Zalatoris struck first at the par-4 second, pouring in a birdie to go 1-up. Riley came right back with a birdie of his own at No. 3, but he tripped to a double-bogey on No. 4 to go 1-down again.

The two kept trading blows as Riley won the fifth hole to get to all-square, but Zalatoris answered yet again with a birdie at No. 6 to go 1-up. After they both halved seven and eight, Zalatoris bogeyed No. 9 to drop back to all- square.

Riley took his first lead of the day with a birdie at 11 and he kept rolling with his second straight birdie at 12 to win back-to-back holes and take a 2- up lead.

Zalatoris trimmed that lead to one with a birdie at No. 13 and he squared things up with another birdie at 15. Riley responded with a win at No. 17, but Zalatoris had an answer again with a birdie and a win at No. 18, making the match all-square through 18.

Starting the second 18 at the first hole again, Zalatoris earned back-to-back wins at 19 and 20 to go 2-up, and he never trailed again.

Riley birdied No. 21 to get back to 1-down, but he bogeyed No. 23 to fall back. Zalatoris grabbed his biggest lead to that point with a birdie and a win at No. 26, moving him to 3-up.

A birdie on the 29th hole got Riley back to 2-down, but Zalatoris won No. 30 to recapture a 3-up lead.

An incredible shot at No. 32 all but sealed the deal for Zalatoris as he holed out from the fairway for an eagle. A par on No. 33 was good enough for Zalatoris to win the hole and the championship.

07/26 18:40:00 ET

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