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James Oh, 16, of Lakewood, Calif., defeated Aaron Baddeley, 17, of Wonga Park, Australia, 1 up to win the 1998 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at the 6,712-yard, par-71 course at Conway Farms Golf Club.

Oh made a 25-foot downhill birdie putt on the final green of the 18-hole match. When Baddeley's seven-foot birdie putt lipped out, Oh, playing in his first Junior Amateur, clinched the title.

"There are no flaws in Aaron's game," Oh said of Baddeley. "He's the best player I've ever seen. To beat him on the last hole with a long putt, I'm speechless."

Oh took the early lead in the match and was 2 up after the fourth hole. Baddeley made a 15-foot birdie putt on the fifth and parred the ninth to draw all square. Baddeley won the 13 with a par, but Oh birdied the 14 to again even the match. Baddeley won the 17 hole with a conceded par after Oh three-putted from three feet. Oh then birdied the 18 to close out the match.

Oh's victory was something of an upset since Baddeley was the championship's medalist after firing a 36-hole qualifying score of 135 and smashing the qualifying record by three strokes. The previous record was 138, shot by Bryce Molder in 1996.

Baddeley and his father, Ron, who owns an auto repair shop in Australia, came to the United States in June so that Aaron could enter sectional qualifying for the Junior Amateur. At the Santee, Calif., qualifying site, Baddeley and Oh were co-medalists.

Baddeley was seeking to become only the second foreign-born winner in the championship's history. The first was Korean-born Terry Noe in 1994.

In 1996, Oh played in his first U.S. Amateur Championship. His age at the time, 14 years and four months, made him the youngest qualifier in championship history, a record previously held by Bobby Jones.

In the semifinals, Oh defeated Travis Whisman of Reno, Nev., 1 up. Baddeley defeated Kenneth Lewis, of South Dennis, Mass., 4 and 2.

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