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Smithtown's Liu upset in U.S. Junior Amateur final

Jim Liu misses the ball as he tries

Jim Liu misses the ball as he tries to shoot out of the deep rough during the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at the Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H. Liu lost a five hole lead to Andy Hyeon Bo Shim of Duluth, Ga. (July 21, 2012) Credit: AP

Andy Hyeon Bo Shim upset Smithtown's Jim Liu, 4-and-3, to win the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at The Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H., Saturday.

Shim, the 43rd-seeded player and a Korean-born, 17-year-old from Duluth, Ga., was down five holes after the first 18 of the 36-hole final before rallying. Liu, the top seed, had been the youngest winner when he took this title as a 14-year-old in 2010. It was the biggest comeback win in a U.S. Junior Amateur final.

Liu, who tied for medalist honors before the match-play portion of the tournament, was trying to join his idol Tiger Woods (1991-93) and Jordan Spieth (2009, 2011) as the only multiple winners of the U.S. Junior Amateur, which is open to all players with a handicap of 6.4 or lower who have not yet turned 18.

But Liu's morning steadiness was replaced by erratic tee shots in the afternoon and he missed a series of key putts that would have saved par halves.

"The past half year I've been making swing changes," Liu said. "Things just fell apart the second 18 . . . Now I know what I need to keep working on. I'll do that the rest of the summer. With any loss you can keep working on things and this was no different."

Liu studies under John Anselmo, the California-based teacher with whom Woods studied as a youth. Last month, Liu withdrew after the first day of the rain-delayed Ike Championship at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton because he had a flight the next day to California for a lesson with Anselmo.

Liu, who attends the Knox School and does not play high school golf, has committed early (he is only entering his junior year) to Stanford, Woods' former school.

-- Wire reports, Mark Herrmann

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