Epic match at USGA Senior Amateur

Paul Simson

Paul Simson

CHICAGO – Chicago golf fans, you owe it to yourself to sneak away from the office sometime between now and Thursday and get out to Beverly Country Club and the USGA Senior Amateur.

Not because it’s free. But because Beverly is one of the city’s true gems and you might see something fantastic – like Tuesday’s second-round match between Paul Simson of Raleigh, N.C., and Randy Nichols and Brookville, Ind.

There are no historians around to compile a running of the best matches in Senior Amateur history, but this one belong on the list – somewhere.

Simson won it, 1 up, by holing a treacherous 12-foot downhill putt at the last green.

“I’m just numb,” Simson said, “absolutely numb. I played about as well as I can play.”

For the record, both players shot 5-under-par 66s; Nichols went 5 under par over the last nine holes.

The last four holes were won with alternating birdies. Nichols squared the match with a 12-foot birdie at 15, Simson answered with a 6-footer at 16, and Nichols nearly aced the par-3 17th and was conceded his 2-footer before Simson’s dramatic finish.

“There was a hole-in-one of the practice rounds about 5 feet from this one,” Simson said. “I assumed this one was the same line as that one. This one was perfect; this putt would have gone in a thimble.”

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