Hanzel claims USGA Senior Amateur victory

Doug Hanzel

Doug Hanzel of Savannah, Ga., defeated Pat O'Donnell of Happy Valley, Ore., 4 and 2, Thursday to win the USGA Senior Amateur Championship at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C.

It was the first U.S. Golf Association title for Hanzel, 56, who was a semifinalist last year in his first USGA Senior Amateur. In 2012, he became the first player in USGA history to make match play in the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur in the same year. He also was the low amateur at the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Senior Opens.

O'Donnell, 59, made a pair of early bogeys on the second and third holes to hand Hanzel an early 2-up lead, and the Georgia resident led the rest of the match. Still with a 2-up lead through 14 holes, Hanzel won the par-4 15th after another O'Donnell bogey, then birdied the par-4 16th to end it.

Both finalists receive exemptions into next month's U.S. Mid-Amateur, as well as the 2014 U.S. Amateur and 2014 U.S. Senior Open.

Hanzel dispatched stroke-play medalist Chip Lutz, 3 and 2, while O'Donnell defeated Buzz Fly of Memphis, Tenn., 2 and 1, in Thursday morning's semifinals.

Lutz's loss extended the medalist victory drought to 26 years at this year's event. Not since John Richardson's 1987 victory has the medalist gone on to claim the championship trophy, the longest such span at any USGA championship.

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