John Engler took the early lead at the George L. Coleman Amateur Invitational, firing an opening 65 to claim a four-shot advantage on Mike McCoy.
Engler, of Augusta, Ga., is No. 190 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Amateur Rankings. McCoy, of West Des Moines, Iowa, advanced to match play at last year’s U.S. Amateur and was medalist at the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Tim Jackson, who contended at the 2009 U.S. Senior Open as an amateur, sits in a tie for 11th after an opening 75.
Bill Zylstra, of Ocklawaha, Fla., shot 72 Thursday to lead the Senior division. Zylstra is Golfweek’s top-ranked senior player.
Chip Lutz made a twisting 8-foot par putt on his final hole March 13 to shoot 64 and win the Florida Azalea Senior by one shot over Bruce Scamehorn, who missed an 8-footer for birdie at his last and also shot 64. Lutz and Scamehorn finished on opposite nines, eliminating a stare-down finish at the 18th.
There were many elements of the 5,800-yard Palatka (Fla.) Golf Club that were a bit off-kilter. To begin with, the course has to be played at such a short length because the Donald Ross-designed greens and surrounds are such a test. Calm conditions and temperatures in the 70s helped scoring conditions.
The contenders played leaderboard leapfrog during the final round. Mark Weston, who led by two shots after opening with rounds of 68-67, fell to a 75 for an even-par 210 total and a sixth-place finish. David Anthony and Berger Warner were trailing by two entering the final round, but shot scores of 68 and 70, respectively, that were good enough for third and fourth place. Kim Schwenke, winner of the senior division at the Gasparilla Invitational three weeks ago, posted a final-round 66 to finish fifth.
Even though they weren’t paired ...
FORT MYERS, Fla. – What was in the bag of the two finalists at the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur?
Winner Mina Hardin of Fort Worth, Texas: TaylorMade original Burner driver (9.5 degrees), Callaway FT-iZ 3-wood (15), Callaway FT-iZ hybrid (21), Callaway Diablo Edge hybrid (24), Callaway Diablo Forged irons (5-PW), Titleist Vokey Spin Milled wedges (50, 56 and 60), Yes! Emma long putter, Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.
Runnerup Alexandra Frazier of Haverford, Pa.: TaylorMade CGB Max driver (12), Callaway Diablo 5-wood, Callaway Diablo 7-wood, Callaway Diablo 9-wood, Callaway Big Bertha Heavenwood hybrids (26 and 29), Ping Rhapsody irons (6-PW), Titleist Vokey Spin Milled wedges (52 and 56) Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter, Titleist Pro V1 golf ball.
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In the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, which state advanced the most players to match play?
It was a runaway. Of the 64 golfers in match play, 11 were from California. Tying for second were Pennsylvania and Texas, with five apiece. Florida was next with four.
In the recent USGA (Men’s) Senior Amateur, Pennsylvania was first with 8, followed by Texas and Florida with seven. California and Indiana each had six.
Adding the men’s and women’s senior amateur ...
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Fiddlesticks, eh?
With the 2010 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur being played here at Fiddlesticks Country Club, there are two obvious questions: Where did the name Fiddlesticks come from? What does it mean?
It was 1980. The investment group behind Fiddlesticks needed to quickly come up with a name to satisfy the primary lender. Using a map of Scotland, the group considered about 40 Scottish names.
These names, according to Allan Fox, a member of the founding group, were “some of most obnoxious names you can imagine. Forget those. We’ll use them for the street names.”
Ann Durant, wife of Buzz Durant, another of the founders, uttered a phrase in frustration: “Oh, fiddlesticks.”
And that was that. The name stuck. The original 18 holes, designed by Ron Garl, later were split and expanded into two separate courses, the Long Mean and the Wee Friendly.
The Women’s Amateur is being contested on the Long Mean, regarded as the signature course at Fiddlesticks.
When a book was created in 1993 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the opening of the private club, four historical definitions were offered for the name Fiddlesticks:
- A useless part of a ...
ORLANDO, Fla. – Both finalists in the USGA Senior Amateur Championship predicted their 18-hole match Thursday would come down to putting.
Pat Tallent, of Vienna, Va., said point blank: “These greens (at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club) are so good, somebody is going to make a lot of putts.”
So Tallent didn’t look surprised when his opponent, Paul Simson, of Raleigh. N.C., missed the first fairway, missed the first green, then putted his ball into the hole from the fringe, 28 feet away.
“That ball was going 100 miles an hour,” said Tallent, with a large dose of embellishment, “but a birdie is a birdie. Paul is one of the best putters you will ever see.”
After Simson drained a 24-foot birdie putt on the seventh green, Tallent looked skyward and asked, “What am I supposed to do, tackle him?”
Well, no, but it clearly was Simson’s day. He scored a 2-and-1 victory and recorded his first USGA championship in 48 tries.
“I wanted to run away from him,” said Simson, who built a 4-up after nine holes and was 3 under par for the 17 holes of the match. This was an honest-to-goodness 3 under, too, as ...
ORLANDO, Fla. – When arch rivals Pat Tallent of Vienna, Va., and Paul Simson of Raleigh, N.C., meet in Thursday’s 18-hole final of the USGA Senior Amateur Championship, look for putting to decide the winner.
So says Tallent: “The guy who makes putts will win. These greens (at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club) are perfect, but they can be very, very tough to read.”
Tallent, 57, and Simson, 59, will take contrasting putting styles into the final. Tallent uses a long putter (a Yes! Natalie), while Simson uses a conventional flatstick (a Ping Zing).
In Wednesday afternoon’s semifinal round, Tallent surged in front of Chip Lutz of Reading, Pa., by using his putter from far off the 16th green. He was 15 feet short of the putting surface and 65 feet from the hole, but he rolled his ball within inches of the cup. Lutz then three-putted from 50 feet.
The match was even after 15 holes, but Tallent won both Nos. 16 and 18 for a 2-up triumph. Meanwhile, Simson defeated Jeff Burda of Modesto, Calif., 4-and-3.
“I’ve used this putter (the Natalie) for four years,” Tallent explained. “I was playing in the Raymond Floyd Cup ...
ORLANDO, Fla. – History will record the fact that 56-year-old Dave Ryan, of Taylorville, Ill., reached the Round of 16 of the 2010 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, losing 4 and 2 to Frank Ford III, of Charleston, S.C.
For me, it goes deeper than that. I see Ryan as golf’s passionate everyman, the guy whose rapture for the game cannot possibly be dented or diminished. In the face of countless crooked shots and endless bad bounces, the everyman is like the proverbial downtrodden Marine recruit, screaming to the golf gods, “May I have another, sir.”
Why, sure. Golf has plenty of misfortune to distribute.
Ryan learned to play golf on a nine-hole course in the middle of the corn and soybean fields of central Illinois. Today that course has been abandoned and gone to weeds, but generations of golfers will never forget the legacy – they whacked the ball around that nine-hole layout, making up their own cross-country holes, and they developed an attachment to the game that has never been broken or severed.
So it is that golf’s good fortune outweighs the misfortune every time.
Imagine the magnitude of what Ryan accomplished in the Senior Amateur, which is ...
ORLANDO, Fla. – Jim Vernon, president of the U.S. Golf Association in 2008 and 2009, took one look at the first-round matchups for the 2010 USGA Senior Amateur and quickly composed an e-mail.
“The golf gods have a sense of humor,” Vernon wrote.
The reason for Vernon’s dispatch from his home in California: Two of the USGA’s most loyal, high-profile volunteers were about to meet in the opening round of match play in the Senior Amateur.
One was George (Buddy) Marucci, who won the Senior Am in 2008 but was unable to defend his title in 2009 because of a scheduling conflict – a little event called the Walker Cup was being contested at the same time as the Senior Amateur, and Marucci was captain of the U.S. team.
The other was Steve Smyers, a golf-course designer and member of the USGA Executive Committee. Smyers is a close friend of Marucci and serves as chairman of the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee, the group that picked the members of Marucci’s Walker Cup squad.
Smyers won the match, although it is not known whether the golf gods informed Vernon of their desire to prolong this battle of ...
ORLANDO, Fla. – The 36-hole qualifying round for the USGA Senior Amateur, conducted Saturday and Sunday at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, turned into the Pat and Paul Show.
So what else is new?
Pat Tallent, of Vienna, Va., and Paul Simson, of Raleigh, N.C., who tied for medalist honors in the 2009 Senior Amateur, resumed their rivalry in 2010 at Lake Nona and were separated by just one stroke this time around.
Tallent, 57, won the medal with a 4-under 140 total. Simson, 59, finished at 141.
The low 64 qualifiers advanced to single-elimination match play, which begins Monday and continues through Thursday.
Simson, an insurance salesman, is seeking a unique triple-dip in 2010. He already has won the British Seniors Amateur and Canadian Senior Amateur.
“The guy is amazing,” Tallent acknowledged.
Maybe so, but Tallent’s robotic performance in the qualifying round was spectacular. He didn’t miss a fairway in 36 holes, and he played the first 35 holes without a bogey.
With medalist honors in his grasp, Tallent stumbled with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 final hole, yanking his second shot into the watery home of the goddess of Lake Nona.
While Simson is well-known ...
Karl Stewart, 66, of Riverside, Calif., became the latest super senior to outplay his younger, senior amateur counterparts when he captured the inaugural Golfweek/Harmony Senior Championship on Wednesday at Harmony Club in Timnath, Colo.
Stewart’s 7-under 209 was four shots clear of Greg Mokler, a member at Harmony, and five better than Mike Brummer, of Rapid City, S.D.
Stewart, also the super senior champion, made 11 birdies and one eagle against only four bogeys and a double on the 6,680-yard layout. His ball striking was superb, as all his over-par holes included three putts.
Mokler eagled the final hole of the tournament to top Brummer’s birdie and earn low senior honors by a shot.
Marvin White, 75, also from Rapid City, was runner-up in the super senior division and finished fifth overall. He broke his age the first two rounds and his first-round 70 included seven birdies.
Hershey (Pa.) Country Club will host the 2012 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, the U.S. Golf Association announced Thursday.
The championship, which will be played on Hershey’s West Course, will be contested Sept. 8-13.
This will be the first national championship conducted at the club. In 1940, Hershey Country Club hosted the PGA Championship, which was won by Byron Nelson.
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur is the national championship for female amateurs age 50 and older.
The event will be held in 2010 at Fiddlesticks Country Club in Fort Myers, Fla., and in 2011 at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn.
There is a new sheriff in Seniortown and his name is Chip Lutz. The Reading, Pa., resident shot a final-round 68 to come from five shots behind and win the Society of Seniors Spring Classic March 25 at the Santa Lucia River Club in Stuart, Fla. Lutz posted a three-round score of 224 for his second victory in three events since turning 55 in January. In second place at 229 were three other northern denizens, Alan Fadel (Toledo, Ohio), Fred Silver (Lewiston, N.Y.) and Pat Vincelli (Rosemount, Minn.).
Don Edwards, of Hobe Sound, Fla., won his first national super senior title by one shot over 2009 Super Senior Player of the Year Richard Anderson, of Bloomington, Minn.
Lutz’s 4-under 68 in the third round was the most dominant round in recent senior point event history. Consider:
- Lutz’s 68 was 13.13 shots better than the average of the rest of the field
- He leapfrogged 13 players on the last day after starting tied for 14th
- He had the low round of the day by five shots
The 2010 Senior Amateur Tour kicked off with seven events in Florida, and the final score was Mother Nature 7, Florida ...
Battling winds that were never lower than 15 mph and gusting to 40 mph, Rick Woulfe overcame a start from hell to defeat David Brookreson on the first hole of a sudden playoff Sunday to win the 55+ division of the Florida Azalea Senior Amateur.
Woulfe, a long-time outstanding amateur from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., drove to within 20 yards of the 320-yard first playoff hole and pitched to 3 feet to make birdie. Brookreson, from Philadelphia, who had shot 70 in the worst of the winds to make the playoff, missed a 20-footer for his birdie. Both players finished at 6-over 216 at the 5,892 yard Palatka (Fla.) Golf Club, two shots clear of three other players.
Woulfe played the front nine of his first round by shooting a 6-over 41. He had an epiphany and started the back nine birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie-ace. On the 165-yard 14th, he holed a 165-yard 5-iron into a stiff breeze to return to par and advance to near the top of the leaderboard. He made two bogeys coming in for 72, which tied him for fourth behind Chip Lutz (66(, Fred Peel (70) and John Benson (71). If Lutz had gone on to win, he ...
There are many amateur golfers playing the game who have impressive stories to tell.
Do you know of a “Local Legend”?
Golfweek wants to hear about golfers with impressive amateur records on the state and local scene. Several will be highlighted in our annual Amateur Issue on April 30.
Send nominations by March 5 with brief credentials to email@example.com or fax to 407-563-7077 (Attn.: Local Legends). Please include name, address and contact numbers for the nominee.
MIAMI – It was a success story for both a rookie and a veteran Jan. 17 in the Golfweek Senior National Championship at the Doral Golf Resort’s Great White Course in Miami.
Chip Lutz, of Reading, Pa., became perhaps the youngest champion of a true national senior amateur event by winning the 55-and-over division at age 55 years, six days. Lutz survived winds of up to 25 mph and a torrential squall that set in over the last six holes by fighting through the bluster in 1-over-par for an 8-over 224 total and five-shot victory. Kentucky’s Harris (Happy) Rakestraw, who had a one-shot lead when the rain hit, played the final six in 8 over, lost his lead and eventually finished six behind Lutz and in fourth place.
Jim Anthony (Franklin, Ind.) and David Fry (Montgomery, Ala.) tied for second, five back of Lutz.
The veteran part of the equation was supplied by Chicago’s Joel Hirsch, a former British Senior Amateur champion. Hirsch stampeded the super senior field by 10 shots, including a second-round 73 and third-round 75 that were both daily lows for the division. Ron Goldburg of Delray Beach, Fla., overcame a tightly-bunched pack in the ...