Former U.S. Amateur Champion Ousted At 2002 USGA Senior Amateur Championship
Jacksonville, Fla. – Curt Madson, 61, of Mount Dora, Fla., earned a 2-and-1 victory to eliminate 1972 U.S. Amateur winner Vinny Giles, 59, of Richmond, Va., in quarterfinal action at the 48th USGA Senior Amateur Championship Wednesday at the par-72, 6,596-yard Timuquana Country Club.
Madson won three consecutive holes – with pars the par-3, 212-yard 13th hole and par-4, 375-yard 14th hole and a birdie on the par-5, 490-yard 15th holes – to go from one down in the match to a two-hole lead. The two players halved the par-3, 163-yard 16th hole and the par-4, 398-yard 17th hole with birdies and Madson had the win.
“I’ve been playing well this week and was really looking forward to playing somebody of Vinny’s stature,” Madson said. “It’s really fun to have that kind of competition.”
Madson, the oldest remaining player in the field, advances to face Greg Reynolds, 55, of Grand Blanc, Mich., who continued his unlikely run with a 4-and-2 victory over Bill Heldmar, 61, of Tulsa, Okla.
Reynolds, playing in perhaps his last national amateur event before he tries to qualify for the Senior PGA Tour in November, made the field as an alternate four days prior to the start of the championship after losing in the third round at the U.S. Mid-Amateur. He almost didn’t come to the Senior Amateur, but a friend convinced him to do so.
“I told him I wasn’t sure if I was going to come to this or not,” Reynolds said. “But we got to talking and he said all the state things he’s won, he would trade them all for one national title.”
Bill Baloh, 58, of Herminie, Pa., outlasted Gary Koprivica, 57, of Missoula, Mont., in 20 holes. On the par-4, 385-yard 2nd hole, the 20th of the match, Baloh was on the green in two and two-putted for par, while Koprivica hit his approach shot onto the fringe and missed his six-foot par putt.
“It was definitely a struggle,” Baloh said. “It was one of those rounds where neither of us were focused on the golf course – we were more focused on each other.”
It was a welcome reversal of fortune for Baloh, who lost in 20 holes a year ago in the quarterfinals to past champion Senior Amateur O. Gordon Brewer of Pine Valley, N.J.
Baloh will face Mark Bemowski, 56, of Mukwonago, Wis., in Thursday morning’s semifinal.
Bemowski trailed by three holes after 12 against Alex Tarumianz, 55, of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., but came back to win five of the last six holes en route to a 2-up victory.
“Had it not been for my shaky putting, I’d have done really well out there,” Bemowski said. “Tee to green, I’ve been pretty good and if I just watch myself on the greens, I think I’ll be competitive.”
The semifinals and the championship 18-hole final match are scheduled for Thursday.
The USGA Senior Amateur, for amateur players 55 years and older, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Jacksonville, Fla. – Results from the quarterfinal round of match play Wednesday at the 2002 USGA Senior Amateur, being played at the par-72, 6,596-yard Timuquana Country Club:
Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich. (149) def. Bill Heldmar, Tulsa, Okla. (153), 4 and 2
Curt Madson, Mount Dora, Fla. (153) def. Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va. (144), 2 and 1
Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. (153) def. Alex Tarumianz, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. (152), 2 up
Bill Baloh, Herminie, Pa. (153) def. Gary Koprivica, Missoula, Mont. (154), 20 holes
Jacksonville, Fla. – Pairings for the semifinal round of match play Thursday at the 2002 USGA Senior Amateur, being played at the par-72, 6,596-yard Timuquana Country Club:
8:00 a.m. Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich. (149) vs. Curt Madson, Mount Dora, Fla. (153)
8:15 a.m. Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. (153) vs. Bill Baloh, Herminie, Pa. (153)