The Virginian Golf Club, Bristol , Va.
Oldest -- Jim Lowe, 70, of Lincoln, Neb., is the field’s oldest player. He is a retired air traffic controller, who served 25 years. He didn’t “run any aircraft together” but he did get an ulcer. He underwent back surgery in late May. He won qualifying in Omaha, Neb. on August 7.
Club Trio – Walt Noell, 61, Pete Parker, 69, and Bob Kulp, 57, of Winston-Salem, N.C., are all members of Forsyth C.C. Mary Ray Hill of their club has qualified for the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at Barton Creek GC in Austin, Texas . Noell was an assistant basketball coach at Wake Forest from 1970-73; Kulp is a dentist, who was a quarterfinalist in 2001; and Parker is a general surgeon, who won a bronze star while serving in a marine division in Vietnam .
He’s come a long way. Tony Aguiar, 58, of Richmond, Va., was born in Portugal but the first time he played golf at age 29, he shot 140. Now, he’s a 10-time club champion at Jefferson Lakeside CC.
Jim Alcorn, 58, of Irwin, Pa., is a retired school teacher. When he graduated from Clarion State University in 1968, he was an 11 th round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns. He is a member of Clarion’s Hall of Fame.
Rich Andrews, 58, of Houston, Texas, has logged 3,000-plus hours as a pilot. In fact, he flew his own plane to Tri-Cities Airport from Houston . He works in investments.
Terry Andrews, 60, of Fallbrook, Calif., was a diver in the Jacques Cousteau TV series. He also lists fishing as a hobby.
Alex Antonio, 58, of Bentleyville, Ohio, is a veteran of USGA Championships. In 2003, he is playing in his third Senior Amateur. However, his competitive resume also includes 3 U.S. Junior Amateurs, 2 U.S. Amateurs, 2 U.S. Opens and 3 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He was a two-time All-American at Ohio State and a member of the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame.
Harry Boback, 56, of League City, Texas, is a patient man. See, it’s been 39 years since he’s played in a USGA Championship. His last was the 1964 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Francis A. Gross GC in Minneapolis , Minn. He was 16 years old at the time.
David Boesel, 55, of Winter Park, Fla., is a financial advisor but he was the Florida HS Golf Coach of the Year in 1999. He has played in two U.S. Senior Opens, finishing 46 th in 2001. He also advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1993 U.S. Amateur.
George Branch, 65, of Camden, Ark., is a retired public school administrator, serving 25 years as a school district superintendent.
Dave Brookreson, 55, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., is playing in his first Senior Amateur but he’s had great success in national championships. In 1989, he was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Amateur and, in 1992, he advanced to the quarters at the U.S. Mid-Amateur. His six Pine Valley GC club championships span four decades.
Craig Carlisle, 58, of Trophy Club, Texas, won the 1978 Texas Offroad Motorcycle title. He was a national competitor in motorcycle endurance and motocross races in the 1970s.
Preston Davis, 59, of San Juan Capistrano, Calif , won two national championships in track while at the University of Texas . He was an All-American in 1967 and 1968, winning the mile title in 1968. He also played in a bluegrass band in college, which opened a concert for Peter , Paul and Mary .
William Dreibelbis, 56, of Freeport, Ill., has made nine fishing trips to the Amazon in the last five years. He is a retired dentist who twice has saved lives on those trips. The first time, he extracted the tooth of his guide in Bolivia with a screwdriver, and the other time he performed CPR on a fisherman who’d had a heart attack. In addition, he is an artist, specializing in sculpture of exotic South American game fish.
Dave Ellis, 62, of Roseville, Calif, is a retired Air Force pilot. He has two bi-lateral hip replacements or “steel on both sides,” as he says. Likewise, Bob Hullender , 66, of San Antonio, Texas, is a retired Air Force general with two artificial hips. He was the runner-up at the 1994 Senior Amateur
Peter Friedes, 61, of Winnetka, Ill., was the CEO of a consulting firm from 1970-1993. He wrote a book “ The 2R Manager ,” about how to manage employees and is the founder of the Employee Benefits Research Institute in Washington , D.C.
John Gibbs, 59, of Oneonta, Ala., is the brother of the co-founder of The Golf Channel – Joe Gibbs. John, who was a VP for information systems at the specialty TV group, retired on April 1, 2000 “to play golf.” His playing resume includes a spot in the 1996 U.S. Senior Open.
Merton Goode, 55, of San Francisco, Calif., is finally seeing both sides of USGA competition. From 1997-2000, he served as a member of the USGA Executive Committee and helped administer many championships, including serving as the chairman of the 2000 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Committee. He is playing in his first USGA Championship in 15 tries. He was also the general chairman of the 1990 U.S. Junior Amateur at Lake Merced GC in Daly City , Calif.
Ronnie Grove, 61, of Raleigh, N.C., survived a bout with cancer in 2002. He and his son, Hunter , an academic All-American at North Carolina , won the National Father-Son title five times.
Rennie Law, 64, of Tampa, Fla., has qualified for 10 USGA Championships since turning 55. He is playing in his fifth Senior Amateur and was the runner-up in 1995.
Bob Lutz, 62, of Jerome Idaho, is playing in his third Senior Amateur but he also participated in the 1962 NCAA Skiing Championships. Skiing for Vermont , he placed 11 th in the downhill.
Tom McKinney, 56, of Bryant, Ark., is the new general manager at Hurricane Golf and Country Club. In his first year on the job, his sister (last November) and mother ( June ) passed away and he had a heart attack (January). He is playing in his second USGA Championship, the first being the 1974 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
Elston Mitchell, 59, of Bloomington, Ind., played college baseball and basketball at Eastern Illinois . An insurance agent, he caddied for his son, Todd , at the 2003 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont. He has been inducted into the Illinois American Softball Association Hall of Fame.
Dennis Moore, 57, of Chesterfield, Mo., is an investigator for the Missouri Bureau of Narcotics, specializing in doctors and pharmacies. He believes he is the first person from Missouri to have qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and USGA Senior Amateur.
Bruce Richards, 60, of Bellevue, Wash., is playing in his third Senior Amateur. He is a member of the USGA Executive Committee, the group of volunteers that directs the 300-plus staff of the Association. A financial specialist, he played in the 1965 British Open and was the low American amateur. He is a die-hard fan of the University of Washington sports teams, serving as captain of the Huskies 1963 Pac 8 title-winning team.
Mike Riley, 58, of San Diego, Calif., is the father of PGA player Chris Riley . Mike works in the San Diego Sheriff’s department. His other son, Kevin, is also a professional golfer. With woodworking as his hobby, he has made golf trophies for the past two USGA Senior Amateur champions – Kemp Richardson (2001) and Greg Reynolds (2002). Riley has been playing in USGA championships since the 1959 Junior Amateur, where he reached the quarterfinals at age 14. He was a two-time All-American in golf at San Diego State .
Gayle Sanchez , 55, of Baton Rouge, La., is a dentist, who has qualified for all seven USGA men’s championships – Open, Senior Open, Public Links, Amateur, Mid-Amateur, Senior Amateur and State Team. He was reinstated as an amateur in 1987.
2003 British Senior Amateur champion Roy Semthurst, 61, of England , lives with his wife in a timber frame cottage that was built in 1642 . At the 1996 British Senior Open, he held the lead after the first round with a 5-under-par 67. One of his six career holes in one was at the 1994 British Senior Open at Royal Lytham St. Anne’s.
Randy Sonnier, 55, of Kingwood, Texas, is playing in his 24th USGA Championship. A pilot for a commercial airline, he played in 3 Opens, 8 Mid-Amateurs and 12 Amateurs. He was the runner-up at the 1983 Mid-Am as well as co-medalist there. He represented the USA at the 1985 Walker Cup Match.
Rob Thompson, 56, of Merced , Calif., has enlisted a caddie who is used to hard work. His son, Robbie , 23, just returned from military service in Iraq and will carry for his father in stroke play.
Marty West, 55, of Rockville, Md., is playing in his 26th USGA Championship. He finished 4 th at the 1973 U.S. Amateur, when it was an all-stroke play format. A stockbroker, he was a member of the 1973 and 1979 USA Walker Cup squads.
Dick Whitmire, 61, of Tallahassee, Fla., is a retired state employee. Since his retirement in September of 1999, he has played golf every day that weather permitted on his home course, Capital City CC – that’s about 325 rounds per year.