Californians Richardson, Abbott Meet

In USGA Senior Amateur Final

  

Kemp Richardson, the 2001 champion, advanced to the final match for the second time.  (Sam Greenwood/USGA).

Bristol, Va. – Kemp Richardson, the 2001 champion, meets fellow Californian Frank Abbott in the final match of the 2003 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at The Virginian Golf Club Thursday.

In the semifinals, Richardson, 57, of Laguna Niguel, near Los Angeles, defeated Roy Smethurst, 61, of England, 3 and 2; and Abbott, 60, of Napa, beat David Boesel, 55, of Winter Park, Fla., 2 and 1.

 

Richardson, a two-time low amateur at U.S. Senior Open, fell behind Smethurst, the 2002 British Senior Amateur champion, 2-down after four holes.

 

But, he promptly sank birdie putts of 20 and 10 feet on the 5 th and 6 th holes, respectively, to square the match.

 

Richardson gained the lead when Smethurst, who was attempting to become the first foreign-born champion in 49 Senior Amateurs, bogeyed the par-3 8 th and did not trail again.

 

“I’m swinging a little more like I did when I won it in 2001,” said Richardson, who also won the 2001 British Senior Amateur.

 

A hooked drive by Smethurst on the 11 th hole resulted in a bogey and gave Richardson a 2-up lead.

 

“The tee shot at 11 really let me down and let him in,” said Smethurst. “If I could have held the 2-up or even made 3-up, it might have been a different game. Then, he’d have been under pressure. As soon as it gets back to square, he’s not under any pressure.”

 

Richardson, whose father, John, won the championship in 1987, has not been pushed past the 16 th hole in winning his first five matches.

 

Frank Abbott made it an all-California final with a victory over fourth-seeded David Boesel. (Sam Greenwood/USGA)

Abbott, who did not capture the lead until a birdie on the par-4 12 th, steadily kept pace with Boesel, despite a distance disadvantage off the tee. On the par-5 14 th, Boesel used his length to reach the green in two and two-putted for birdie to square the match.

 

Abbott, who finished fourth at the 2003 California Senior Amateur, won the next two holes and the match when Boesel bogeyed both the 16th and 17 th.

 

“As good as I putted in the morning, it was that bad in the afternoon,” said Boesel, who was the fourth-seed from stroke play.

 

In the morning quarterfinals, Richardson beat Bruce Richards, 60, of Bellevue, Wash., who is a member of the USGA Executive Committee, 3 and 2; and Abbott defeated Edward Craig, 60, of Orlando, Fla., 3 and 2. In the other two matches, Smethurst edged 1994 runner-up Bob Hullender, 66, of San Antonio, Texas, 3 and 2; and Boesel, a 1993 U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist, beat Sam Farlow, 56, of Birmingham, Ala., by the same score.

 

All semifinalists are exempt from qualifying for the 2004 Championship at Bel-

Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif., from October 9-14, as well as the 2004 U.S. Senior Open at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, from July 29-August 1.

 

Thursday’s final round will be televised on ESPN2 from 2-4 p.m. Eastern. The winner receives a gold medal and custody of the Frederick L. Dold Trophy for the ensuing year, an exemption from the next five Senior Amateurs, the next two Senior Opens, and the next U.S. Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Public Links, if eligible.

  

The USGA Senior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

 

Results

Bristol, Va. – Results from Wednesday’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of match play at the 2003 USGA Senior Amateur played at The Virginian Golf Club (6,914-yards, par 71):

 

Quarterfinals

Frank Abbott, Napa, Calif., (146) def. Edward Craig, Orlando, Fla. (143), 3 and 2

David Boesel, Winter Park, Fla., (141) def. Sam Farlow, Birmingham, Ala. (149), 3 and 2

Roy Smethurst, England (146) def. Bob Hullender, San Antonio, Texas (145), 3 and 2

Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (144) def. Bruce Richards, Bellevue, Wash. (139), 3 and 2

 

Semifinals

Abbott def. Boesel, 2 and 1

Richardson def. Smethurst, 4 and 3

 

Final Matchup

Bristol, Va. – Pairing for Thursday’s final round of match play at the 2003 USGA Senior Amateur played at The Virginian Golf Club (6,914-yards, par 71) time is Eastern:

 

9 a.m. – Frank Abbott, Napa, Calif., (146) vs. Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif., (144)