USGA Senior Amateur History

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1978

In an all-Texas final, Keith K. Compton, of Marble Falls, defeated John Kline, of Houston, 1 up, to win the Senior Amateur Championship at the Pine Tree Golf Club, in Delray Beach, Fla. Both men were retired Air Force generals and close friends.

The medalist was William Stewart, of Springfield, Mo., who had a 143 total, one under par, to equal the 36-hole record for lowest qualifying score in this event.

Stewart lost in the second round to Dick Hopwood, 1 up. In the semi-final round, Kline defeated Ed Tutwiler on the 23rd hole in the longest match of the week. Compton was two under par and eliminated defending Champion Dale Morey, 4 and 3, in the other semi-final match.

In the final, Compton and Kline were even coming to the final hole, a par 4. Both players reached the green in two. Kline three-putted from 30 feet. Compton was 40 feet away, but two-putted for a winning par.

Two other former Champions, William Hyndman, III, and Lewis W. Oehmig, qualified for the 32-player match play draw. Hyndman lost to Compton in the third round, 3 and 2. Oehmig lost to Richard Remsen in the second round, 1 up.

William C. Campbell, the 1964 Amateur Champion, made his debut in senior golf. However, he was eliminated by Oehmig in the first round, 1 up. A record 930 entries were received, exceeding the 833 who entered in 1976.