USGA Senior Amateur History

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1987

John Richardson, 66, of Laguna Niguel, California, defeated James Kite, Jr., of Wolftown, Virginia, 5 and 4, at Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Richardson also was the medalist, shooting three-over-par 145 and becoming the first golfer to win the medal and the championship in the same year since Ed Updegraff in 1981.

Despite his impressive play, Richardson was tested often on his way to the championship. He trailed 1982 champion Alton Duhon by two holes through 13 before coming back to win on the 19th. He later defeated 1986 runner-up John Harbottle and three-time champion Lew Oehmig.

Kite, a lefthander, was stretched to the 17th hole or further in each of his first four matches. His most decisive victory came in the semi-finals where he ousted George Holland, 6 and 5.

In the final, Richardson played superbly and held a 4-up advantage through nine holes. A birdie at the 12th increased the margin to five holes and Richardson held that lead for a 5-and 4-victory. The USGA accepted 1,465 entries for the championship.