USGA Senior Amateur History

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O. Gordon Brewer, 57, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., took four of the last five holes from qualifying medalist Bob Hullender, 57, of San Antonio, Texas, for a 5 and 4 win in the final match at the USGA Senior Amateur Championship, at The Champions Golf Club, in Nicholasville, Ky.

"You chase dreams, and sometimes those dreams are realized," said Brewer. "Mine were realized today."

Although a veteran of 25 USGA championships, Brewer was playing in his first Senior Amateur. He was runner-up at the 1985 U.S. Mid-Amateur to Jay Sigel.

He started his final 18-hole match with two birdies, from 18 feet and 2 feet, respectively. And he allowed Hullender, a retired Air Force general, to win only two holes the rest of the way.

"When he went birdie-birdie to start, I started pressing," said Hullender, who plays despite two artificial hips. "I felt like I had to do something. He wasn't going to make many bogeys."

In fact, Brewer made only one bogey over the last 11 holes. And he birdied the 14th and final hole to go 3 under par when the match ended.

In his morning semi-final match, Brewer lost a 2-up lead down the stretch but recovered to win when he parred the second extra hole. Brewer's 7-iron to the deciding par 3 hole landed 18 feet away, and he lagged his birdie putt to within one foot. Dide Siderowf, a two-time British Amateur champion, missed the green to the left, chipped 7 feet beyond the hole, and missed his comeback putt for par.

In contrast, Hullender easily won his morning match over six-time New Jersey Amateur champion Bob Housen, of Brielle, N.J. He won three consecutive holes from Nos. 10 through 12 and was 6 up before winning 6 and 5.

The championship had other notable players as well. There was the inspirational story of 60-year-old Frank Culpepper, of Valdosta, Ga., who lost the lower portion of his right arm in an industrial accident. And Andy Andreola, of Cinnaminson, N.J., made his mark by qualifying at age 75.

It was a successful week for many, but mostly for Brewer, whose son-in-law, Gary Smith, won the Huntington Valley (Pa.) Country Club championship while he was away. There was no question this was as good as golf could get for Brewer.

"Absolutely," he said. "When you're the United States Champion, you don't have to say any more."

All four semi-finalists are fully exempt for the 1995 Senior Amateur, at Prairie Dunes Country Club, in Hutchinson, Kan., as well as the U.S. Senior Open, at Congressional Country Club, in Bethesda, Md.

The USGA accepted 2,046 entries for the championship, the third consecutive year in which entries topped 2,000.