USGA Senior Amateur History

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In the final event contested during the USGA's centennial year, James Stahl of Cincinnati, Ohio, became the 439th person to capture a USGA championship by winning the Senior Amateur held at a poplular USGA site, Prairie Dunes Country Club, in Hutchinson, Kansas. Stahl defeated Rennie Law of Tampa, Fla., in the final match by a 2-and-1 score.

Stahl received a boost during the last day's semi-final and final rounds. When he reached the course that day, he discovered a friend waiting to caddie for him. It was Danny Yates, former Mid-Amateur champion, Amateur runner-up, and Walker Cup team member. Their relationship dates back to 1973, when Stahl lived for a period in Yate's hometown of Atlanta.

The semi-final round went very well for Stahl. He didn't lose a single hole along the way against Curt McClure of Shreveport, La., winning by a 4-and-3 margin. The afternoon's final match against Law proved a much tougher test. Stahl played poorly with four bogeys over the first seven holes, yet held a 1-up lead.

Law's game came alive after the first nine holes, however, and he claimed three straight holes to move from 1 down to 2 up. But some poor play on the 13th caused Law to give back one hole, while a Stahl birdie on the 14th squared the match. Law proceeded to miss his par putt at the 16th to fall one hole behind, and Stahl's 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th clinched his victory and capped a satisfying year for the man who also finished as runner-up in the 1995 Senior British Amateur.