USGA Senior Amateur News

Defending Champion, Medalist Advance

At 2004 USGA Senior Amateur


Los Angeles, Calif. - Defending champion Kemp Richardson, 58, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., and stroke-play medalist Ronald Vannelli, 56, of Edison, N.J., each won first-round matches Monday to advance at the 2004 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, being conducted at the par-70, 6,491-yard Bel-Air Country Club.


Richardson faced Frank Abbott, 61, of Napa, Calif., in a rematch of the 2003 Senior Amateur final, when Abbott held a 2-up lead with three holes to play, but Richardson came back to win in 19 holes.


" Frank is such a nice guy," said Richardson, who is trying to become just the second golfer to win three USGA Senior Amateurs and the fourth to win two in a row. "Last year I didn't play any good, but still won."


In Monday's match, Abbott was one down after four holes when he won three in a row to hold a 2-up edge after eight holes. But Richardson came back to win four consecutive holes, starting at the par-4, 338-yard ninth when Abbott missed a five-foot birdie putt and Richardson then made his four-foot birdie putt.


At the 10th hole, a 195-yard par 3 that crosses a canyon to a two-tiered green, Richardson hit a 4-iron to three feet. After Abbott three-putted from high above the hole, he conceded Richardson's birdie putt. After winning the 11th and 12th holes, Richardson held a 2-up advantage.


Alex Tarumianz putts during his first-round match against Bob Lewis Jr. Tarumianz was two down with two holes to play but came back to win in 19 holes. (Sam Greenwood/USGA)

Twice Abbott cut the deficit to one, but Richardson came right back to win the next hole and return to 2-up. He won the par-3, 180-yard 16th hole, and closed out Abbott, 3 and 1, with a par on the 17th.


"I felt like I was playing pretty good, but I made a lot of dumb mistakes," said Richardson, who had five bogeys and a double bogey to go with five birdies.


Vannelli, meanwhile, was all square heading to the 418-yard 18th hole against Larry Walsh, 59, of Buda, Texas, who earlier in the day survived a playoff to become the 64th and final player in the match-play draw. On 18, Walsh missed a six-foot par putt and Vannelli two-putted for par to take a 1-up victory.


"I squeaked it out," said Vannelli. "That was just grueling. Neither one of us played very good. Larry would play a hole bad and I'd play it worse. Then I'd play a hole bad and he'd play it worse. It was just a matter of who could hold on."


Through 18 holes, Alex Tarumianz, 57, of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., never led against four-time USA Walker Cupper Bob Lewis Jr., 60, of Pepper Pike, Ohio. Lewis held a 2-up lead after 11 holes but lost the 12th when he called a one-stroke penalty on himself for causing his ball to move after addressing it. Lewis again built a 2-up edge at the 16th hole, but Tarumianz came back to birdie the next three holes, including the par-5, 482-yard first hole (the 19th of the match) to earn the victory.


In other first-round action, 2002 champion Greg Reynolds, 57, of Grand Blanc, Mich., cruised with a 6-and-5 victory over Tim Thompson of Memphis, Tenn., while David Boesel, 56, of Orlando, Fla., a semifinalist a year ago, ousted 1972 U.S. Amateur winner Vinny Giles, 61, of Richmond, Va., 3 and 2. Two-time USA Walker Cupper Marty West, 56, of Rockville, Md., earned a 3-and-1 win over Gene Ryzewicz of Westport, Conn., and Joseph Cristillo of Crystal River, Fla., ousted 1998 and 2000 champion Bill Shean Jr. of Hinsdale, Ill., 3-and-1.


The championship continues with the second and third rounds of match play Tuesday. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Wednesday, and the 18-hole championship final will be held Thursday.

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


Story written by Beth Murrison of USGA media relations.  You can reach her at



Los Angeles, Calif. - Results from the Monday's first round of match play at the 2004 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, being conducted at the par-70, 6,491-yard Bel-Air Country Club.


Round of 64

Upper Bracket

Ronald Vannelli, Edison, N.J. (144) def. Larry Walsh, Buda, Texas (156), 1 up

Martin West, Rockville, Md. (152) def. Gene Ryzewicz, Westport, Conn. (152), 3 and 1

Roger Gunderson, Aurora, Colo. (154) def. Gary Hardin, Fort Worth, Texas (150), 1 up

Edward Fletcher, Mashpee, Mass. (150) def. Bob Heaton, Oakley, Calif. (154), 19 holes

David Boesel, Winter Park, Fla. (149) def. Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va. (155), 3 and 2

Tony Lehman, Santa Barbara, Calif. (153) def. John Baldwin, Palm Beach, Fla. (151), 6 and 5

Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. (149) def. Tom Grady, Marshall, Va. (155), 5 and 4

Spencer Sappington, Alpharetta, Ga. (151) def. Bob Blomberg, Alameda, Calif. (154), 19 holes

Timothy Miller, Kokomo, Ind. (155) def. Steve Bogan, Placentia, Calif. (146), 19 holes

Stephen Yavorsky, Capistrano Beach, Calif. (152) def. Johnny Stevens, Wichita, Kan. (153), 5 and 4

Chip Stewart, Dallas, Texas (149) def. Fred Cox, North Palm Beach, Fla. (155), 6 and 4

Ted Lyford, Redlands, Calif. (154) def. R Scott Carnes, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (151), 1 up

Roy Smethurst, England (155) def. Billy Clagett, Austin, Texas (147), 3 and 1

Alan Foster, Manlius, N.Y. (153) def. David Lind, Burr Ridge, Ill. (152), 3 and 2

Kent Christopher, Farmington, Utah (149) def. Dick Iverson, Lake Oswego, Ore. (155), 3 and 1

Gregory Scurlock, Augusta, Ga. (154) def. Roy Holloway, Monroe, La. (151), 3 and 2


Lower Bracket

Ernie Newton, High Point, N.C. (145) def. David Carrera, Latrobe, Pa. (156), 5 and 3

Jim Ruschioni, Leominster, Mass. (152) def. Jim Dines, Albuquerque, N.M. (152), 4 and 3

Greg Shaw, Little Rock, Ark. (155) def. Dick Van Leuvan, Roswell, Ga. (150), 1 up

Rick Weihe, Bellingham, Wash. (151) def. Jim Mc Murtrey, Fair Oaks, Calif. (154), 1 up

Alex Tarumianz, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. (155) def. Robert Lewis Jr, Pepper Pike, Ohio (149), 19 holes

Joseph Keller, Osterville, Mass. (153) def. Woody Thames, Dallas, Texas (151), 6 and 5

Michael Walters, Tampa, Fla. (149) def. John Seehausen, Palatine, Ill. (155), 3 and 1

David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. (151) def. Gary Daniels, Center Valley, Pa. (154), 3 and 1

Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (146) def. Frank Abbott, Napa, Calif. (156), 3 and 1

Van Salmans, Chicago, Ill. (152) def. Jerry Cundari, Portland, Ore. (153), 3 and 1

Joseph Cristillo, Crystal River, Fla. (155) def. Bill Shean Jr, Hinsdale, Ill. (150), 2 and 1

Jack Vardaman, Washington, D.C. (154) def. Gary Koprivica, Missoula, Mont. (151), 5 and 4

Steven Hakes, San Diego, Calif. (147) def. Brian Sachs, Gainesville, Fla. (155), 2 and 1

Steven Hoffman, Savannah, Ga. (151) def. James Smith, Orchard Park, N.Y. (153), 19 holes

Ronnie Tumlin, Saint Augustine, Fla. (149) def. Joseph Schmidt, Mchenry, Ill. (155), 6 and 5

Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich. (151) def. Tim Thompson, Memphis, Tenn. (154), 6 and 5



Los Angeles, Calif. - Pairings for Tuesday's second round of match play at the 2004 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at the par-70, 6,491-yard Bel-Air Country Club.


Round of 32

Upper Bracket

7:30 a.m.    Ronald Vannelli, Edison, N.J. (144) vs. Martin West, Rockville, Md. (152)

7:38 a.m.    Roger Gunderson, Aurora, Colo. (154) vs. Edward Fletcher, Mashpee, Mass. (150)

7:46 a.m.    David Boesel, Winter Park, Fla. (149) vs. Tony Lehman, Santa Barbara, Calif. (153)

7:54 a.m.    Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. (149) vs. Spencer Sappington, Alpharetta, Ga. (151)

8:02 a.m.    Timothy Miller, Kokomo, Ind. (155) vs. Stephen Yavorsky, Capistrano Beach, Calif. (152)

8:10 a.m.   Chip Stewart, Dallas, Texas (149) vs. Ted Lyford, Redlands, Calif. (154)

8:18 a.m.    Roy Smethurst, England (155) vs. Alan Foster, Manlius, N.Y. (153)

8:26 a.m.    Kent Christopher, Farmington, Utah (149) vs. Gregory Scurlock, Augusta, Ga. (154)


Lower Bracket

8:34 a.m.   Ernie Newton, High Point, N.C. (145) vs. Jim Ruschioni, Leominster, Mass. (152)

8:42 a.m.   Greg Shaw, Little Rock, Ark. (155) vs. Rick Weihe, Bellingham, Wash. (151)

8:50 a.m.   Alex Tarumianz, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. (155) vs. Joseph Keller, Osterville, Mass. (153)

8:58 a.m.   Michael Walters, Tampa, Fla. (149) vs. David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. (151)

9:06 a.m.   Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (146) vs. Van Salmans, Chicago, Ill. (152)

9:14 a.m.   Joseph Cristillo, Crystal River, Fla. (155) vs. Jack Vardaman, Washington, D.C. (154)

9:22 a.m.   Steven Hakes, San Diego, Calif. (147) vs. Steven Hoffman, Savannah, Ga. (151)

9:30 a.m.   Ronnie Tumlin, Saint Augustine, Fla. (149) vs. Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich. (151)