USGA Senior Amateur News

Defending Champion Advances, Medalist Ousted

At 2004 USGA Senior Amateur


Los Angeles, Calif. - Defending champion Kemp Richardson's quest for another title will continue, but stroke-play medalist Ronald Vannelli was ousted in second-round action Tuesday at the 2004 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, being conducted at the par-70, 6,491-yard Bel-Air Country Club.


Richardson, 58, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., who also won the 2001 USGA Senior Amateur, is trying to join Lewis Oehmig as just the second person in the championship's 50-year history to win three Senior Amateurs. With a victory, Richardson would also become just the fourth to win consecutive titles.


Against Van Salmans of Chicago, Ill., Richardson fell behind briefly when he bogeyed the eighth hole. But Richardson made back-to-back birdies on the next two holes to take a 1-up edge and built the cushion to two holes after the 12th. Salmans cut the deficit to one when Richardson bogeyed the 14th hole but could get no closer, and Richardson held on for a 1-up victory.


Martin West chips out of a bunker during his second-round victory over stroke-play medalist Ronald Vannelli Tuesday at Bel-Air Country Club. (Sam Greenwood/USGA)

Vannelli, 58, of Edison, N.J., was trying to become the first stroke-play medalist to win the title since Richardson's late father, John, did so in 1987. In his second-round match against two-time USA Walker Cupper Martin West, 56, of Rockville, Md., Vannelli took a brief lead when West bogeyed the second hole. But West won the fourth and fifth holes with pars and never trailed again en route to a 3-and-1 victory.


"You can't play bad and keep winning in this world," said Vanelli, who had four bogeys and one birdie in the match. "You have to play solid."


Despite the loss, Vannelli wholeheartedly enjoyed his first Senior Amateur.


"It couldn't have been any better," said Vannelli. "I'm thrilled and honored just to be here playing with all these great players. You can't do this in any other sport - there's no Super Bowl for 55-year-old guys. We still get to play in major events. It's wonderful."


In other second-round action, Ernie Newton, 57, of High Point, N.C., earned a 3-and-2 win over Jim Ruschioni, of Leominster, Mass. Newton is trying to become part of the first father-daughter combination to earn USGA titles - his daughter Marcy won the 2000 U.S. Women's Amateur. Ironically, the Richardsons are the only father-son tandem to win USGA titles.


Also advancing to Tuesday afternoon's third round of match play were the two finalists from the 2002 Senior Amateur - champion Greg Reynolds, 57, of Grand Blanc, Mich., a 4-and-3 winner over Ronnie Tumlin of St. Augustine, Fla., and runner-up Mark Bemowski, 58, of Mukwonago, Wis., who moved on with a 3-and-1 win over Spencer Sappington of Alpharetta, Ga.


The championship continues with the third round 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 Tuesday's second 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 32

Upper Bracket

Martin West, Rockville, Md. (152) def. Ronald Vannelli, Edison, N.J. (144), 3 and 1

Edward Fletcher, Mashpee, Mass. (150) def. Roger Gunderson, Aurora, Colo. (154), 3 and 2

Tony Lehman, Santa Barbara, Calif. (153) def. David Boesel, Winter Park, Fla. (149), 4 and 3

Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. (149) def. Spencer Sappington, Alpharetta, Ga. (151), 3 and 1

Stephen Yavorsky, Capistrano Beach, Calif. (152) def. Timothy Miller, Kokomo, Ind. (155), 3 and 2

Ted Lyford, Redlands, Calif. (154) def. Chip Stewart, Dallas, Texas (149), 1 up

Alan Foster, Manlius, N.Y. (153) def. Roy Smethurst, England (155), 3 and 2

Kent Christopher, Farmington, Utah (149) def. Gregory Scurlock, Augusta, Ga. (154), 3 and 2


Lower Bracket

Ernie Newton, High Point, N.C. (145) def. Jim Ruschioni, Leominster, Mass. (152), 3 and 2

Greg Shaw, Little Rock, Ark. (155) def. Rick Weihe, Bellingham, Wash. (151), 3 and 2

Alex Tarumianz, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. (155) def. Joseph Keller, Osterville, Mass. (153), 19 holes

Michael Walters, Tampa, Fla. (149) def. David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. (151), 3 and 2

Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (146) def. Van Salmans, Chicago, Ill. (152), 1 up

Jack Vardaman, Washington, D.C. (154) def. Joseph Cristillo, Crystal River, Fla. (155), 3 and 2

Steven Hakes, San Diego, Calif. (147) def. Steven Hoffman, Savannah, Ga. (151), 19 holes

Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich. (151) def. Ronnie Tumlin, Saint Augustine, Fla. (149), 4 and 3



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


Round of 16

Upper Bracket

1:00 p.m.   Martin West, Rockville, Md. (152) vs. Edward Fletcher, Mashpee, Mass. (150)

1:10 p.m.   Tony Lehman, Santa Barbara, Calif. (153) vs. Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. (149)

1:20 p.m.   Stephen Yavorsky, Capistrano Beach, Calif. (152) vs. Ted Lyford, Redlands, Calif. (154)

1:30 p.m.   Alan Foster, Manlius, N.Y. (153) vs. Kent Christopher, Farmington, Utah (149)


Lower Bracket

1:40 p.m.   Ernie Newton, High Point, N.C. (145) vs. Greg Shaw, Little Rock, Ark. (155)

1:50 p.m.   Alex Tarumianz, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. (155) vs. Michael Walters, Tampa, Fla. (149)

2:00 p.m.   Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (146) vs. Jack Vardaman, Washington, D.C. (154)

2:25 p.m.   Steven Hakes, San Diego, Calif. (147) vs. Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich. (151)