USGA Senior Amateur News

USGA Senior Amateur Championship Fact Sheet
October 9-14
Bel-Air Country Club, Los Angeles, Calif.

PAR AND YARDAGE - Bel-Air Country Club will be set up at 6,491 yards and par is 36-34-70.

VENUE - Bel-Air Country Club was designed by George C. Thomas, William P. Bell and Jack Neville and opened in 1927. It previously hosted the 1976 U.S. Amateur, won by Bill Sander.

HISTORY - The USGA Senior Amateur Championship was first played in 1955. The 2004 Senior Amateur Championship will be the 50th.

SCHEDULE - Stroke play rounds will be played Oct. 9-10 (Saturday-Sunday). Following two days of stroke play, the field of 156 golfers will be reduced to the lowest 64 scorers, who will advance to match play. The match play portion of the Championship runs from Oct. 11-14 (Monday-Thursday). The first round is set for Oct. 11; the second and third rounds for Oct. 12 and the quarterfinals and semifinals for Oct. 13. The 18-hole, match-play final is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 14.

CAN I PLAY? - The USGA Senior Amateur Championship is open to amateurs who will have reached their 55th birthday on or before Oct. 9, 2004, and who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4.

ENTRIES - The USGA accepted a record 2,420 entries for the 2004 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, the fifth consecutive year entries topped 2,200. The previous record of 2,357 entries was set in 2002. The deadline for entries in 2004 was Aug. 11.

SECTIONAL QUALIFYING - Sectional qualifying (18 holes) was at 52 sites from Aug. 26 - Sept. 15.

TICKETS - Admission and parking are free for all six days of the Championship.

DEFENDING CHAMPION -Kemp Richardson of Laguna Niguel, Calif., became the 13th player to win the USGA Senior Amateur Championship twice, with a victory in 19 holes over Frank Abbott of Napa, Calif., at The Virginian Golf Club in Bristol, Va.

"It's kind of bittersweet because I really didn't play well," said Richardson, who also won in 2001. "I was fortunate enough to win. The game looked tired. It worked, but it didn't work."

Richardson, who was 2-down with three holes to play, did find his game enough to win holes 16 and 18 to square the championship match and send it to extra holes for the first time since 1989.

EXEMPT PLAYERS - A total of 14 golfers are fully exempt from sectional qualifying for the 2004 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. They are:

  • Frank Abbott, Napa, Calif. - 2003 Senior Amateur finalist
  • Mark Bemowski of Mukwonago, Wis. - 2002 Senior Amateur finalist
  • David Boesel, Winter Park, Fla. - 2003 Senior Amateur quarterfinalist
  • Edward Craig, Orlando, Fla. - 2003 Senior Amateur quarterfinalist
  • Sam Farlow, Birmingham, Ala. - 2003 Senior Amateur quarterfinalist
  • Marvin (Vinny) Giles III of Richmond, Va. - 2002 Senior Amateur quarterfinalist and former U.S. Amateur champion (1972)
  • Bob Hullender, San Antonio, Texas - 2003 Senior Amateur quarterfinalist
  • Bob Lewis of Cleveland, Ohio - special exemption
  • Bill Ploeger of Columbus, Ga. - 1999 Senior Amateur champion
  • Greg Reynolds of Grand Blanc, Mich. - 2002 Senior Amateur champion
  • Bruce Richards, Bellevue, Wash. - 2003 Senior Amateur quarterfinalist
  • Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. - 2001 and 2003 Senior Amateur champion
  • Bill Shean Jr. of Hinsdale, Ill. - 2000 Senior Amateur champion
  • Roy Smethurst of England - 2003 British Senior Amateur champion and 2003 Senior Amateur semifinalist

MULTIPLE VICTORIES - Thirteen players have won this championship more than once. They are: J. Clark Espie (1957, 1959); Dexter H. Daniels (1961, 1966); Merrill L. Carlsmith (1962, 1963); Curtis Person Sr. (1968, 1969); Lewis W. Oehmig (1972, 1976, 1985); William Hyndman III (1973, 1983); Dale Morey (1974, 1977), William C. Campbell (1979, 1980); R.S. Williams (1986, 1989); Clarence Moore (1988, 1992); O. Gordon Brewer Jr. (1994 and 1996); Bill Shean Jr. (1998 and 2000); and Kemp Richardson (2001, 2003). Carlsmith, Person and Campbell are the only three champions who won the title in consecutive years.

THE WINNER RECEIVES - The champion receives a gold medal and custody of the Frederick L. Dold Trophy for the ensuing year. He also receives an exemption from local qualifying at the next U.S. Open, as well as exemptions from sectional qualifying at the next two U.S. Senior Opens, the next U.S. Amateur, the next U.S. Mid-Amateur, the next U.S. Amateur Public Links, and the next five USGA Senior Amateurs, if otherwise eligible.

CALIFORNIA AND THE USGA - California is hosting its 62nd USGA Championship and its second in 2004. Earlier this year, Sihwan Kim captured the U.S. Junior Amateur at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. The USGA Senior Women's Amateur is being contested at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz at the same time as the Senior Amateur.

California has hosted more USGA championships than any state except Pennsylvania, which has served as the site for 74 championships in the USGA's 108-year history.

CALIFORNIANS IN THE FIELD - In addition to defending champion Kemp Richardson and 2003 runner-up Frank Abbott, there are 17 other Californians in the 2004 field. They are: Bob Blomberg (Alameda); Steve Bogan (Placentia); Robert Carver (Fullerton); Merton Goode (San Francisco); Steven Hakes (San Diego); Rob Heaton (Oakley); Tony Lehman (Santa Barbara); Ted Lyford (Redlands); Pete McDade (San Diego); Jim McMurtrey (Fair Oaks); Warren Shafer (San Diego); Al Sharpe (Carmel); Stephen Smith (Palo Alto); Francis Spadola (Napa); Karl Stewart Sr. (Chino Hills); Doug Tambara (Huntington Beach); and Stephen Yavorsky (Capistrano Beach).

THE 1976 U.S. AMATEUR - There are two players in the field this week who also competed in the 1976 U.S. Amateur Championship at Bel-Air Country Club: Vinny Giles, 61, of Richmond, Va., and Carey Schulten, 69, of Dallas, Texas, who made it into the 2004 Senior Amateur as an alternate.

HOLE BY HOLE - 6,491 yards, par 36-34--70;

Hole

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Out

Par

5

4

3

4

3

4

4

5

4

36

Yards

482

393

173

434

165

367

380

477

338

3,209

Hole

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

In

Par

3

4

4

3

5

4

3

4

4

34

Yards

195

390

390

213

580

448

180

468

418

3,282

FUTURE SENIOR AMATEURS - The 2005 USGA Senior Amateur will be conducted at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga., from Sept. 17-22. Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind., will host the 2006 championship from Sept. 16-21. In 2007, Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kan., will host the championship from Sept. 1-6.

WWW.USGA.ORG - Log onto the USGA Internet site (www.usga.org/championships/) for the latest USGA Senior Amateur information during the Championship (click on the Championship logo).

FOR MORE INFORMATION - Beth Murrison will be the USGA media relations contact on site. Prior to the championship, she can be reached at (908) 234-2300.