Clagett Stakes Claim to Medalist Honors with Record 134
Rocky Face, Ga. – Billy Clagett, 59, of Austin, Texas, staked a claim to his second qualifying medal Sunday with a 4-under-par 68 to give him a record 36-hole total of 134, at the halfway mark of the second day of stroke play of the 2005 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at The Farm Golf Club.
Clagett, a golf cart sales representative, who won the qualifying medal in 2002, broke the 12-year-old 36-hole mark of 136 set by John Harbottle (68-68) in 1993 by two strokes.
"Having the record is really cool,” Clagett said. “I like that. To think that maybe in the future I can look in the record book and still see my name there would be OK.”
Clagett’s 10-under-par 134 was seven strokes better, in the morning waves of scores, than John Hogden of Black River Falls, Wis., at 141. Randy Reifers of Columbus, Ohio, trailed by eight strokes at 142.
"That’s pretty low on a good golf course,” Clagett said of his record-setting score. “It’s a lot of work to play good. You don’t go out and cut some jokes and hit the ball. Maybe on your home course you can, but on this one you can’t.”
Saturday Clagett had shot 66 and tied the mark for lowest stroke play round at the Senior Amateur set by Bob Kulp in the first round in 2003.
Clagett, a Vietnam veteran, has been able to focus despite the hospitalization of his wife, Pam with a viral infection.
"My mind wanders off,” said Clagett. “Sometimes, I’m thinking about what I’m eating at night. Thank God, I’ve got good hospitalization. But, you’ve got to get back to it, so you don’t leave shots out to the right and say ‘What did I do there?”
Defending champion Mark Bemowski of Mukwonago, Wis., and Greg Reynolds of Grand Blanc, Mich., the 2002 champion, had afternoon starting times along with John DiMuccio of New Castle, Pa., who shot 68 Saturday.
USGA Senior Amateur Championship
PAR AND YARDAGE – The Farm Golf Club will be set up at 6,737/6,763 and par is 36-36—72.
COURSE SET-UP –
VENUE – The Farm Golf Club was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1988. Located between Atlanta and Chattanooga in northwest Georgia, The Farm benefits from significant elevation changes, which provide a scenic and difficult test of golf.
HISTORY – The USGA Senior Amateur Championship was first played in 1955. The 2005 Senior Amateur Championship will be the 51st.
SCHEDULE – Stroke play rounds will be played Sept. 17-18 (Saturday-Sunday). Following two days of stroke play, the field of 157 golfers will be reduced to the lowest 64 scorers, who will advance to match play. The match play portion of the Championship runs from September 19-22 (Monday-Thursday). The first round is set for Sept. 19 (9:30 a.m. start); the second and third rounds for Sept. 20 (8:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. starts) and the quarterfinals and semifinals (8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. starts) for Sept. 21. The 18-hole, match-play final (9 a.m.) is scheduled for Sept. 22.
CAN I PLAY? – The USGA Senior Amateur Championship is open to amateurs who will have reached their 55th birthday on or before Sept. 17, 2005, and who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4.
ENTRIES – The USGA accepted a record 2,498 entries for the 2005 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, the fifth consecutive year entries topped 2,200. The previous record of 2,420 entries was set in 2004. The deadline for entries was July 27.
TICKETS – Admission and parking are free for all six days of the championship.
DEFENDING CHAMPION – In the finals of the 2004 championship, Mark Bemowski of Mukwonago, Wis., reversed the outcome of the 2002 by defeating Greg Reynolds, 4 and 3, at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. In 2002, Reynolds had beaten Bemowski by the same margin.