Defending Champion Advances, Semifinals Set
Rocky Face, Ga. – Defending champion Mark Bemowski of Mukwonago, Wis., defeated 2002 champion Greg Reynolds, 2 and 1, Wednesday morning to advance to the semifinals of the 2005 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at The Farm Golf Club.
In a rematch of the finals of both 2002 and 2004, which these players split, Bemowski, took a 2-up lead after four holes and never trailed.
"I got out ahead and it was a battle for him all day,” Bemowski said. “Fortunately, I was able to maintain that.”
"I did not putt very well,” said Reynolds, who was the low amateur at the 2005 U.S. Senior Open. “I’ve been trying to hang there with this putter. I’m not getting the speed of the greens right. You have to have the line and the speed right. If I had the line right, I didn’t have the speed.”
Bemowski, who his 18-3 in Senior Amateur match play, meets Alan Foster of Manlius, N.Y., a 1-up winner over Bob Mielcarz of Concord, N.H.
"It’s always great to beat a player of Greg’s ability,” Bemowski said. “When you can get by him it’s a relief but everybody’s tough, every match is big. They’ll play hard and tough.”
Foster, the 2005 British Senior Amateur champion and semifinalist for the second consecutive year, endured four lead changes through the 8th hole, after which he never trailed.
Jack Vardaman, 65, of Washington, D.C., the oldest remaining contestant, will meet fellow 65-year-old Mike Rice of Houston, Texas in the other semifinal.
Vardaman, a past member of the USGA Executive Committee and a quarterfinalist in 2004, beat Randy Reifers of Columbus, Ohio, 3 and 2.
Rice, who is playing in his sixth Senior Amateur, bumped Gayle Sanchez, a dentist from Baton Rouge, La., 3 and 1.
All quarterfinalists are exempt from having to qualify for the 2006 championship at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind. Semifinalists are exempt from having to qualify for the 2006 U.S. Senior Open at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.
The final round on Thursday starts at 9 a.m. The winner receives a gold medals and custody of the Frederick L. Dold Trophy for the ensuing year and an exemption into the next five Senior Amateurs.
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.