|Mike Bell of Indianapolis, Ind., holds the Frederick L. Dold Trophy as the 2006 USGA Senior Amateur champion. Winning at Victoria National Golf Club, he is the first to win the title in his home state since Chicago's Bill Shean won at Skokie (Ill.) Country Club in 1998.(Robert Walker/USGA)
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Indiana's Bell Outlasts McGraw In Final, 1 Up
Newburgh, Ind. – Mike Bell, 59, of Indianapolis, Ind., made an 8-foot putt for par on the 18th hole Thursday to win the 2006 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, 1 up, over Tom McGraw, 55, of Montgomery, Texas, at Victoria National Golf Club.
With the match all square on the water-lined par-4 18th, Bell knocked his second shot into a greenside bunker but hit his recovery to 8 feet. McGraw missed the green short and right from the fairway. His pitch settled 15 feet below the hole and he missed the par attempt. Bell then converted his putt for the championship, followed by a leap of joy.
"Outside of marrying my wife, this is the greatest day in my life,” Bell said. “I love this trophy. Can I keep it?”
An Interview With Champion Mike Bell
McGraw Ousts Co-Medalist, Meets Bell In Final
Newburgh, Ind. – Tom McGraw, 55, of Montgomery, Texas, defeated co-medalist Bill Leonard of Kennesaw, Ga., 4 and 3, Thursday to advance to the USGA Senior Amateur final against Mike Bell, 59, of Indianapolis, Ind.
Community Spirit Spills Into Fairways
Newburgh, Ind. – Frankly, the names and faces of the competitors in USGA amateur championships are not well-known except to family and friends. Spectators generally come from that group along with members of the host club and volunteers.
And, since a young man named Woods started playing golf for a paycheck, interest in amateur golf in this country has stayed within that same demographic.
But, if you take the model developed and employed by Victoria National Golf Club for the 2006 USGA Senior Amateur, you’ll find that people will come out to watch.
Co-Medalist Leonard Wins, Semifinals Set
Newburgh, Ind. – Co-medalist Bill Leonard, 57, of Kennesaw, Ga., was one of four players to win two matches Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the 2006 USGA Senior Amateur at Victoria National Golf Club.
Meet The Quarterfinalists
USGA Senior Amateur Championship
PAR AND YARDAGE – Victoria National Golf Club will be set up at 6,760/6,766 yards and par 36-36—72.
Teeing ground – Height of grass – .30 inches
Fairways – Height of grass – .55 inches
Green approaches and closely mown areas – Height of grass – .425 inches
Collars around greens – Height of grass – .375 inches
Intermediate rough –1½ inches and 6-feet wide
Primary rough – 2½-3 inches
Putting greens – USGA Stimpmeter reading of 10.5 feet
The USGA championship setup results in a USGA Course Rating™ of 73.1 and a USGA Slope Rating® of 139.
VENUE – Victoria National Golf Club, east of Evansville, Ind., was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1998. The course was the project of the late Terry Friedman, a well-known Indiana entrepreneur.
Victoria National, which has the feel of a links course due to large mounds and contoured fairways, was built around an existing surface coal mine. As a result, water-filled lakes serve as hazards on 15 of the 18 holes.
HISTORY – The USGA Senior Amateur Championship was first played in 1955. The 2006 Senior Amateur Championship will be the 52nd.
SCHEDULE – Stroke play rounds will be played Sept. 16-17 (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 Sept. 18-21 (Monday-Thursday). The first round is set for Sept. 18 (9:30 a.m. CDT start); the second and third rounds for Sept. 19 (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. 20. The 18-hole, match-play final (9 a.m.) is scheduled for Sept. 21.
TICKETS – Admission and parking are free for all six days of the championship.