New Hat And All, Simson Holds First-Day Lead

Newburgh, Ind. – Even without one of his lucky old straw hats, Paul Simson, 55, of Raleigh, N.C., made quite a statement during the first round of the USGA Senior Amateur Saturday at Victoria National Golf Club.

His trademark is wearing a straw hat in competition and with a new one on his head, he posted five birdies and a bogey to shoot a 4-under-par 68 to lead the field by two strokes.

“I wasn’t allowed to bring one of the old ones,” Simson said of his hats. “I usually have some pretty ugly old ones. You know, the ones that go every which way. But, my wife said: ‘Bring a new one.’”

The new head gear wasn’t all Simson brought to the challenging layout in southern Indiana.

“I’ve had a real solid summer,” Simson said. “My stroke average is as low as I’ve ever been and it’s all because I’m hitting the ball much better. I seem to have a good pattern going.”

That trend includes victories in the British Senior Amateur, the North Carolina Senior Amateur and the North and South Senior Amateur in the last two months.

Only Simson and two others players managed to break par. Sam Farlow, 59, of Birmingham, Ala., a quarterfinalist in 2003, shot 2-under-par 70, and 2005 quarterfinalist Bob Mielcarz, 57, of Concord, N.H., shot 1-under-par 71.

“It could have been significantly lower,’ Simson said of his enviable 68. “I didn’t make a whole lot of putts. I only made a few. I’m used to making a lot.”

“71 is a good score,” Mielcarz said. “I would have been pleased with 74, quite frankly. It was a kind of a roller-coaster out there.”

Seven players, Paul Schlachter, 57, of Pittsburgh, Pa., 2003 semifinalist David Boesel, 58, of Orlando, Fla., Mike Bell, 59, of Indianapolis, Ind., Gary Vanier, 55, of Pleasant Hills, Calif., David Ralsey, 58, of Bethesda, Md., 2004 semifinalist Michael Walters, 58, of Tampa, Fla., and Doug Crawford, 56, of Wayland, Miss., shot even-par 72.

Greg Reynolds of Grand Blanc, Mich., the 2002 champion, posted a 73. In his fifth Senior Amateur, he realized how difficult Victoria National was playing, even with six holes moved up a total of 167 yards because of heavy pre-championship rains.

“This is probably the hardest course we’ve played so far,” said Reynolds. “There is disaster looming on every hole. You make a really bad swing and then you can make a really big number. It will be more fun to play in match play because you can free-wheel it a little bit.”

Defending champion Mike Rice of Houston, Texas, shot 79; 2004 winner Mark Bemowski of Mukwonago, Wis., shot 74; and 2001 and 2003 champion Kemp Richardson of Laguna Niguel, Calif., shot 75.

Stroke play ends Sunday with the top 64 scorers advancing to match play, which begins Monday. All six rounds of match play are scheduled for 18 holes each, culminating with the final on Thursday.

The USGA Senior Amateur, for players 55 and older, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA.

Story written by Pete Kowalski of USGA Media Relations. E-mail him with questions and comments at

Newburgh, Ind. – Results from Saturday’s first round of stroke play at the 2006 USGA Senior Amateur, conducted by the United States Golf Association, at Victoria National Golf Club (6,760 and 6,766 yards, par 72):

  Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C., 35-33--68

  Sam Farlow, Birmingham, Ala., 35-35--70

  Robert Mielcarz, Concord, N.H., 36-35--71

  David Boesel, Orlando, Fla., 36-36--72

  David Rasley, Bethesda, Md., 35-37--72

  Doug Crawford, Wayland, Mass., 36-36--72

  Gary Vanier, Pleasant Hill, Calif., 37-35--72

  Michael Walters, Tampa, Fla., 35-37--72

  Mike Bell, Indianapolis, Ind., 37-35--72

  Paul Schlachter, Pittsburgh, Pa., 38-34--72

  Allan Small, Florham Park, N.J., 34-39--73

  Bill Leonard, Kennesaw, Ga., 33-40--73

  Bob Clark, Cordova, Tenn., 37-36--73

  Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich., 38-35--73

  Martin West, Rockville, Md., 37-36--73

  Terry Tessary, Collinsville, Ill., 36-37--73

  Bill Douglas, London, Ky., 37-37--74

  Bob Varn, Orangeburg, S.C., 35-39--74

  David Strawn, Charlotte, N.C., 35-39--74

  John Lindholm, Grand Blanc, Mich., 37-37--74

  Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis., 35-39--74

  Richard Stevens, Middlebury, Conn., 36-38--74

  David Stanfield, Lanett, Ala., 39-36--75

  Gary Verble, Ponte Vedra, Fla., 35-40--75

  Jack Manzi, Denver, Colo., 40-35--75

  Jim Ruschioni, Leominster, Mass., 36-39--75

  John Dennis, Greenville, S.C., 38-37--75

  Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif., 37-38--75

  Randy Reifers, Columbus, Ohio, 37-38--75

  Rick Woulfe, Ft Lauderdale, Fla., 36-39--75

  Tracy Scott, Bismarck, N.D., 37-38--75

  Viviano Villarreal, Mexico, 38-37--75

  Wally Adams, Vidalia, Ga., 34-41--75

  William Boles, Wilson, N.C., 35-40--75

  Bill Edwards, Southlake, Texas, 38-38--76

  Cliff Seastrunk, Raleigh, N.C., 36-40--76

  Dennis Younglove, Davis, Calif., 40-36--76

  Fred Silver, Lewiston, N.Y., 36-40--76

  Gayle Sanchez, Baton Rouge, La., 41-35--76

  Gaylord Davis, Portland, Ore., 38-38--76

  Jerry Greenbaum, Atlanta, Ga., 37-39--76

  Jerry Kidney, Littleton, Colo., 39-37--76

  John Peters, Muscatine, Iowa, 39-37--76

  Logan Jackson, Winston Salem, N.C., 37-39--76

  Rene Williams, Dora, Ala., 37-39--76

  Richard Thoms, Dickerson, Md., 39-37--76

  Thomas Olson, Omaha, Neb., 38-38--76

  William Simpson, Bowling Green, Ky., 39-37--76

  Bill Lawler, West Wyoming, Pa., 38-39--77

  Carlos Salaber, Rock Island, Ill., 35-42--77

  David Lucks, St Louis, Mo., 37-40--77

  Gary Bowen, Omaha, Neb., 35-42--77

  Gerald Chatham Sr, Hernando, Miss., 37-40--77

  Joe Keller, Osterville, Mass., 38-39--77

  Michael Puls, Irving, Texas, 36-41--77

  Ron Hunter, Jasper, Ga., 38-39--77

  Ronald Richard, Fort Smith, Ark., 37-40--77

  Ronnie Tumlin, St Augustine, Fla., 40-37--77

  Steve Dallas, Mesa, Ariz., 37-40--77

  Chuck Wilkins, Medford, N.J., 36-42--78

  Douglas Vergith, Setauket, N.Y., 36-42--78

  Erik Myrmo, Eugene, Ore., 37-41--78

  Frank Brame, Alexandria, La., 40-38--78

  Robert Berg, Redding, Calif., 39-39--78

  Tom Castor, Ashland, Ohio, 38-40--78

  Tom McGraw, Montgomery, Texas, 36-42--78

  Wayne Harris, Missouri City, Texas, 37-41--78

  Alan Foster, Manlius, N.Y., 42-37--79

  Gary Kirwan, Mckinney, Texas, 37-42--79

  Hobey Vance, Southlake, Texas, 38-41--79

  J Michael Fetter, Williamsville, N.Y., 40-39--79

  James Pierce, Oro Valley, Ariz., 40-39--79

  Jody Vasquez, Aledo, Texas, 38-41--79

  John Krogh, Sulphur, Okla., 42-37--79

  Johnny Johnston, Hendersonville, N.C., 36-43--79

  Kenneth Forster, Salem, Ore., 40-39--79

  Kent Richardson, Bakersfield, Calif., 40-39--79

  Mike Rice, Houston, Texas, 39-40--79

  Bev Hargraves, Helena, Ark., 40-40—80

  Bob Feilner, Salt Lake City, Utah, 39-41--80

  Buddy Williams, Carrollton, Ga., 40-40--80

  Chip Bridges, Encinitas, Calif., 37-43--80

  Don Marsh, Alpharetta, Ga., 40-40--80

  Howard Knowles, Houston, Texas, 39-41--80

  Joel Hirsch, Chicago, Ill., 39-41--80

  Lloyd Hughes, Dallas, Texas, 42-38--80

  Neil McDermott, Newtown Square, Pa., 37-43--80

  Raymond Sovik, Powell, Ohio, 41-39--80

  Steve Kirby, Sarasota, Fla., 42-38--80

  Tim Laflin, University City, Mo., 41-39--80

  William Jurgens, Bay City, Mich., 41-39--80

  Arthur Mielke, Matthews, N.C., 42-39--81

  Dave DeNezza, Greensburg, Pa., 42-39--81

  David Bosley, Payson, Ariz., 38-43--81

  David Farabaugh, Santa Clarita, Calif., 38-43--81

  David Houghton, Orleans, Mass., 37-44--81

  Jerry Michals, Carlsbad, Calif., 36-45--81

  Paul Gates, Bloomington, Ind., 39-42--81

  Rex Massier, Concord, Calif., 43-38--81

  Ron Garland, Bozeman, Mont., 41-40--81

  Terrell Coffield, Bennington, Vt., 42-39--81

  Thomas DiCinti, Voorhees, N.J., 38-43--81

  Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va., 42-39--81

  Fritz Naumetz, Phoenix, Ariz., 43-39--82

  Joseph Brogdon, Macon, Ga., 43-39--82

  Michael Jonson, Sammamish, Wash., 42-40--82

  Skip Pierce, Boise, Idaho, 44-38--82

  Stephen Yavorsky, Capistrano Beach, Calif., 41-41--82

  Steve Summers, Dallas, Texas, 38-44--82

  Brian Sachs, Gainesville, Fla., 41-42--83

  Eddie Bass, University Park, Fla., 42-41--83

  Gil Happel, Oak Ridge, N.C., 43-40--83

  Jack Vardaman, Washington, D.C., 41-42--83

  Ken Benson, Alpharetta, Ga., 40-43--83

  Rick Ten Broeck, Chicago, Ill., 41-42--83

  Robert Vidricksen, Salina, Kan., 39-44--83

  Taylor Metcalfe, Glendale, Ohio, 45-38--83

  Tom O'Grady, Los Altos, Calif., 41-42--83

  James Weeks, Savannah, Ga., 39-45--84

  Leny Ladd, Palm Coast, Fla., 40-44--84

  Leroy Cote, Palm Bay, Fla., 40-44--84

  Bill Homeyer, Edina, Minn., 43-42--85

  Charles Jones, Collegeville, Pa., 42-43--85

  Jim Dines, Los Lunas, N.M., 46-39--85

  Roger Kuhl, Jackson, Mich., 41-44--85

  Frank Ciulla, Scarsdale, N.Y., 42-44--86

  Jeff Early, Pleasanton, Calif., 43-43--86

  John Hogden, Black River Falls, Wis., 42-44--86

  Mark Hanna, Vashon, Wash., 46-40--86

  Michael McBride, Lagrange, Ill., 42-44--86

  Ralph Hamm Jr, Dallas, Texas, 44-42--86

  George McLaughlin, Black Diamond Ranch, Fla., 45-42--87

  Larry McCall, Canfield, Ohio, 46-41--87

  Michael Lullo, Addison, Ill., 42-45--87

  Paul Ladin, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 43-44--87

  Tom Graham, Southport, Conn., 44-43--87

  Vic Gerard, Neptune, N.J., 46-41--87

  Bob Patrick, Wayzata, Minn., 42-46--88

  Denny Adkins, North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 46-42--88

  Donald Dupske, Kirkwood, Mo., 41-47--88

  Gene Ackerman, Elk Grove, Calif., 44-44--88

  Joe Robinson, Rock Hill, S.C., 48-40--88

  Bill Vandermass, Novi, Mich., 45-44--89

  Chris Dunn, Pacific Palisades, Calif., 46-43--89

  Dave Sheff, La Canada, Calif., 41-48--89

  Denison Williams, Eau Claire, Wis., 45-44--89

  Larry Burton, Oceanside, Calif., 48-41--89

  Ronald Carpenter, Durham, N.C., 48-41--89

  Adrian Wise, Mexico, 45-45--90

  Daniel Stewart, Alpharetta, Ga., 51-39--90

  Jim Earnest, Lawrenceburg, Ky., 43-47--90

  Phil Shumway, Phoenix, Ariz., 40-50--90

  Richard Landon, Olathe, Kan., 43-47--90

  Joe Hendricks, Yantarni, Alaska, 47-48--95

  Tom Goodbody, Honolulu, Hawaii, 43-52--95


Championship Facts

USGA Senior Amateur Championship

PAR AND YARDAGE Victoria National Golf Club will be set up at 6,760/6,766 yards and par 36-3672.

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 1 inches and 6-feet wide
Primary rough 2-3 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.


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