Co-Medalists Advance, Quarterfinals Set
Newburgh, Ind. – Co-medalist Bill Leonard, 57, of Kennesaw, Ga., eliminated past champion Mark Bemowski, of Mukwonago, Wis., 3 and 2, to highlight the eight pairings of the third round of match play Wednesday morning at the 2006 USGA Senior Amateur at Victoria National Golf Club.
Leonard won the first seven holes of the match with Bemowski, a three-time finalist who won in 2004, and never trailed in his victory. A retail golf store manager, Leonard was the equivalent of five under par in taking his 7-up lead.
"I did play very solid the first eight holes,” Leonard. “I haven’t made any putts until (Wednesday). When you are playing someone with Mark’s record you just want to compete and stay in the game and that’s what I did.”
Bemowski, who now has a 21-5 mark in match play at six Senior Amateurs, could not rebound from his early deficit.
"He played great,” Bemowski said of Leonard. “He played absolutely beautiful for the better part of the round. He did what he had to do. You are not going to beat anybody who can play when you are 7 down.”
Leonard meets David Rasley, 58, of Bethesda, Md., in the first of four afternoon quarterfinal matches.
The other co-medalist Paul Simson, the 2006 British Senior Amateur champion, defeated Rick Woulfe of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 3 and 2, and faces Mike Bell, 59, of Indianapolis, Ind.
"I’m moving on,” said Simson, who has qualified for a USGA championship in 22 consecutive years. “The key to the match was six, seven and eight. Rick three-putted six and seven and missed a 3-footer on eight to win the hole. I’m just trying to hit the ball the best I can and see what comes.”
Simson and Leonard are vying to become the first stroke-play medalist to win since 1987. The last time one of two co-medalists won was 1979.
Bob Mielcarz, 57, of Concord, N.H., advanced to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, saying, “It’s a good habit, I guess.”
He defeated Kenneth Forster of Salem, Ore., 5 and 4. Mielcarz meets Tom McGraw, 58, of Montgomery, Texas.
In the other quarterfinal match, 2003 quarterfinalist Sam Farlow, 59, of Birmingham, Ala., meets Erik Myrmo, 57, of Eugene, Ore.
All eight quarterfinalists are exempt from qualifying for the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur at Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kan.
Match play continues with the semifinal and championship rounds on Thursday, which begin at 7:30 and 1 p.m. CDT respectively.
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 email@example.com.
Results for Wednesday’s third and quarterfinals rounds of match 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):
Bill Leonard, Kennesaw, Ga. (143) def. Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. (150), 3 and 2
David Rasley, Bethesda, Md. (148) def. Tracy Scott, Bismarck, N.D. (155), 1 up
Robert Mielcarz, Concord, N.H. (146) def. Kenneth Forster, Salem, Ore. (155), 5 and 4
Tom McGraw, Montgomery, Texas (156) def. Gary Vanier, Pleasant Hill, Calif. (149), 3 and 1
Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. (143) def. Rick Woulfe, Ft.Lauderdale, Fla. (149), 3 and 2
Mike Bell, Indianapolis, Ind. (148) def. Paul Schlachter, Pittsburgh, Pa. (148), 4 and 3
Sam Farlow, Birmingham, Ala. (146) def. David Strawn, Charlotte, N.C. (150), 19 holes
Erik Myrmo, Eugene, Ore. (153) def. Jerry Greenbaum, Atlanta, Ga. (151). 6 and 4
Leonard vs. Rasley
Mielcarz vs. McGraw
Simson vs. Bell
Farlow vs. Myrmo