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The Finale

And we have a 2007 USGA Senior Amateur champion - Stan Lee of Heber Springs, Ark.

The play definitely improved as the final went on and the nerves got shaken off. There were some incredible shots - Stan Lee's 60-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole, Sam Farlow's approach shot on the 11th hole. It was a fun match to watch, and the spectators were treated to a good show.

That wraps it up from the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. Thanks to everyone for reading, and in particular thanks to everyone who wrote in or stopped me at the course during the week to say they were reading.

See you next year!

Beth Murrison

 

Through Six Holes...

Through six holes, Stan Lee holds a 3-up advantage over Sam Farlow. Lee won the third hole when Farlow three-putted from the fringe of the green and the fourth when Farlow couldn't get up-and-down from a greenside bunker. After the two traded pars on the fifth hole, Lee made a 15-footer for birdie to win the sixth.

Both players have struggled a bit off the tee. Lee hit the fairway on the first hole but missed the next four fairways. Farlow missed the first three fairways but has hit the last two.

They may not be playing as well as they would like, but they still seem to be enjoying themselves. There has been a good amount of chatter and laughter between the two players.

Beth Murrison

Finally, The Final

We've reached the final day of the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur. We had a heavy rain shower this morning but that has blown through and we should have sunny (and perhaps windy) conditions throughout the rest of the day.

A few notes about today's final...

Stan Lee is striving to become the youngest winner in the championship's history. With his birthday just last Saturday, he would be 55 years and five days, easily surpassing the previous record of 55 years, three months and 18 days set by Bill Bosshard in 1991.

It's believed that today's victor would be the first reinstated amateur to win the Senior Amateur. Folks back in Golf House are checking on this, and we'll confirm as soon as we can.

Off to the golf course!

Beth Murrison

Gentlemen's Game Indeed

Anyone who wonders why golf is called a gentleman's game need only consider these two quick stories...

Alistair Catto had just squared his quarterfinal match against Frank Ford on the 18th hole early Wednesday afternoon. Certainly, his concentration would be on the match and the first extra hole ahead.

Instead, Mr. Catto noticed me waiting on the cart path and followed up on a conversation we had yesterday about his wife, who was traveling home from the Senior Women's Amateur in Oregon and was hoping to make it in time to teach a class at Assumption College today.

(She made it, by the way.)

During the afternoon's semifinal match between Sam Farlow and Frank Ford, Mr. Farlow had just lost the 16th hole and was 2 up with two to play. Despite the lead, it would be understandable if he were completely focused on the match, and not letting momentum swing Ford's way.

After teeing off at the 17th, he offered a wave and a smile as he got into his golf cart. Before driving off, he told me to beware of a low-hanging tree.

Terrific golfers, these players. And even nicer people.

Beth Murrison

SEC Showdown

In between golf shots tomorrow, don't be surprised to hear a little college football banter between finalists Stanford Lee and Sam Farlow. Farlow is a graduate of the University of Alabama, whose head coach, Nick Saban, was formerly the coach at SEC foe Louisiana State University, Lee's alma mater.

Lee would become the second LSU golfer to win a USGA championship at Flint Hills National. Meredith Duncan won the 2001 U.S. Women's Amateur at the course in one of the most memorable finals in the championship's history.

When told it took Duncan 37 holes to win the title over Nicole Perrot six years ago, Lee said he was grateful tomorrow's final is only 18 holes.

"I don't believe I could make it that far," he said. "I can't believe I've made it this far. I didn't think my body would hold up."

Beth Murrison

Quarters Quick Hits

A few notes about our quarterfinalists...

The average age of the quarterfinalists is 57.25.

Only one of the quarterfinalists, Stu Grendahl, is playing in his first USGA championship. Five of the eight are playing in their first USGA Senior Amateur.

You can find more about the eight players still in action at the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur here.

Vinny Giles is trying to win his first USGA championship since the 1972 U.S. Amateur, which would be a span of 35 years. That would match Bruce Fleisher's record for longest span between USGA titles. Fleisher won the 1968 U.S. Amateur and then waited until the 2003 U.S. Senior Open to win another USGA event.

Marlene Streit holds that distinction on the women's side, with a 29-year gap. Streit won the 1956 U.S. Women's Amateur and then didn't win again until the 1985 USGA Senior Women's Amateur. She also won that championship in 1994 and 2003, when at age 69 she became the oldest USGA champion in history.

Beth Murrison

Wet Wednesday

Good morning from Andover, Kan., where it's cooler than usual (mid 70s) and lightly raining. There's a possibility of thundershowers later today, but for now everyone is on the golf course.

Normally, any delays due to the threat of thundershowers would make us worry about finishing t e two rounds today. But given how quickly these gentlemen play, I'm confident we'll get the quarters and semis in today even if we do have a weather delay.

Beth Murrison

And The Third Round Finishes Too

It's almost incredible given that the last match of the afternoon started at 5:05 local time, but we have completed the entire third round. We'll be on schedule tomorrow for the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Let's hope for no rain in the forecast tomorrow!

Beth Murrison

Second Round FINALLY Ends

Just watched the end of the second-round match between Paul Simson and Alistair Catto. Catto birdied the 17th to square the match.

Simson, the runner-up at the British Mid-Amateur last month and playing in his 40th USGA championship, found trouble on the 18th when his tee shot entered the bushes. He pitched out but then hit his third shot into the water hazard. He eventually conceded the hole, and the match, to Catto.

Catto, who was born in Scotland, is playing in his first USGA Senior Amateur. His wife, Bonnie, played in the USGA Senior Women's Amateur in Sunriver (Ore.) Resort this week.

Finally, all second-round matches are complete, after 2004 USGA Senior Amateur champ Mark Bemowski was defeated by Don Marsh on the 23rd hole. Unlikely that we'll finish the third round today but we'll get in as much as we can.

Beth Murrison

And We're Back

Play will resume at 2:10 p.m. Central time. There are nine second-round matches to be concluded. Play in the third round will also start at 2:10 p.m.

It's going to be wet, as we've had a good amount of rain in the past hour.

Beth Murrison


 

 

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