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Merrill L. Carlsmith

Merrill L. Carlsmith, a 56-year-old Hawaii attorney, won the eighth Senior Amateur Championship by defeating Willis H. Blakely, Portland, Ore., by 4 and 2 in the final match at the Evanston Golf Club, Skokie, Ill. Carlsmith saved his strongest efforts for the last two matches.

He was even par against Michael Cestone, the 1960 Champion, through 17 holes of their semi-final, and only one over par in the final against Blakely, the Oregon State and Pacific Northwest Senior Champion.

The field, considered by many to be the strongest ever for this event, produced 31 scores of 77 or better in the qualifying round. Previously, the lowest score required to qualify had been 78. Dexter H. Daniels, the defending Champion, was automatically awarded the 32nd qualifying berth. He lost in the first round to David F. Rose, the 1960 runner-up.

Three men playing in the event for the first time shared the qualifying medal with scores of 72-James M. Johnson, LaDue, Mo.; William S. Terrell, Charlotte, N.C., and Henry L. Robison, Albuquerque, N.M. There was a record entry of 525.

Championship Facts

VENUE – Flint Hills National Golf Club, north of Wichita, Kan., was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1997.

COURSE RATING AND SLOPE – The USGA Course RatingTM for Flint Hills National Golf Club is 72.2; Slope Rating® is 133.

COURSE LAYOUT – The fairways will measure 0.55" in height. There will be no intermediate rough used outside the fairways. Depending on density, the primary rough will stand between 2½ and 3 inches high. The greens will measure approximately 10.5 feet on the Stimpmeter.

HISTORY – The USGA Senior Amateur Championship was first played in 1955. The 2007 Senior Amateur Championship will be the 53rd.

SCHEDULE – Practice rounds will be held Aug. 30 (Thursday) and Aug. 31 (Friday). The starting field of 156 players will play two rounds of stroke play, with the low 64 scorers advancing to match play. The schedule is as follows:

  • Sept. 1 (Saturday) – First round of stroke play
  • Sept. 2 (Sunday) – Second round of stroke play
  • Sept. 3 (Monday) – First round of match play
  • Sept. 4 (Tuesday) – Second and third rounds of match play
  • Sept. 5 (Wednesday) – Quarterfinals and semifinals, match play
  • Sept. 6 (Thursday) – Final, match play (18 holes)


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