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Joe Ungvary

Joe Ungvary, 55, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, won three of the first four holes and went on to a record-setting 7 and 6 victory over Jerry Nelson, 55, of Warsaw, Ind., in the final match of the USGA Senior Amateur Championship at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Va.

Ungvary, an employee of the Summit County Treasurer's Office, finished 4 under par and never allowed Nelson to win a single hole. He closed out the match with a birdie 3 from seven feet on the 13th hole, giving him the largest margin of victory in the final match of a Senior Amateur championship.

"I just had it inside me that I knew I could do it," said Ungvary, who sports a license plate that reads 'Even Par.' "Something like this only happens once. I put everything into it I had."

"I was stunned," said Nelson, referring to Ungvary's two birdies through the first three holes. "I don't remember anyone coming at me that hard before. Now I know how Custer must have felt."

To reach the final, Ungvary used four birdies and never trailed in scoring a 3 and 2 victory over Robert Housen, 55, of Brielle, N.J., in one of the morning semi-final matches. He was 3 up through 13 holes before each player parred the final three holes.

In his semi-final match, Nelson won holes 12 and 13 with pars and then hung on for a 1 up victory over Jim McMurtrey, 61, of Danville, Calif.

Overall, there were four former champions in the field, with 1992 champion Clarence Moore, of Winnsboro, S.C., and 1990 champion Jackie Cummings, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., advancing to match play.

John Harbottle, of Seattle, Wash., set a record for the two days of stroke play qualifying at 136, 4 under par and six strokes better than the former record. Harbottle was runner-up at the Senior Amateur in 1986.

 
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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