Greg Reynolds, 55, of Grand Blanc, Mich., captured the 49th
USGA Senior Amateur Championship with a 4-and-3 victory over
Mark Bernowski, 56, of Mukwonago, Wis., at the par-72, 6,596-yard
Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.
"It's pretty special and hard to describe, but I feel
really good about it," Reynolds said.
The match was close until a five-hole stretch, starting at
the par-4, 395-yard 10th hole. Reynolds, holding a one-hole
advantage, was on the green in two and two-putted for par
while Bernowski left his approach shot in the fringe short
of the green. Bernowski chipped onto the green and two-putted
for bogey and Reynolds' lead grew to two holes.
The players halved the par-4, 338-yard 11th hole after Reynolds
made a spectacular sand save from the bunker behind the green
to within a foot.
"I almost didn't hit that shot, because that was a shot
where there was only about six inches where you could land
that ball - otherwise that ball probably goes in the water,"
Reynolds said. "I was thinking about hitting it sideways
and maybe two-putting for bogey because I wasn't sure he would
make a par there, and then I decided 'oh what the heck, this
is match play, if you it in the water, you just go to the
On the par-5, 539-yard 12th hole, Reynolds misplayed his
approach shot from 40 yards out and didn't hit the green,
but was able to get up-and-down for par, while Bernowski three-putted
from 12 feet to bogey and go 3 down.
Reynolds' luck continued on the par-3, 212-yard 13th, a hole
that had given him trouble all week. His tee shot landed in
the front right bunker and his sand shot didn't make it out
of the bunker. He hit the next one out safely and was able
to sink his six-foot putt for bogey, while Bernowski's four-foot
par putt to win the hole missed.
Reynolds went 4 up and dormie when Bernowski missed a six-foot
par putt at the par 4, 375-yard 14 hole, and won the match
when the two players traded pars at the par-5, 490-yard 15th
"The last few days, I really putted well on some really
crucial putts - I made a lot of those," Reynolds said.
"Ordinarily my putting isn't a strong part of my game
but I thought I putted very well here."
Bernowski, on the other hand, was hurt by poor putting throughout
"I've been battling it for several years now, and it
really manifested itself today," Bernowski said. "I've
really struggled on these greens, with the speed particularly."
The victory capped an eventful week for Reynolds, who made
it into the field as an alternate four days before the championship
started. He arrived late the evening before the first day
of play and didn't even have time for a practice round before
teeing up on Saturday afternoon for his first round of stroke
In his first-round match against Jay Howson of Malvern, Pa.,
Reynolds trailed by four holes at the turn but came back to
earn a 1-up victory. He never trailed by more that one hole
again throughout the championship, and didn't trail at all
after the second hole of his third-round match against medalist
Billy Clagett of Austin, Texas.