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Notebook: Drinks Are Finally On Schwencke

 

By Beth Murrison, USGA

Andover, Kan. – One close call with a hole-in-one is more than many golfers will have in a lifetime. In the past two days, Kim Schwencke had two.

And then, he made one.

In Sunday’s second round of stroke play, Schwencke almost aced the 10th hole when the ball hit the hole but didn’t go in.

“I said, I’d open the bar for everybody if I made a hole-in-one,” said Schwencke, 57, of Bend, Ore. “I would open the bar all day long.”

He came close again on the eighth hole of his first-round match against fellow Oregonian Erik Myrmo Monday, when his tee shot from 173 yards grazed the hole.

Two holes later, lightning finally struck. He hit his 9-iron on the 10th hole, which was playing at 136 yards, and watched as the ball disappeared into the hole.

“Somebody either wanted to punish me or reward me, I’m not sure which,” said Schwencke during his post-match interview in Flint Hills National’s bar. “I could care less what the bar bill is.”

It was the seventh hole-in-one for Schwencke, who is playing in his first USGA Senior Amateur and his first USGA championship since the 1985 Mid-Amateur. It also turned the tide in his match. All square against Myrmo at the time of the ace, he went on to win, 3 and 2.

“It’s just such a thrill,” he said.

Reynolds Shakes Off Shoulder Woe To Advance

Greg Reynolds was feeling pretty good about his game coming into this week’s USGA Senior Amateur. Then, potential disaster struck for the 2002 Senior Am champion.

Greg Reynolds follows through during his first-round victory at Flint Hills National Monday. (Fred Vuich/USGA)

While playing his practice round Friday, he was stepping out of a bunker when the ground on the bank above the bunker gave way. Reynolds, of Grand Blanc, Mich., slipped and fell on his right elbow, which jammed his shoulder.

Despite the injury, he went on to easily qualify for match play after rounds of 77-69.

In his first-round match against Steve Earsley of Hobe Sound, Fla., Reynolds struggled a bit but said the injury wasn’t to blame.

“We went back and forth between one of us making a bogey and then the other one making one,” said Reynolds, who was also the 2004 Senior Amateur runner-up. “We were kind of giving holes away back and forth.”

Earsley took a 1-up lead after a birdie on the 16th but gave it right back when he three-putted the 17th hole. On the par-5, 489-yard 18th, Earsley hit his tee shot into the water hazard and eventually conceded the hole, and the match, to Reynolds.

Reynolds, a veteran of many USGA championships, was relieved to have won despite not playing his best.

“That doesn’t happen to you very often,” said Reynolds. “I felt bad for him but it was okay for me.”

Pregnant Pausing

Serenity Vogt wasn’t hard to miss at Flint Hills National Monday. The petite Andover resident was standing next to the seventh tee, helping marshal the hole in one of the busiest areas at the course, adjacent to the clubhouse, practice putting greens and scoreboard. With most players and officials in golf carts, the path next to the seventh tee at times looked like Grand Central Station, giving Vogt plenty to do.

Making Vogt all the more noticeable was the fact that she is pregnant. Rather pregnant, in fact – almost eight months. Despite the midday heat which reached the low 90s, Vogt guarded her station dutifully.

Vogt said her previous experience with golf had been limited to mini golf courses. But when her employer, Bank of America, circulated a flyer on Flint Hills National’s behalf looking for volunteers, she and her husband Drew decided to offer their assistance.

“We wanted to do something new before the baby comes,” said Serenity, who is expecting her first child next month. “This is pretty neat. I don’t know a whole lot about golf, but the players have been really friendly and we’ve had a good time.”

Head to Head

O. Gordon Brewer of Pine Valley, N.J., and Paul Simson of Raleigh, N.C., possess two of the finest playing records in amateur golf. Brewer is a two-time USGA Senior Amateur champion who has played in more than 50 USGA championships. Simson, the 2006 Senior British Amateur champion and two-time Carolinas Player of the Year, has played in close to 40 USGA championships.

But they had not played together or against each other before their first-round match at Flint Hills National Monday.

Simson got the better of Brewer in the match, winning the first four holes en route to a 5-and-4 victory.

“That was a great honor and a great thrill for me,” said Simson. “I didn’t get a lot of pleasure out of beating him. He’s such a fine gentleman and such a fine player, but you want to win. It’s just one of those things.”

Story written by Beth Murrison of USGA Media Relations. For questions or comments, contact her at bmurrison@usga.org.

 

 
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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