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Notebook: Good Fun And Good Golf

By Beth Murrison, USGA

Andover, Kan. – During the trophy presentation following the championship match at Flint Hills National Golf Club Thursday, 2007 USGA Senior Amateur champion Stan Lee was quick to acknowledge his opponent.

“I’m sorry that he lost,” said Lee. “One of us had to and I hate that it was him.”

Stan Lee (left) and Sam Farlow chat on the first teeing ground prior to the start of the championship's final match. (Fred Vuich/USGA)

“Me too,” Farlow chimed in.

That’s the way it went all day between the two Southern golfers, who started their friendly chatter before the round started and kept it up for the next three hours.

Much of the banter revolved around the football teams of their respective alma maters.

“Sam and I have a natural rivalry that goes back to the '70s,” said Lee. “He's a University of Alabama guy and I'm an LSU guy. So we have an abiding dislike for each other, cordially.”

Add in the fact that the new head coach at Alabama, Nick Saban, was formerly LSU’s coach and they two had plenty to talk about.

“Every time I would say something to him about Alabama not being any good he would throw something back at me – ‘well at least we got Saban, y'all weren't even good enough to keep him,’ ” said Lee.

Their easygoing banter was enjoyed by the 100 or so spectators who followed the match.

“It was just the way golf should be,” said Missy Crisp, a member of the USGA Executive Committee and chairman of the USGA Senior Amateur Championship, during the prize presentation. “It was good natured, good fun and good golf.”

For anyone interested, the LSU Tigers will visit Tuscaloosa on Nov. 3. Don’t be surprised if Lee and Farlow make a wager on that game.

Guess Who?

When Lee arrived in the parking lot at Flint Hills National Golf Club Thursday morning, he was surprised to see two familiar faces waiting for him.

Two of his friends from the Arkansas Golf Association, Executive Director Jay Fox and Max Stubbs, drove more than seven hours Wednesday night to watch Lee in the final.

“I was really glad to see them because I love both of them, but also, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, they're going to witness this calamity,’ ” said Lee. “I'm going to have a complete come apart here and they're going to be here to see it.”

The drive turned out to be worth it, as Fox and Stubbs were on hand to watch Lee win his first national championship.

“Thank goodness I played good,” laughed Lee.

Helping Hands

Richard Vickers smiles with the standard at the conclusion of the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur final. (Fred Vuich/USGA)

All week, players and officials praised the countless volunteers at Flint Hills National Golf Club for their tireless enthusiasm and always-friendly faces.

In fact, during his remarks at the prize presentation, Lee was quick to thank the volunteers for their many hours of service in the hot Kansas sun.

One such volunteer was Richard Vickers of Wichita, who served as the standard bearer for the championship’s final match.


Staying with the players was no easy task, given that Lee and Farlow were both using carts. But Vickers proved to be just the right man for the job.

“I pleaded with the folks here to carry it,” said Vickers, who has been a police officer in Wichita for 18 years. “I guaranteed them I would be able to keep up.”

Vickers, a caddie at the club, is a member of the USGA. He’s also a member of the National Guard, and anticipates being deployed to Iraq next year.

At Flint Hills National, however, he was just enjoying his role keeping spectators up-to-date with the status of the match.

“This is a blast,” he said. “I really love golf and I’m a big fan of everything the USGA does.”

 

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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