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Farlow And Lee To Meet For 2007 USGA Senior Amateur Championship

Andover, Kan. – Sam Farlow, 60, of Birmingham, Ala., and Stanford Lee, 55, of Heber Springs, Ark., both won two matches Wednesday to advance to the championship final of the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, being played at the 6,502-yard, par-71 Flint Hills National Golf Club.

It will be the first USGA championship final for both players, and a match-up of former PGA Tour players.

Lee never trailed in his semifinal match against Stu Grendahl, 56, of Mcfarland, Wis., winning the first hole with a par. Lee won four holes in a five-hole stretch, starting at the par-4 sixth, to take control of the match en route to a 4-and-3 victory.

Stanford Lee hits an approach shot during his semifinal victory over Stu Grendahl. Lee advanced to Thursday's final with a 4-and-3 victory. (Fred Vuich/USGA)

Birdies on the eighth, ninth and 10th holes were pivotal for Lee, who finished the equivalent of three under par, counting the usual match-play concessions.

“That’s about as good as I can play,” said Lee, who played on the PGA Tour from 1976-1980 and who now works in banking, of his birdie stretch.

Despite his fine play in the championship to date, Lee seemed surprised to have advanced so far.

“I honestly cannot believe I’m in the finals,” said Lee. “But I believe if I continue to play the way I’m playing I have a good chance to win it. I know I’m going to have to play extremely well.”

For Grendahl, it was a disappointing end to an impressive run in his first appearance in a USGA championship.

“I did the things you cannot do and win,” said Grendahl, who was two over par against Lee. “I just didn’t hit it real well.”

Farlow and Frank Ford III, 55, of Charleston, S.C., also struggled a bit in their semifinal match. Farlow was the equivalent of eight over par, while Ford was 11 over par.

“When I hit some of these shots out here today, I realized why I don’t play for a living anymore,” said Farlow, who played on the Tour in 1974 and parts of 1976 and 1977 and now sells cardiovascular medical equipment.

But he would never relinquish the lead he took with a par on the second hole. Farlow increased his lead to 3 up after seven holes and eventually earned a 2-and-1 victory.

The win puts Farlow, who lost to eventual champion Mike Bell in the semifinals a year ago, one step from his first national title.

“It’s an honor,” he said of playing in the championship’s final match. “I can’t believe I’m in the final. I feel like I’m going to wake up tomorrow and it’s going to be a dream.”

Ford, who was playing in his first Senior Amateur, knew he missed some opportunities during the match.

“He gave me some openings but I just couldn’t take advantage of it,” said Ford. “I didn’t hit the ball well. I knew what I needed to do, I just couldn’t do it.”

By advancing to the semifinals, all four players earn an exemption from sectional qualifying into the 2008 U.S. Senior Open, providing they remain amateur.

The 2007 USGA Senior Amateur Championship concludes with Thursday’s 18-hole final match.

The USGA Senior Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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

Andover, Kan. – Results following Wednesday’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of match play at the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at the 6,502-yard, par-71 Flint Hills National Golf Club:

Round of 8

Upper Bracket

Stu Grendahl, Mcfarland, Wis. (145) def. Arthur Pierse, Ireland (144), 4 and 3

Stanford Lee, Heber Springs, Ark. (146) def. Logan Jackson, Winston Salem, N.C. (144), 19 holes

Lower Bracket

Sam Farlow, Birmingham, Ala. (150) def. Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va. (149), 4 and 3

Frank Ford III, Charleston, S.C. (146) def. Alistair Catto, South Hadley, Mass. (147), 19 holes

Round of 4

Upper Bracket

Lee def. Grendahl, 4 and 3

Lower Bracket

Farlow def. Ford, 2 and 1

Andover, Kan. – Pairing for Thursday’s championship final at the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur, being played at the 6,502-yard, par-71 Flint Hills National Golf Club:

Championship Final

9:00 a.m.          Stanford Lee, Heber Springs, Ark. (146) vs. Sam Farlow, Birmingham, Ala. (150)

 

 
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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