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J. Wood Platt

The Senior Amateur Championship was established in 1955 as a result of a remarkable growth in senior golf. Many senior associations had come into being on district, state and sectional levels. The oldest was the United States Seniors' Golf Association, which limited itself to 850 members and had a substantial waiting list.

Most of the others also were similar to private clubs, conducting fine, enjoyable tournaments for their members. However, as there was no one event open to members of all USGA Regular Member Clubs, the USGA was requested to inaugurate such a competition.

Thus was born the USGA Senior Amateur Championship, for members of USGA Regular Member Clubs who were 55 years old and had handicaps not exceeding 10. One hundred twenty-eight players qualified through 18-hole sectional rounds, and they competed in another 18-hole qualifying round at the Championship site for 32 places in match play. The match play comprised one 18-hole round each day.

The first Championship was held at the Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, Tenn., in September-October, and J. Wood Platt, 56, of the Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, Pa., defeated George Studinger, of San Francisco, Calif., 5 and 4.

Platt was two under par in the final. The medalist was Martin M. Issler, of West Orange, N.J., who equalled par with a 72. Sixteen tied for the last ten places at 79. The Championship attracted 370 entrants. Thirty states and the District of Columbia were represented among the qualifiers.


Championship Facts

USGA Senior Amateur

WHO CAN PLAY The USGA Senior Amateur Championship is open to amateurs who will have reached their 55th birthday on or before Sept. 20, 2008, and who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4.

ENTRIES Entries for the 2008 championship closed Aug. 6. The USGA accepted 2,393 entries for the 2008 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. It marked the eighth consecutive year entries topped 2,200. The record of 2,498 entries was set in 2005.

SECTIONAL QUALIFYING Sectional qualifying (18 holes) was conducted Aug. 15 - Sept. 2 at 50 sites across the country. For complete results, click here.

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY This will be the 54th USGA Senior Amateur Championship. It was first played in 1955.

SCHEDULE Practice rounds will be held Sept. 18 (Thursday) and Sept. 19 (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. 20 (Saturday) First round of stroke play
  • Sept. 21 (Sunday) Second round of stroke play
  • Sept. 22 (Monday) First round of match play
  • Sept. 23 (Tuesday) Second and third rounds of match play
  • Sept. 24 (Wednesday) Quarterfinals and semifinals, match play
  • Sept. 25 (Thursday) Final, match play (18 holes)
  • PAR AND YARDAGE Shady Oaks Country Club will be set up 6,597 (stroke play)/6,679 (match play) yards and par 35-36-71.

    COURSE SET-UP The fairways will measure 0.40-0.50 inches in height. The intermediate rough will measure 1 inches, with a width of approximately 6 feet. The primary rough will stand 2 inches high. The greens will measure approximately 10.5 feet on the Stimpmeter.

    COURSE RATING AND SLOPE The USGA Course RatingTM for Shady Oaks Country Club is 73.0; Slope Rating® is 137.



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