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Merrill L. Carlsmith

Merrill L. Carlsmith, a 56-year-old Hawaii attorney, won the eighth Senior Amateur Championship by defeating Willis H. Blakely, Portland, Ore., by 4 and 2 in the final match at the Evanston Golf Club, Skokie, Ill. Carlsmith saved his strongest efforts for the last two matches.

He was even par against Michael Cestone, the 1960 Champion, through 17 holes of their semi-final, and only one over par in the final against Blakely, the Oregon State and Pacific Northwest Senior Champion.

The field, considered by many to be the strongest ever for this event, produced 31 scores of 77 or better in the qualifying round. Previously, the lowest score required to qualify had been 78. Dexter H. Daniels, the defending Champion, was automatically awarded the 32nd qualifying berth. He lost in the first round to David F. Rose, the 1960 runner-up.

Three men playing in the event for the first time shared the qualifying medal with scores of 72-James M. Johnson, LaDue, Mo.; William S. Terrell, Charlotte, N.C., and Henry L. Robison, Albuquerque, N.M. There was a record entry of 525.


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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