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O. Gordon Brewer

O. Gordon Brewer, 57, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., took four of the last five holes from qualifying medalist Bob Hullender, 57, of San Antonio, Texas, for a 5 and 4 win in the final match at the USGA Senior Amateur Championship, at The Champions Golf Club, in Nicholasville, Ky.

"You chase dreams, and sometimes those dreams are realized," said Brewer. "Mine were realized today."

Although a veteran of 25 USGA championships, Brewer was playing in his first Senior Amateur. He was runner-up at the 1985 U.S. Mid-Amateur to Jay Sigel.

He started his final 18-hole match with two birdies, from 18 feet and 2 feet, respectively. And he allowed Hullender, a retired Air Force general, to win only two holes the rest of the way.

"When he went birdie-birdie to start, I started pressing," said Hullender, who plays despite two artificial hips. "I felt like I had to do something. He wasn't going to make many bogeys."

In fact, Brewer made only one bogey over the last 11 holes. And he birdied the 14th and final hole to go 3 under par when the match ended.

In his morning semi-final match, Brewer lost a 2-up lead down the stretch but recovered to win when he parred the second extra hole. Brewer's 7-iron to the deciding par 3 hole landed 18 feet away, and he lagged his birdie putt to within one foot. Dide Siderowf, a two-time British Amateur champion, missed the green to the left, chipped 7 feet beyond the hole, and missed his comeback putt for par.

In contrast, Hullender easily won his morning match over six-time New Jersey Amateur champion Bob Housen, of Brielle, N.J. He won three consecutive holes from Nos. 10 through 12 and was 6 up before winning 6 and 5.

The championship had other notable players as well. There was the inspirational story of 60-year-old Frank Culpepper, of Valdosta, Ga., who lost the lower portion of his right arm in an industrial accident. And Andy Andreola, of Cinnaminson, N.J., made his mark by qualifying at age 75.

It was a successful week for many, but mostly for Brewer, whose son-in-law, Gary Smith, won the Huntington Valley (Pa.) Country Club championship while he was away. There was no question this was as good as golf could get for Brewer.

"Absolutely," he said. "When you're the United States Champion, you don't have to say any more."

All four semi-finalists are fully exempt for the 1995 Senior Amateur, at Prairie Dunes Country Club, in Hutchinson, Kan., as well as the U.S. Senior Open, at Congressional Country Club, in Bethesda, Md.

The USGA accepted 2,046 entries for the championship, the third consecutive year in which entries topped 2,000.


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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