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Kemp Richardson

Kemp Richardson, 55, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., followed in the footsteps of his father as he won the USGA Senior Amateur championship at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis, Mo., beating Bill Ploeger, 61, of Columbus, Ga. In the final match, 2 and 1.

Richardson's father, John, won the 1987 Senior Amateur at Saucon Valley(Pa.) Country Club at age 66. They are the first father-son winners in USGA history. John passed away a year after his win, but the 18th green flag from that championship is a framed keepsake for the family.

"My father meant a lot to me," said Richardson. "He was a great player, and he taught me everything. We used to play a lot of golf together. I always hoped I'd have this chance. I am proud to have my name on this trophy."

The long-hitting Richardson won holes 15 and 16 by sinking 10-foot putts on each before the two players halved the 17th to end the match. He had won three consecutive holes to take a 2-up lead after eight. He won the sixth and eighth holes with birdies and was the equivalent of 1-under-par on the front nine.

Ploeger, however, won holes 11 and 14 with pars to square the match for the moment.

Richardson is also the second to concurrently hold the USGA Senior Amateur and the British Senior Amateur titles. He won the 2001 British Senior at Royal Portrush in Ireland with a 54-hole total of 217. The first to hold both titles was 2000 champion Bill Shean Jr. of Hillsdale, Ill.

Richardson also was the low amateur in the 1999 and 2000 U.S. Senior Opens, and just missed the cut at the 2001 Senior Open by a stroke. The 2000 Senior Open was held at Saucon Valley, where his father won the Senior Amateur.

"I still play with the kids and can hit it with those guys who are playing on the Senior Tour, so I don't feel like I am this old, but I guess I am," said Richardson, who set the pace with a 2-under 69 on the first day of stroke play.

Richardson led in each of his five matches heading to the final, leading in each by the 9th hole. He was not extended to the 18th hole in any of his matches.

"I thought that when I won hole 14 I had a chance," Said Ploeger, who suffered a mild heart attach before the 2000 championship and then lost his first-round match. "He's a great champion. He hits the ball so long he's tough to beat."

In four of his six matches Ploeger won the first hole of each and never trailed. He birdied the second hole to take an early lead on Richardson as well, but couldn't hold it.


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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