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Kemp Richardson

Kemp Richardson, 57, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., became the 13th player to win the USGA Senior Amateur Championship twice, with a victory in 19 holes over Frank Abbott, 60, of Napa, Calif, at The Virginian Golf Club in Bristol, Va.

"It's kind of bittersweet because I really didn't play well," said Richardson, who also won in 2001. "I was fortunate enough to win. The game looked tired. It worked, but it didn't work."

Richardson, who was 2 down with three holes to play, did find his game enough to win holes 16 and 18 to square the championship match and send it to extra holes for the first time since 1989.

On the 16th, Abbott, a consulting company president, three-putted from nearly 40 feet and lost the hole with a bogey. Richardson, the longer hitter, then reached the 530-yard, par -5 18th in two shots and two-putted for a birdie to win the hole.

"I hit both those shots as good as I'm going to hit them," said Richardson, whose father, John, won the championship in 1987. "1 knew I'd better get a birdie. I couldn't leave it to him to make a six."

Richardson, a two-time low amateur at U.S. Senior Open and the 2001 British Senior Amateur champion, until the final, had not played past the 16th hole in winning his first five matches.

On the 19th hole, which was The Virginian's par-3, 195-yard 15th, Richardson hit to within 30 feet of the hole. Abbott's tee shot settled in the greenside rough.

Abbott, who finished was a quarterfinalist at the Canadian Seniors Match Play and was fourth at the 2003 California Senior Amateur, was in a difficult lie and pitched 45 feet past the hole. Richardson, meanwhile putted close enough for Abbott to concede his short par putt and the hole

In a match in which both players missed short putts, Richardson, a stockbroker, said: "If I could have putted any good, I could have taken over. When I needed to two-putt, I couldn't two-putt. I really putted the worst (Thursday) that I putted the whole time. I couldn't get it in the hole."

Abbott, who was playing in his second Senior Amateur, admitted that his miss on the 16th was critical. "In hindsight, if I make the putt on 16, the three footer, it's over," he said. "I would have been 2-up with two to play. He wasn't going to win 17 because I played 17 well all week."

In the semifinals, Richardson defeated Roy Smethurst, 61, of England, 3 and 2, and Abbott beat David Boesel, 55, of Winter Park, Fla., 2 and 1.


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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