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Defending Champ Ousted in Extra Holes

Fort Worth, Texas – John Pallin birdied the first hole at Shady Oaks Country Club twice during his first-round victory Monday.

The first time, it gave him an early lead against defending champion Stan Lee, 56, of Heber Springs, Ark. The second time, on the 19th hole of the match, his 12-footer for birdie eliminated Lee at the par-71, 6,679-yard course at Shady Oaks.

“I figured that I was going to have to play really well to win,” said Pallin of facing the 2007 Senior Amateur champion.

Stroke-play medalist Paul Simson advanced with a 3-and-2 victory Monday at Shady Oaks Country Club. (John Mummert/USGA)

And that he did. Pallin, 55, of Kenosha, Wis., never trailed against Lee, who struggled with his alignment and was three down after 13 holes.

“It’s hard playing from behind,” said Lee. “Last year when I won this thing I was never behind and that is so much easier. The pressure is always on you to hit the shot (when you’re behind).”

But Lee did manage to come back, winning the 14th and 16th holes with birdies. Pallin hit his approach shot on No. 18 high above the hole and three-putted from 80 feet, allowing Lee to square the match after safely two-putting for par from 5 feet.

Lee hit his approach shot in close on the par-4 first but it rolled away from the hole, coming to rest 18 feet from the flagstick. Pallin knocked his to 12 feet.

“When I saw where his ball was, I knew he’d make it,” said Lee, who was trying to become the first to win consecutive championships since William Campbell won back-to-back Senior Amateurs in 1979-80. “I knew when I missed mine it was over. He had made every one that distance that he had today.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Lee’s birdie putt slid by the left side of the hole, opening the door for Pallin, who calmly made his 12-footer to win.

Despite the disappointing loss, Lee was upbeat about his reign as Senior Amateur champion.

“It has been an absolute thrill and an honor to be a USGA champion,” said Lee. “It’s been such a great year, and such a thrill. I’m glad that I got to experience it. I’m 56 and you cherish things like that when you get to be my age. I hate to let go of it but somebody very deserving is going to win it this week, and more power to them.”

Another past Senior Amateur champion, 62-year-old Kemp Richardson of Laguna Niguel, Calif., was more fortunate in his match against Canadian Kelly Roberts, 55. Richardson held a 1-up lead after 14 holes but lost the next two to fall 1 down. A birdie on No. 17 squared the match, and the two headed for extra holes after trading pars at the 18th.

On the first hole, Roberts found trouble off the tee as his drive came to rest behind a tree. He hit a brilliant shot from behind the tree that landed in a bunker. He was unable to get up and down from there and Richardson, safely on the green in two, was able to two-putt to escape with the victory.

“The whole day was just kind of seesaw,” said Richardson, the 2001 and 2003 champion. “We both played OK. I just hit a couple of dummies, but that’s par for the course too. But I held on, so I guess that’s all that counts.”

Stroke-play medalist Paul Simson, 57, of Raleigh, N.C., also had a seesaw day in his opening match against Shawn McLoughlin, 65, of Newtown, Conn. Simson was 1 down after nine holes but won No. 13 with a par and the 14th and 16th holes with birdies to earn a 3-and-2 victory.

Simson, who last month won his second British Senior Open Amateur Championship in three years, was pragmatic after his win.

“It’s only one round,” he said. “The winner gets to play five more matches. I hope the others will be easier. Getting down is always a battle.”

Three past Amateur winners, 1991 champion Mitch Voges, 58, of Simi Valley, Calif., 1986 winner Stewart “Buddy” Alexander, 55, of Gainesville, Fla., and 1972 champion Vinny Giles, 65, of Richmond, Va., all recorded easy first-round wins, as did 1995 U.S. Amateur runner-up George “Buddy” Marucci, 55, of Villanova, Pa., and 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur winner George Zahringer, 55, of New York, N.Y.

The USGA Senior Amateur continues with the second and third rounds Tuesday. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches are on Wednesday and the 18-hole championship final will be played Thursday.

The USGA Senior Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Story written by Beth Murrison of the USGA Museum staff. For questions or comments, contact her at

Fort Worth, Texas – Results following Monday’s first round of match play at the 2008 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at the 6,679-yard, par-71 Shady Oaks Country Club:

Round of 64

Upper Bracket

Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. (141) def. B. Shawn McLoughlin, Newtown, Conn. (153), 3 and 2

Randy Nichols, Connersville, Ind. (150) def. Denny Alexander, Fort Worth, Texas (150), 1 up

Dave Denezza, Greensburg, Pa. (147) def. Sid Moore, Magnolia, Ark. (152), 2 and 1

Ralph Cotton, Colleyville, Texas (147) def. Alistair Catto, South Hadley, Mass. (151), 3 and 2

Howie Knodt, Chula Vista, Calif. (144) def. Arthur Pierse, Ireland (152), 5 and 3

John Pallin, Kenosha, Wis. (150) def. Stanford Lee, Heber Springs, Ark. (148), 19 holes

Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (144) def. Kelly Roberts, Canada (152), 19 holes

Stephen Bell, Denver, Colo. (150) def. Don Bliss, St Louis, Mo. (148), 6 and 4

Mitch Voges, Simi Valley, Calif. (143) def. Ray Womack, Burlington, N.C. (153), 6 and 5

Joseph Keller, Osterville, Mass. (149) def. Jonathan Verity, Beaufort, S.C. (150), 3 and 2

Sam Farlow, Birmingham, Ala. (146) def. Dan Bieber, Alamo, Calif. (152), 2 up

Stewart Alexander, Gainesville, Fla. (151) def. Bill Smunk, Kingstree, S.C. (148), 6 and 5

Edward Patridge, Birmingham, Ala. (153) def. Ronald Vannelli, Edison, N.J. (144), 1 up

Jerry Cundari, Portland, Ore. (149) def. Greg Kendall, Sioux Falls, S.D. (150), 5 and 4

Timothy Pope, Spartanburg, S.C. (152) def. David Strawn, Charlotte, N.C. (146), 2 and 1

George Zahringer, New York, N.Y. (151) def. John Benson, Punxsutawney, Pa. (148), 3 and 2

Lower Bracket
Logan Jackson, Winston Salem, N.C. (153) def. Michael Kelly, Odenton, Md. (143), 2 and 1

Sam Till Jr., Fort Wayne, Ind. (149) def. Bruce Scamehorn, Winter Haven, Fla. (150), 2 up

Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va. (146) def. Norman Swenson, Boynton Beach, Fla. (152), 3 and 2

Thomas McGraw, Montgomery, Texas (151) def. Johnny Stevens, Wichita, Kan. (147), 1 up

Frank Ford III, Charleston, S.C. (152) def. Eddie Lyons, Shreveport, La. (144), 2 and 1

Michael Shelton, Belton, Mo. (150) def. Larry Netherton, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (148), 4 and 3

Randy Reznicek, Vista, Calif. (152) def. David Pocknall, Katy, Texas (144), 3 and 2

Bill Heldmar, Tulsa, Okla. (151) def. Wayne Smith, Austin, Texas (148), 19 holes

George Marucci Jr., Villanova, Pa. (143) def. Larry Clark, Kingston, Ga. (153), 6 and 4

John Long, Centreville, Va. (150) def. Frank Abbott, Napa, Calif. (149), 19 holes

Thomas Bohardt, Cleveland, Ohio (152) def. Richard Umani, West Chester, Pa. (146), 19 holes

Frank Travetto, Bartlett, Ill. (151) def. Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. (148), 2 and 1

Carey Watson, Coral Springs, Fla. (153) def. Tom Doughtie, Amarillo, Texas (144), 3 and 2

Paul Murphy, Arlington, Mass. (150) def. Bill Ploeger, Columbus, Ga. (149), 3 and 2

John Grace, Fort Worth, Texas (145) def. Thomas Bartolacci, Washington Crossing, Pa. (152), 6 and 5

Bruce Meyer, El Paso, Texas (148) def. Larry Daniels, Seattle, Wash. (151), 2 and 1

Fort Worth, Texas – Pairings for Tuesday’s second round of match play at the 2008 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at the 6,679-yard, par-71 Shady Oaks Country Club:

Round of 32

Upper Bracket

8:15 a.m.          Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. (141) vs. Randy Nichols, Connersville, Ind. (150)

8:23 a.m.          Dave Denezza, Greensburg, Pa. (147) vs. Ralph Cotton, Colleyville, Texas (147)

8:31 a.m.          Howie Knodt, Chula Vista, Calif. (144) vs. John Pallin, Kenosha, Wis. (150)

8:39 a.m.          Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (144) vs. Stephen Bell, Denver, Colo. (150)

8:47 a.m.          Mitch Voges, Simi Valley, Calif. (143) vs. Joseph Keller, Osterville, Mass. (149)

8:55 a.m.          Sam Farlow, Birmingham, Ala. (146) vs. Stewart Alexander, Gainesville, Fla. (151)

9:03 a.m.          Edward Patridge, Birmingham, Ala. (153) vs. Jerry Cundari, Portland, Ore. (149)

9:11 a.m.          Timothy Pope, Spartanburg, S.C. (152) vs. George Zahringer, New York, N.Y. (151)

Lower Bracket
9:19 a.m.          Logan Jackson, Winston Salem, N.C. (153) vs. Sam Till Jr., Fort Wayne, Ind. (149)

9:27 a.m.          Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va. (146) vs. Thomas McGraw, Montgomery, Texas (151)

9:35 a.m.          Frank Ford III, Charleston, S.C. (152) vs. Michael Shelton, Belton, Mo. (150)

9:43 a.m.          Randy Reznicek, Vista, Calif. (152) vs. Bill Heldmar, Tulsa, Okla. (151)

9:51 a.m.          George Marucci Jr., Villanova, Pa. (143) vs. John Long, Centreville, Va. (150)

9:59 a.m.          Thomas Bohardt, Cleveland, Ohio (152) vs. Frank Travetto, Bartlett, Ill. (151)

10:07 a.m.         Carey Watson, Coral Springs, Fla. (153) vs. Paul Murphy, Arlington, Mass. (150)

10:15 a.m.         John Grace, Fort Worth, Texas (145) vs. Bruce Meyer, El Paso, Texas (148)



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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