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USGA Senior Amateur Semifinals Set

Fort Worth, Texas – Frank Ford III, George “Buddy” Marucci, Randy Nichols and George Zahringer all advanced to the semifinals at the Senior Amateur Championship, which is being contested at the 6,679-yard, par-71 Shady Oaks Country Club course.

Frank Ford III fights out of a greenside bunker Wednesday. (John Mummert/USGA)

The 55-year-old Zahringer of New York, N.Y., will take on Nichols, 55, of Connersville, Ind., in the first of this afternoon’s two semifinal matches. Marucci, 55, of Villanova, Pa., will face Ford, 56, from Charleston, S.C.

Zahringer, the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, erased Joe Keller’s 4-up lead at the turn by birdieing five of the first six holes on the back side. He held on for a 2-and-1 victory.

“It was a combination of good shot-making and good putting,” said Zahringer, who holed out from a greenside bunker for birdie on the 13th hole. “I put the ball in great position and had very makeable putts; none of them were conceded.”

Never trailing in his match was Nichols, a member of the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame. He was the equivalent of one under par, with all the match-play concessions, in his 4-and-3 win over John Pallin, 55, of Kenosha, Wis.

Marucci, runner-up to Tiger Woods at the 1995 U.S. Amateur, eliminated 17-time Shady Oaks club champion John Grace, 60, of Fort Worth, 3 and 2. Their match was all square through nine holes before Marucci pulled away by winning three consecutive holes after the turn.  

Meanwhile, Ford III, a semifinalist last year and member of the South Carolina State Golf Hall of Fame, defeated 1972 U.S. Amateur champion Vinny Giles, 65, of Richmond, Va., 1 up.

The USGA Senior Amateur Championship concludes on Thursday with the scheduled 18-hole championship final match, starting at 9 a.m. CDT.

Story written by Dave Fanucchi, Director of Public Relations for the USGA. E-mail him with questions or comments at


Pairings for Wednesday afternoon’s semifinal matches at the 2008 USGA Senior Amateur Championship:

2 p.m. – Randy Nichols vs. George Zahringer

2:15 p.m. – Frank Ford III vs. George "Buddy" Marucci



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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