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1998

Bill Shean Jr.

Bill Shean Jr., 55, of Hinsdale, Ill., defeated William King, 64, of Jupiter, Fla., 5 and 3, Thursday afternoon to win the 1998 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at the 6,626-yard, par-72 Skokie Country Club.

In the morning's semifinal matches Shean defeated Gunnar Bennett of Surfside, Fla., 3 and 1, to advance and King slipped past Dan Pierre of Palatine, Ill., in 19 holes.

Shean grabbed the lead with a birdie on the par-4, 425-yard first hole, and he never looked back.

"Foremost, I am grateful," said an emotional Shean, who was playing in his first USGA Senior Amateur. "I'm so grateful that I can hardly talk. So many of my good friends were out here today, and it was hard not to look at them or say hi. It felt so good to see so many people out here pulling for me. Staying focused was a very difficult deal."

The turning point of the match came on the par-5 13th hole, which Shean took by rolling in an eight-foot birdie putt, increasing his lead to 3 up. The match ended when Shean won the 15th on a conceded par.

"I was embarrassed on the front nine that I was playing lousy golf," said Shean, who played the equivalent of 1-over-par during the final match. "During a break after the ninth hole, I thought, 'win, lose or draw I'm going down playing better golf.' And I shot 1-under on the back."

King, a retired mechanical engineer, was disappointed about his loss but felt positive about the championship.

"Coming in second is just outstanding," said King. "I've played in this tournament four times, and the two previous years I've lost in the round of 16. So just getting to today was a big step. And certainly no golfer can complain about getting to the finals of a national championship.

"I didn't play as well this afternoon, and I certainly didn't putt as well as I had earlier in the week. Putting on these greens is crucial, and I started missing some of the short ones. Bill played very well. He made the putts he needed to make, and he hit the ball consistently."

The USGA Senior Amateur Championship is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association. Ten of those championships are strictly for amateur golfers.

 
Championship Facts
PAR AND YARDAGE – Beverly Country Club will play at 6,654/6,672 yards and a par of 36-35—71.

ARCHITECT – Beverly Country Club was designed by George O’Neil and opened in 1908. Donald Ross redesigned the course in 1918. A renovation of the course, guided by golf course architect Ron Prichard, was completed in 2008.

COURSE AND SLOPE RATING – The USGA Course Rating® for the Senior Amateur at Beverly Country Club is 72.7 and USGA Slope Rating® is 133.

USGA AND ILLINOIS – The 2009 USGA Senior Amateur will be the 57th championship conducted in the state of Illinois, ranking it fourth among states hosting the most USGA championships. The last USGA championship in the state was the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton. The Senior Amateur is making its fifth appearance in Illinois (1962, 1973, 1979, 1998).

SCHEDULE OF PLAY:

Saturday, Sept. 12 — First round, stroke play (18 holes)

Sunday, Sept. 13 — Second round, stroke play (18 holes)

Monday, Sept. 14 — First round, match play (18 holes)

Tuesday, Sept. 15 — Second round, match play (18 holes); Third round, match play (18 holes)

Wednesday, Sept. 16 — Quarterfinals, match play (18 holes); Semifinals, match play (18 holes)

Thursday, Sept. 17 — Final, match play (18 holes)

ADMISSION IS FREE – Admission and parking is free. Tickets are not needed for this USGA championship and spectators are encouraged to attend.



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