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Greg Reynolds

Greg Reynolds, 55, of Grand Blanc, Mich., captured the 49th USGA Senior Amateur Championship with a 4-and-3 victory over Mark Bernowski, 56, of Mukwonago, Wis., at the par-72, 6,596-yard Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.

"It's pretty special and hard to describe, but I feel really good about it," Reynolds said.

The match was close until a five-hole stretch, starting at the par-4, 395-yard 10th hole. Reynolds, holding a one-hole advantage, was on the green in two and two-putted for par while Bernowski left his approach shot in the fringe short of the green. Bernowski chipped onto the green and two-putted for bogey and Reynolds' lead grew to two holes.

The players halved the par-4, 338-yard 11th hole after Reynolds made a spectacular sand save from the bunker behind the green to within a foot.

"I almost didn't hit that shot, because that was a shot where there was only about six inches where you could land that ball - otherwise that ball probably goes in the water," Reynolds said. "I was thinking about hitting it sideways and maybe two-putting for bogey because I wasn't sure he would make a par there, and then I decided 'oh what the heck, this is match play, if you it in the water, you just go to the next tee.'"

On the par-5, 539-yard 12th hole, Reynolds misplayed his approach shot from 40 yards out and didn't hit the green, but was able to get up-and-down for par, while Bernowski three-putted from 12 feet to bogey and go 3 down.

Reynolds' luck continued on the par-3, 212-yard 13th, a hole that had given him trouble all week. His tee shot landed in the front right bunker and his sand shot didn't make it out of the bunker. He hit the next one out safely and was able to sink his six-foot putt for bogey, while Bernowski's four-foot par putt to win the hole missed.

Reynolds went 4 up and dormie when Bernowski missed a six-foot par putt at the par 4, 375-yard 14 hole, and won the match when the two players traded pars at the par-5, 490-yard 15th hole.

"The last few days, I really putted well on some really crucial putts - I made a lot of those," Reynolds said. "Ordinarily my putting isn't a strong part of my game but I thought I putted very well here."

Bernowski, on the other hand, was hurt by poor putting throughout the match.

"I've been battling it for several years now, and it really manifested itself today," Bernowski said. "I've really struggled on these greens, with the speed particularly."

The victory capped an eventful week for Reynolds, who made it into the field as an alternate four days before the championship started. He arrived late the evening before the first day of play and didn't even have time for a practice round before teeing up on Saturday afternoon for his first round of stroke play.

In his first-round match against Jay Howson of Malvern, Pa., Reynolds trailed by four holes at the turn but came back to earn a 1-up victory. He never trailed by more that one hole again throughout the championship, and didn't trail at all after the second hole of his third-round match against medalist Billy Clagett of Austin, Texas.

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).


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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