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2008

George “Buddy” Marucci Jr.

George “Buddy” Marucci Jr., 56, of Villanova, Pa., defeated George Zahringer, 55, of New York, N.Y., 2 up, to win the 2008 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at the 6,679-yard, par-71 Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Of all my accomplishments in golf, this has to top the list,” Marucci said. “I can’t wait to walk into the USGA Museum and see my name up on the Hall of Champions. It means a lot to finally win one of these after all of my years of trying.”

Marucci, who never trailed in the match, didn’t relinquish the lead after birdieing the par-3 seventh hole to go 1 up. He extended the margin to 3 up through 12 holes, his largest cushion, until Zahringer sliced the deficit to 1 down through No. 15.

Marucci then maintained his 1-up advantage with a clutch 8-foot par putt on No. 16. After the two players halved the 17th hole, Marucci split the 18th fairway and struck a crisp 7-iron approach shot from 158 yards out that stopped 11 feet of the hole. When Zahringer’s 25-foot birdie putt slid by the hole, he conceded to Marucci.

“I think Buddy’s iron play was better than mine today, as was his putting,” said Zahringer, the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. “That may have been the difference.”

It was Marucci’s second attempt at winning a USGA championship, following his appearance 13 years ago in the finals of the 1995 U.S. Amateur. He lost to Tiger Woods, 2 down, at Newport Country Club in Newport, R.I.

Marucci, the captain of the victorious 2007 USA Walker Cup team, will be unable to defend his title at The Beverly Club in Chicago, Ill. He will instead be at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., as the returning captain of the 2009 USA Walker Cup squad. The two USGA championships begin play on the same weekend.

With his victory, Maruccibecame the first Walker Cup captain to win a USGA championship since Jay Sigel accomplished the feat in 1985. Sigel won the 1985 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship while he was that year’s Walker Cup captain.

 
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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