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Co-Medalist Simson Advances At Senior Amateur

Chicago – Co-medalist Paul Simson, 58, of Raleigh, N.C., advanced Monday to the second round of match play at the USGA Senior Amateur, coming back late in his match at the Beverly Country Club, a 6,672-yard, par-71 Donald Ross redesign.

On the 15th hole, two-time Senior Amateur champion Kemp Richardson tracks his approach shot from the 11th fairway. Richardson ended up on the fairway after blocking his drive. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)  

On a sun-splashed warm day, Simson won three consecutive holes, beginning with No. 15, to overcome 63-year-old Alan Bouchard of Falmouth, Maine, 2 and 1. Simson, who has played in close to 50 USGA championships, had trailed Bouchard, the 64th and final match-play qualifier, by one hole through the first 14.

A 35-foot birdie on No. 16 put him up to stay in the match.

“Oh, you’re always worried,” said Simson in reference to being down in a match. “I just have to play the golf course. Sometimes I get hung up on what the other player is doing, and when you do that, you’re asking for trouble.”

His second-round duel will be a rematch against Randy Nichols, 56, of Brookville, Ind., who posted a 1-up victory over 58-year-old Thomas McGraw of Montgomery, Texas. Last year at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Simson lost to the eventual semifinalist, 2 and 1.

“You can put it out of your head. Not that I wasn’t paying attention last year. He played well,” said Simson.

The other co-medalist, 56-year-old Pat Tallen of Vienna, Va., was not so fortunate. His championship came to an end at the hands of two-time Senior Amateur champion Kemp Richardson, who like Bouchard qualified for match play via a playoff Monday morning.

Tallent, a former All-American basketball player at George Washington University and low amateur at the 2004 U.S. Senior Open, fell 4 and 3 while struggling off the tee.

Richardson won the eighth and ninth holes with mid-range birdie putts to go 2 up and never looked back. Tallent suffered through a frustrating sequence on the par-3 12th green. Looking to win the hole, his 18-foot birdie putt hit the hole, lipped out and rolled 4 feet away. He pushed the comebacker to eventually lose the hole.

“It wasn’t my day,” said Tallent. “Sometimes it goes that way.”

Said Richardson, the low amateur at the 2000 U.S. Senior Open: “I was a little erratic to start the day, but [the win] gives me some confidence.”

That’s how Tom Studer, 57, of nearby Joliet feels after thwarting Stu Grendahl, 58, of McFarland, Wis., 5 and 4. Studer, a two-time Illinois Senior Amateur champion who has competed in two U.S. Senior Opens and more than 400 amateur events, dazzled his way to a 6-up lead through nine holes. Starting on No. 6, he won four consecutive holes.

Since losing to Jay Sigel, a decorated amateur and participant on a record nine USA Walker Cup squads, in the first two U.S. Mid-Amateurs, Studer tries to utilize advice that the five-time USGA champion imparted after a match.

“I remember asking Jay what makes a great match-play player after he beat me,” said Studer. “He said that the key is not letting your opponent know when you’ve made an error. Act like you [are] play[ing] error-free golf.”

In one of the more stirring displays of phenomenal play, 56-year-old John Pallin of Kenosha, Wis., rode a first-nine 31 – with all the normal match-play concessions – to a 6-up margin against Bill Leonard, 60, of Alpharetta, Ga., at the turn.

Pallin won on the 329-yard 14th hole after nearly driving the green. Leonard conceded the 5-and-4 decision when his mid-range birdie putt sailed wide.

“It was a good match,” said Pallin, whose wife Cary is on his bag. “He didn’t give me anything.”

The USGA Senior Amateur continues play Tuesday with the second and third rounds, followed by the quarterfinal and semifinal matches Wednesday. The championship concludes with the 18-hole final match on 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 Ken Klavon, the USGA’s Editor of Digital Media. E-mail him with questions or comments


Chicago – Pairings for Tuesday’s second round of match play at the 6,672-yard, par-71 Beverly Country Club:

Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. ,  def. Alan Bouchard, Falmouth, Maine, 2 and 1

Randy Nichols, Brookville, Ind., def. Thomas McGraw, Montgomery, Texas, 1 up

Marvin Giles III, Richmond, Va., def. Bob Harrington, Portland, Ore., 20 holes

Tom Studer, Joliet, Ill., def. Stu Grendahl, Madison, Wis.,  5 and 4

William T. Doughtie, Amarillo, Texas, def.  Karl Simon, Lawrenceville, Ga., 5 and 4

Bill Ploeger, Columbus, Ga., def. J P Leigh, Suffolk, Va., 4 and 3

Patrick O'Donnell, Happy Valley, Ore., def. Dan Pouliot, Burbank, Calif., 4 and 2

Martin West, Rockville, Md., def. Gray Tuttle, Dimondale, Mich., 3 and 1

John Pallin, Kenosha, Wis., def. Bill Leonard, Downers Grove, Ill., 5 and 4

Graham Cooke, Canada, def. Daniel Houlihan, Rockford, Ill., 4 and 2

Sam Till Jr., Fort Wayne, Ind., def. Paul Schlachter, Pittsburgh, Pa., 4 and 3

Weir King, Stuart, Fla., def. Bill Barnes, Carmel, Ind., 2 up

George Zahringer, New York, N.Y., def. John Benson, Punxsutawney, Pa., 4 and 3

Neil Spitalny, Chattanooga, Tenn., def. Steve Whittaker, Becker, Minn., 3 and 2

Michael Walters, Tampa, Fla., def. Larry Clark, Kingston, Ga., 3 and 2

Stephen Bogan, Placentia, Calif., def. Steve Johnson, Mequon, Wis., 4 and 2

Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif., def. Patrick Tallent, Vienna, Va., 4 and 3

Robert Morris, Great Falls, Va., def. Gary Daniels, Center Valley, Pa., 2 and 1

Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich., def. John Darr, Gainesville, Fla., 3 and 1

Frank Ford III, Charleston, S.C., def. John Bunn, Raleigh, N.C., 4 and 3

John Grace, Fort Worth, Texas, def. Spike Smith, Pinehurst, N.C., 21 holes

Roger Gunderson, Aurora, Colo., def. Norman Swenson, Linville, N.C., 4 and 3

Bill Zylstra, Plymouth, Mich., def. David Williamson, Ladoga, Ind., 19 holes

Douglas Pool, Las Vegas, Nev., def. John Peters, Muscatine, Iowa, 2 up

Mike Bell, Indianapolis, Ind., def. Stephen Larson, Des Moines, Iowa, 4 and 3

Robert Linn, Enfield, Conn., def. Ian Harris, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., 1 up

Stewart Alexander, Gainesville, Fla., def. Donald Bliss, Chesterfield, Mo., 2 and 1

Stanford Lee, Heber Springs, Ark., def. Tom Elfers, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1 up

Jeff Burda Modesto, Calif., def. Bob Varn, Orangeburg, S.C., 6 and 5

Allan Small, Florham Park, N.J., def. Jay Blumenfeld, Parsippany, N.J., 4 and 3

Dan Bieber, Alamo, Calif., def. Randy Reifers, Columbus, Ohio, 2 up

Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis., def. John Olive, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3 and 2


Chicago – Pairings for Tuesday’s second round of match play at the 6,672-yard, par-71 Beverly Country Club:

8:15 a.m.              Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C.  (140) vs. Randy Nichols, Brookville, Ind.  (148)

8:23 a.m.              Marvin Giles III, Richmond, Va.  (145) vs. Tom Studer, Joliet, Ill.  (145)

8:31 a.m.              William T Doughtie, Amarillo, Texas  (143) vs. Bill Ploeger, Columbus, Ga.  (147)

8:39 a.m.              Patrick O'Donnell, Happy Valley, Ore.  (144) vs. Martin West, Rockville, Md.  (146)

8:47 a.m.              John Pallin, Kenosha, Wis.  (142) vs. Graham Cooke, Canada  (147)

8:55 a.m.              Sam Till Jr., Fort Wayne, Ind.  (150) vs. Weir King, Stuart, Fla.  (150)

9:03 a.m.              George Zahringer, New York, N.Y.  (142) vs. Neil Spitalny, Chattanooga, Tenn.  (148)

9:11 a.m.              Michael Walters, Tampa, Fla.  (144) vs. Stephen Bogan, Placentia, Calif.  (149)

9:19 a.m.              Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif.  (151) vs. Robert Morris, Great Falls, Va.  (147)

9:27 a.m.              Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich.  (145) vs. Frank Ford III, Charleston, S.C.  (145)

9:35 a.m.              John Grace, Fort Worth, Texas  (142) vs. Roger Gunderson, Aurora, Colo.  (147)

9:43 a.m.              Bill Zylstra, Plymouth, Mich.  (144) vs. Douglas Pool, Las Vegas, Nev.  (146)

9:51 a.m.              Mike Bell, Indianapolis, Ind.  (141) vs. Robert Linn, Enfield, Conn.  (148)

9:59 a.m.              Stewart Alexander, Gainesville, Fla.  (145) vs. Stanford Lee, Heber Springs, Ark.  (150)

10:07 a.m.           Jeff Burda, Modesto, Calif.  (142) vs. Allan Small, Florham Park, N.J.  (148)

10:15 a.m.           Dan Bieber, Alamo, Calif.  (144) vs. Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis.  (146)



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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