2017 U.S. Senior Amateur

A Legacy of National Championships

The Minikahda Club has a long history of successfully hosting prestigious national and international golf championships. They include the 1916 U.S. Open, 1927 U.S. Amateur, 1957 Walker Cup, 1988 U.S. Women's Amateur and 1998 Curtis Cup. The 2017 U.S. Senior Amateur will be added to the list of The Minikahda Club's proud history and will be our first National USGA Championship in almost 20 years. 





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    • Aug. 26-31, 2017, The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis, Minn.

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      Sean Knapp Claims 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur Championship

      MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Aug. 31, 2017) - Sean Knapp tried to explain how, after competing in 40 previous USGA championships and losing twice in the semifinal round, he could be so calm in his first championship final, for the 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur.

      The U.S. Senior Amateur is one of 13 annual national championships conducted by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The championship is open to amateurs at least 55 years of age with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. It consists of two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which concluded Thursday with an 18-hole final.

      “For a guy like me, getting [championship] exemptions is so important, so I knew what making the semifinals brought,” said Knapp, 55, of Oakmont, Pa., who was competing in his first U.S. Senior Amateur. “I also knew what making the final brought. Once I had done that, I said, look, all we’re playing for today is the championship, and while that is an enormous thing, at the same time, I was very relaxed, very calm. I don’t know why, the whole day it was the calmest I was in any match.”

      That calmness translated to victory when Knapp converted a 20-foot par putt on the 17th green at The Minikahda Club to give him a 2-and-1 victory over Paul Simson, of Raleigh, N.C., a two-time champion who would have become the fifth-oldest winner had he prevailed on Thursday at age 66. Instead, Knapp finally broke through after semifinal-round losses in the 2008 and 2010 U.S. Mid-Amateurs, his farthest advances in USGA play. He also topped Simson for the first time after Simson had come out on top in two previous matchups: a U.S. Open sectional qualifying playoff and a U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinal match, both in 1998.

      “The last two times in the Mid-Am in [2008 and 2010], I got to the semis, and then in 2012 I lost to Nathan [Smith, Knapp’s best friend and a five-time USGA champion] in extra holes in the final 16,” said Knapp, a 14-time Player of the Year in Western Pennsylvania. “He went on to win, and I really felt like it was so tough to accept that. I knew what to do to beat him, and I did everything but beat him. I just said, if I get in this situation again, I’m going to put the throttle down.”

      Throttle or not, Knapp stayed calm when opponent Simson birdied the first hole for a 1-up lead. Knapp, 55, responded with a winning par on the second hole. Twice more he calmly responded and brought the match back to even after Simson made birdies – both on par 5s, No. 4 and No. 9.

      Simson’s bid to join Lewis Oehmig, the only three-time champion of the U.S. Senior Amateur, went awry on the incoming nine, just after he had taken his third and final 1-up lead of the match with the birdie on the ninth. Knapp drew even for the third time on the next hole, then took his first lead on No. 11. In both instances, Knapp missed the green and converted the up-and-down, while Simson hit the green and three-putted, running his first putt past on No. 10 and leaving it well short on No. 11.

      “You know, the putting on 10 and 11 just left me there, and I just didn’t make any putts,” said Simson. “Normally I make a lot of putts. It was just one of those unfortunate days.”

      Simson squared the match for the final time on No. 13, making a 5-foot putt for his third birdie on a par 5 after Knapp had missed from 8 feet away. Then a couple of Simson miscues while Knapp was making solid pars brought the match into Knapp’s favor. Simson missed the 14th fairway to the right, and his approach shot clipped a branch and ended up in thick rough short and left of the green. Simson wedged out to 14 feet and missed his par try, while Knapp got up and down from in front of the green.

      On the 410-yard par-4 16th, both players drove into the rough, and Knapp missed the green hole-high to the left from an awkward stance. Simson failed to extricate his shot from the rough, which snagged his clubface, and he left his third shot in the fronting bunker. After Simson missed his bogey putt, he conceded Knapp’s short par putt.

      “I probably made a tactical error on 16,” said Simson, who won the U.S., Canadian and British Senior Amateur championships in 2010, the only man to do so in the same year. “I went and practiced that tee shot yesterday after my match because I had had problems with it, and just hit a real stinker there. Maybe if it was stroke play, I would have laid out and tried to make 4 the other way, but I thought maybe I had a chance to hit a good shot out of there and it didn’t come out of the grass very well.”

      When Knapp got up and down from the front bunker on the par-4 17th after Simson missed a long birdie try, the match was over. Knapp became the latest 55-year-old to win and the first newcomer to win since Louis Lee prevailed in 2011. Again, Knapp gave a nod to his friend Smith.

      “Nathan and I have played so much against each other and with each other,” said Knapp, a graduate of Indiana (Pa.) University, where he played basketball. “There’s a formula, and I’m well aware of it. I can’t always execute it. He can. It’s about being patient, not giving holes, and forcing your opponent to get uncomfortable. If you can force them into that level of uncomfortability, they might make poor decisions. I’m not saying that that’s what happened today, but certainly it kept my emotions at bay.”

      Calmness despite the circumstances helped Knapp become the first champion to win the title without making a birdie since Mike Bell, in 2006 at Victoria National in Newburgh, Ind. While Simson was making four birdies, six pars, six bogeys and a double bogey in a topsy-turvy round, Knapp had 16 pars and one bogey, with six of the pars winning holes.

      When told that he had prevailed without a birdie, Knapp’s calm demeanor retreated for just a moment. Pointing to the Frederick L. Dold Trophy, he said, “I’ve got this big thing over there that says W. I don’t care how it looks or what it is. If you’re making double bogey, I’m going to make bogey. If you’re making par, I’m going to try to make birdie.”

      On this day, Knapp was making himself into a USGA champion.

      Simson, Knapp to Square Off in Thursday’s Championship Match

      MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Aug. 30, 2017) - It will be a battle between one man trying to ascend to the first page of the record book vs. another trying to finally add his name to it on Thursday, when Paul Simson and Sean Knapp square off in the final of the 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, at the par-72, 6,764 yard Minikahda Club.

      The U.S. Senior Amateur is one of 13 annual national championships conducted by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The championship is open to amateurs at least 55 years of age with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. It consists of two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which concludes with an 18-hole final on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

      Both players won a pair of matches on Wednesday, with Simson, 66, defeating 2016 runner-up Matt Sughrue, 5 and 4, in their morning quarterfinal match before nearly duplicating that effort with a 5-and-3 triumph over Frank Vana in the semifinals a few hours later. It was a pair of commanding performances by the 2010 and 2012 champion, who is trying to become just the second player to win the championship three times. Lewis Oehmig won in 1972, 1976 and 1985.

      Simson, of Raleigh, N.C., lost just three holes during Wednesday’s double dip, and he had a built-in advantage in his afternoon match. His quick win in the morning allowed him some extra time to recharge, while Vana went 21 holes in his quarterfinal win over John Pierce. On the first hole of his semifinal match, Simson hit his approach shot from a fairway bunker to 15 feet, rolled in his birdie putt, and he was off to the races. A double bogey by Vana on No. 2 put Simson 2 up, and he never led by less than that the rest of the way.

      “Sometimes your karma is off after a long match like that, and he's got to come in, have a quick lunch, and then get ready to go out again in a hurry, whereas I had 2½ hours,” said Simson, who didn’t make another birdie during the match, but took advantage of several Vana miscues. “It can work against you, though. Sometimes you can get stiff.”

      Simson also birdied the first hole against Sughrue on Wednesday morning to jump out to an early lead, and birdies on Nos. 4 and 6 helped lift him to a 4-up lead through nine holes to put the match squarely in his control. An errant tee shot by Sughrue on No. 14 led to an approach shot that came to rest behind the green, and when he missed his 10-foot par try, the match was over.

      While a Simson victory would mark the fifth time the championship was won by a player who is at least 66 years of age, a Knapp triumph would make him the first U.S. Senior Amateur rookie to win the championship since Louis Lee was victorious in 2011 at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. Like Simson, Knapp, 55, never trailed in either of his matches on Wednesday, but he played a lot more golf than his Thursday opponent.

      The Oakmont, Pa., resident won the first three holes of his quarterfinal match with David Nocar, but Nocar pulled even with wins on Nos. 5, 6 and 7. A stretch of bogey-free golf over the next seven holes put Knapp 3 up with 4 holes to play, but Nocar, also a first-time competitor in the championship, had a chance to send the match to the home hole with a 12-foot birdie try. It just went begging, setting up Knapp’s matchup with defending champion Dave Ryan in the semifinals.

      Knapp jumped out to a 3-up lead on Ryan, who was trying to become the first back-to-back champion since former USGA president William C. Campbell in 1980. He held the same advantage through 14 holes, but faltered on his first three chances to close out the match. After a ragged approach shot on No. 15 led to a bogey, he pulled his tee shot into the trees to the left of No. 16, which led to another missed green and another bogey. Ryan needed to make a downhill, 7-foot par putt to extend the match on No. 17, and he did, sending the duo to No. 18 with Knapp clinging to a 1-up lead. A lagged birdie putt to concession range was enough to seal the deal, sending Knapp to his first final in a USGA championship.

      “I think for most of us, it takes an understanding of how important it is to be here, what's at hand. The chance may never come again in a lifetime. You can't take it lightly. It's so tough,” said Knapp, who reached the semifinals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2008 and 2010, and fell to Tiger Woods in the 1995 U.S. Amateur in the Round of 16. “You need to play to win, and obviously you have to have the game to do that, and I haven't always had the game, but today I think I had a little bit of game and I had the desire.”

      By advancing to the final, both Knapp and Simson earn exemptions into the 2018 U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, Colo. They also secured spots in the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, and three-year exemptions into the Senior Amateur. The champion earns a 10-year exemption into the Senior Amateur.

      For Knapp, all of the perks that come with a spot in the final will allow him to really focus on the task at hand.

      “A lot of the pressure is off now. A guy like me, I'm living on the edge, year to year, trying to qualify. I grinded my butt off to make it to here. At the end of the day, when you start to advance and you get to the finals, there's just a lot of gravy, a lot of carrots, so to speak, that come with it,” said Knapp. “Not that winning will mean even more, but tomorrow for the first time, I can focus on that as opposed to, wow, there's so much at hand here, so much at stake. I'm excited about it. This is what we all play golf for, and I'm familiar with Paul, and we'll just go get it tomorrow.”

      Indeed, Simson and Knapp are familiar foes. The two were in each other’s crosshairs twice in 1998, the first time in a playoff for a U.S. Open spot, and later that year, as opponents in the U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinals. Simson had the upper hand in both instances.

      If things go in Simson’s favor on Thursday morning, three times will be the charm, in more than one respect.

      “I've been playing pretty well all summer and have been on the periphery of having a really good year,” he said after his victory over Vana. “You know, I've done a lot of good things, but it's just been a little bit off, and it has pretty much come together this week.”

      Meet the Quarterfinalists 

      Two-Time Champion Simson, Captures Two Matches on Tuesday

      MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Aug. 29, 2017) - Paul Simson, of Raleigh, N.C., didn’t relish his task on Tuesday afternoon, squaring off against good friend and fellow U.S. Senior Amateur champion Chip Lutz in the Round of 16 of the 63rd championship at the par-72, 6,557-yard Minikahda Club. But he did what he had to do, eliminating Lutz for the second consecutive year in convincing fashion to reach the quarterfinal round.

      “It’s unfortunate, but if you play well with other former champions, eventually you’re gonna meet,” said Simson, 66, who won this championship in 2010 and 2012. “Chip and I are buddies, but it’s all business when it comes to the competition. You’d cut the guy’s heart out to beat him, and you’ll shake his hand afterwards.”

      The U.S. Senior Amateur is one of 13 annual national championships conducted by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The championship is open to amateurs at least 55 years of age with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. It consists of two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which concludes with an 18-hole final on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

      Simson played 4-under-par golf over 14 holes, closing out the 2015 champion, 6 and 4, with a winning par on No. 14. Last year, in the Round of 32 at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo., Simson prevailed over Lutz, 5 and 3. Both have been the low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open, albeit 15 years apart – Simson in 2001 and Lutz last year.

      “There’s a camaraderie and a mutual respect, and we play just as hard as we can,” said Simson, who was an All-America player at the University of New Mexico. “I have to admit that I didn’t play my best in my first two matches. Two 1-up wins is not exactly breezing, but this was kind of a breeze.”

      Simson held off John Hornbeck, 1 up, in Tuesday’s morning Round of 32 before ousting Lutz, setting up a matchup with 2016 runner-up Matt Sughrue, of Arlington, Va., in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Sughrue, 57, the championship’s No. 2 seed, eliminated his good friend and fellow Virginian Keith Decker in the Round of 16, 3 and 2, after defeating John Fisher, 4 and 3, in the morning.

      Defending champion Dave Ryan, who topped Sughrue, 2 up, at Old Warson last September, posted a pair of 2-and-1 wins on Tuesday, over Ronald LaVerdiere in the morning and Michael Hughett in the afternoon. He closed out Hughett in the afternoon when both players missed birdie tries from inside 10 feet on the 17th green.

      “I didn’t have my best stuff today, to be honest with you,” said Ryan, 63, of Taylorville, Ill., who was helped by an ace on a drivable par 4 in his 20-hole, Round-of-16 win over Simson last year. “It was a little bit of smoke and mirrors. But I hung in there and fortunately I won. I’m going to have to play well [on Wednesday], though.”

      Ryan will take on one of the five championship newcomers to make the quarterfinal round. Ken Lee, of Franklin, Tenn., earned a pair of impressive wins on Tuesday, defeating Mark Coward, 4 and 3, in the morning before ousting Bob Cooper, 6 and 5, in the afternoon. Lee pointed to the incoming nine as a favored part of the Minikahda layout, which has hosted a U.S. Open (1916) and a U.S. Amateur (1927) among its five previous USGA championships.

      “It’s probably the better part of the golf course for me, because of my length,” said Lee, 56, of holes 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. “It’s where the golf course stretches out a little bit. Driver becomes a little more critical, and I have been taking advantage of it, playing very well when it counts.”

      The other quarterfinal matchups feature U.S. Senior Amateur rookies: David Nocar, of Millersville, Md., against Sean Knapp, of Oakmont, Pa.; and John Pierce, of San Antonio, Texas, against Frank Vana, of Boxford, Mass.

      Knapp is a two-time semifinalist in the U.S. Mid-Amateur, and he helped the Keystone State earn the 2009 USGA Men’s State Team Championship, joined by good friend and five-time USGA champion Nathan Smith. Knapp ousted Minnesota native Scott Thomas, 6 and 5, before topping 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion Doug Hanzel, 2 and 1.

      “Nathan and I are good friends, and I’ve watched him go about his business,” said Knapp, 55. “Even though it’s my first Senior Am, I’ve played in a lot of Mid-Ams and U.S. Ams, and there’s a formula. It’s about playing solid golf and forcing your opponent to make mistakes, and try to not give any holes away. I did a good job of that today.”

      For Nocar, 55, the quarterfinal round represents his farthest advancement in a USGA championship, and it guarantees those players of a spot in the field in next year’s championship at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club. Nocar topped Claud Cooper, 4 and 3, in the morning and held off John McClure, 2 up, in the afternoon.

      “Making the quarterfinals is pretty special,” said Nocar, who held a 4-up lead before McClure rallied to take the match to No. 18, where he conceded Nocar’s par putt after missing his own. “You try not to think about it, but I got over a couple of shots and started thinking about what it would mean to win, which doesn’t help the outcome.”

      Vana, 55, who is competing in his 31st USGA championship, has played at least 18 holes in all three of his matches. He prevailed in 19 holes over Alan Hill in the afternoon, after Hill sank a 35-foot birdie putt to extend the match on No. 18. Vana eliminated 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up Bryan Norton, 1 up, in the morning, as the players halved the last five holes with par 4s.

      Pierce, 55, required 20 holes in the morning to defeat No. 3 Mitch Wilson, then eased past Russ Perry, 4 and 3, in the afternoon.

      The winners of Wednesday morning’s four matches, which start at 7:15 CDT, will play at 1 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. for the right to meet in Thursday’s championship match.

      “It is nice having been there before,” said Simson, whose best finish since his 2012 win is last year’s Round-of-16 loss to Ryan. “You never know when your time is up, and I’ve got to be careful not to have a letdown because I’m playing Matt in the morning. He’s probably got a chip on his shoulder from being runner-up last year.”

      As usual, the match promises to be as friendly as it is fierce.

      Medalist, Defending Champion Headline Round-of-64 Winners

      MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Aug. 28, 2017) - In a championship abundant with newcomers, familiar faces also continued to make their presence felt at The Minikahda Club on Monday with victories in the Round of 64 of the 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.

      The U.S. Senior Amateur is one of 13 annual national championships conducted by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The championship is open to amateurs at least 55 years of age with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. It consists of two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which concludes with an 18-hole final on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

      Stroke-play medalist David Brown, who is making his championship debut, advanced, 3 and 2, over Scott Smith, and he was joined by defending champion Dave Ryan and 2016 runner-up Matt Sughrue. Ryan, of Taylorville, Ill., was one of four Senior Amateur champions to win on Monday, out of the six who had advanced to match play.

      The No. 5 seed in match play, Ryan, 63, defeated the No. 60 seed, Michael Rowley, 1 up, in a match he trailed after nine holes. Ryan took the lead in the match with a birdie on the par-3 11th hole, and he added a winning birdie on No. 14, but Rowley was able to square the match both times. Rowley bogeyed No. 15 to give Ryan a 1-up lead once again, and he missed a 10-foot, downhill birdie putt on No. 18 that would have sent the contest to extra holes.

      “Michael was a tough opponent today. It could’ve gone either way. To be honest, I was fortunate to beat him,” said Ryan. “The last two holes we both had great birdie putts, I could have made them or he could have made them, we both missed. That was the match right there.”

      A championship-match encore is still possible, with Sughrue on the other side of the match-play draw as the No. 2 seed. Sughrue, of Arlington, Va., won, 3 and 2, over No. 63 David Szewczul. With the match all square through 10 holes, Sughrue went on a birdie-eagle-birdie run, making a 2 on the par-4 12th hole, which was playing just 270 yards on Monday. His birdie on the par-5 13th hole moved him to 3 up.

      Brown, 56, knew first-hand not to take medalist honors as a harbinger of match-play success. In the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur at the Stanwich Club, in Greenwich, Conn., Brown was the No. 63 seed in the match-play draw and defeated the co-medalist in the Round of 64, the only other time he had advanced to match play in a USGA championship. On Monday at Minikahda, the tables were turned, and as the medalist, he faced stiff competition in Scott Smith, the No. 64 seed.

      Brown fell 2 down through nine holes after Smith made a birdie putt from about 50 feet, and despite not carding a birdie on Monday, Brown won five of the next seven holes to secure a 3-and-2 victory.

      “When you’re 2 down, and you’re running out of real estate, it’s hard. When it’s, ‘If you don’t get this done, you’re going home,’ it’s just a little bit more pressure,” said Brown, of Ligonier, Pa. “You can win the first three holes and wind up losing the match.”

      In addition to Ryan, fellow Senior Amateur champions Paul Simson (2010 and 2012), of Raleigh, N.C.; Doug Hanzel (2013), of Savannah, Ga.; and Chip Lutz (2015), of Reading, Pa., all advanced on Monday. Bryan Norton, the runner-up in 2014, also advanced, as did five of the eight quarterfinalists from 2016, all of whom had made it to match play.

      Included in the group of quarterfinalists to advance to Tuesday play was John McClure, of Los Angeles, Calif., who was victorious, 4 and 3, over Robert Polk. McClure made just one birdie during 36 holes of stroke play Saturday and Sunday, but kicked off his match Monday with back-to-back circles on his scorecard to take a 2-up lead. He was 5 up with five holes to play before closing out Polk on the 15th hole.

      “You do it once and you want to get back there again,” said McClure, 58, of the run he made in 2016 at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. “It’s been motivation all year to play well in this tournament, keep your game in shape and try to get back here and see if you can go a little further.”

      Joining Brown as one of the 16 U.S. Senior Amateur rookies to advance to the Round of 32 was Gene Elliott, of West Des Moines, Iowa, who raced out to a 4-up lead through eight holes over 2014 champion Patrick Tallent before notching a 6-and-4 win. The medalist in the 1999 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, Elliott is in his first year of Senior Amateur eligibility. Frank Vana, of Boxford, Mass., who turned 55 on Aug. 21, was another newcomer to advance, as was Scott Thomas. Thomas, 59, lives in Chesterfield, Mo., but grew up less than 20 minutes from Minikahda in Hopkins, Minn.

      Winners of Tuesday morning’s Round-of-32 matches will tee it up again in the afternoon in the Round of 16. By day’s end, the championship’s quarterfinalists will be determined.

      Match Play Results

      Round -- (Round of 64) - Monday, Aug. 28, 2017
      David Brown, Ligonier, Pa. (138) def. Scott Smith, Houston, Texas (152), 3 and 2
      John McClure, Los Angeles, Calif. (148) def. Robert Polk, Parker, Colo. (148), 4 and 3
      Claud Cooper, Birmingham, Ala. (146) def. Greg Condon, Monte Vista, Colo. (151), 6 and 4
      David Nocar, Millersville, Md. (146) def. Ian Harris, Bloomfield, Mich. (150), 2 up
      Scott Thomas, Chesterfield, Mo. (151) def. Buzz Fly, Memphis, Tenn. (144), 1 up
      Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa. (147) def. Duke Delcher, Bluffton, S.C. (150), 2 and 1
      Doug Hanzel, Savannah, Ga. (144) def. Michael Dunsmore, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (151), 5 and 3
      Ned Zachar, Bedford, N.Y. (147) def. George Zahringer, New York, N.Y. (150), 2 up
      Craig Steinberg, Agoura Hills, Calif. (152) def. Chuck Palmer, Dallas, Texas (140), 1 up
      Bob Cooper, Monroe, La. (147) def. Steve Rogers, Bowling Green, Ky. (148), 3 and 2
      Ken Lee, Franklin, Tenn. (146) def. Jack Kearney, Peachtree City, Ga. (151), 4 and 2
      Mark Coward, Paradise Valley, Ariz. (150) def. Bart Dornier, Metairie, La. (147), 20 holes
      Dave Ryan, Taylorville, Ill. (142) def. Michael Rowley, San Luis Obispo, Calif. (152), 1 up
      Ronald LaVerdiere, Amherst, Mass. (149) def. Kevin Cahill, Waukesha, Wis. (147), 3 and 2
      Michael Hughett, Tulsa, Okla. (145) def. Larry Corson, Westlake, Texas (151), 3 and 2
      James Pearson, Charlotte, N.C. (150) def. T.J. Brudzinski, Columbus, Ohio (147), 1 up
      Matthew Sughrue, Arlington, Va. (140) def. David Szewczul, Farmington, Conn. (152), 3 and 1
      John Fisher, Collierville, Tenn. (148) def. Andrew Fogarty, Ballwin, Mo. (148), 2 and 1
      Keith Decker, Martinsville, Va. (146) def. George Marucci Jr., Villanova, Pa. (151), 1 up
      Gene Elliott, West Des Moines, Iowa (146) def. Patrick Tallent, Vienna, Va. (150), 6 and 4
      Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. (143) def. Jay Sessa, Garden City, N.Y. (152), 1 up
      John Hornbeck, Saratoga, Wyo. (149) def. Bev Hargraves, Little Rock, Ark. (147), 2 and 1
      Chip Lutz, Reading, Pa. (144) def. David Nelson, Reno, Nev. (151), 1 up
      Don Donatoni, Malvern, Pa. (150) def. Larry Clark, Kingston, Ga. (147), 4 and 2
      Mitch Wilson, Portage, Mich. (140) def. Gordon Marshall, Sarasota, Fla. (152), 5 and 4
      John Pierce, San Antonio, Texas (148) def. Jeff Hoffman, Folsom, Calif. (148), 1 up
      Bob Royak, Alpharetta, Ga. (151) def. Don Dubois, Newport Beach, Calif. (146), 3 and 2
      Russ Perry, Winston Salem, N.C. (146) def. Steve Golliher, Knoxville, Tenn. (150), 20 holes
      Bryan Norton, Mission Hills, Kan. (152) def. Tim Jackson, Germantown, Tenn. (142), 2 and 1
      Frank Vana, Boxford, Mass. (149) def. Harrison Rutter, Winston-Salem, N.C. (147), 1 up
      Chris Hartenstein, Austin, Texas (151) def. Brady Exber, Las Vegas, Nev. (144), By concession
      Alan Hill, Spring Branch, Texas (150) def. Jack Hall, Savannah, Ga. (147), 2 up

      David Brown Earns Medalist Honors in 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur

      MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Aug. 27, 2017) - David Brown, of Ligonier, Pa., posted a 2-under-par round of 70 on Sunday for a 6-under total of 138 to earn medalist honors in the 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at The Minikahda Club. Brown, 56, who is competing in his first U.S. Senior Amateur, topped a trio of players by two strokes to earn the No. 1 seed for match play, which begins on Monday with 64 players.

      The bracket is not yet complete, as 12 players are tied for 58th place at 8-over-par 152 after 36 holes of stroke play, necessitating a playoff for the final seven spots in match play. The hole-by-hole playoff will begin on Monday at 7 a.m. CDT on the 10th hole at Minikahda, a 423-yard par 4.

      “I’ve been to a lot of USGA events and I’ve been much better prepared and not made match play,” said Brown, who has only qualified for match play once before in a USGA championship, the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur, where he reached the Round of 16. “I’m just fortunate that I made some great putts and I had some good breaks.”

      The U.S. Senior Amateur is one of 13 annual national championships conducted by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The championship is open to amateurs at least 55 years of age with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. It consists of two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which concludes with an 18-hole final on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

      Brown failed to qualify for this championship in 2016, his first year of eligibility. He made 11 birdies over his two tours of Minikahda, which has hosted five previous USGA championships, including the 1916 U.S. Open and the 1927 U.S. Amateur. Three players finished two strokes behind Brown, including Matthew Sughrue, of Arlington, Va., the runner-up in the 2016 championship to Dave Ryan, of Taylorville, Ill.

      Sughrue, who shot rounds of 68-72, was joined by Chuck Palmer, of Dallas, Texas, and Mitch Wilson, of Kalamazoo, Mich., both of whom shot 72-68. Ryan was one stroke farther back, along with Tim Jackson, of Germantown, Tenn., the 1994 and 2001 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, who has gotten to the semifinal round of this championship the past two years.

      “I was a little apprehensive about not making match play,” admitted 2016 champion Ryan, who shot 73-69. “It puts a lot of pressure on you. But I got through that. I was shooting to the middle of greens, playing conservative. I was trying to par every hole, and I made some birdies along the way.”

      Two-time champion Paul Simson (2010 and 2012) was another stroke back at 1-under 143, while two more champions – Doug Hanzel (2013) and Chip Lutz (2015) – were in a group of four players at even-par 144.

      Seven players broke 70 on Sunday, compared to two in Saturday’s first round. Among them was David Nocar, of Millersville, Md., who improved on Sunday’s round by eight strokes (77-69) to tie for 13th place at 2-over 146.

      “As poorly as I played yesterday, I played good today,” said Nocar, who has won his club championship 19 times. “The third hole, par 3, I hit an iron shot in there about 5 feet and the swing just felt really good. It was the first solid swing I felt like I’d had all day, and that really carried through to the rest of the round.”

      No. 1 seed Brown now awaits his Round-of-64 opponent from the morning playoff, but knows that match play is a different game, having defeated the co-medalist (Bill Sharp) as the No. 63 player in the 2002 Mid-Amateur at The Stanwich Club, in Greenwich, Conn.

      “I know [being medalist] doesn’t mean anything for match play because there’s going to be 64 players and 32 are going to go home disappointed,” said Brown, who lost to five-time USGA champion Nathan Smith in the Pennsylvania match-play final last month. “It’s a strange game, a fun game. I really enjoy match play, especially on a course like this, with the menacing greens. The hole’s not over until someone puts it in the bottom of the cup.”

      George “Buddy” Marucci Jr. (2008) and Patrick Tallent (2014) rounded out the six champions who advanced to match play, posting 36-hole scores of 7-over 151 and 6-over 150, respectively.

      Stewart “Buddy” Alexander, the 1986 U.S. Amateur champion, was among the players to miss the 36-hole cut, shooting 9-over 153 to miss the playoff by one stroke.

      The Minikahda Club
      Minneapolis, Minn.

      David Brown, Ligonier, Pa. - 68-70--138
      Matthew Sughrue, Arlington, Va. - 68-72--140
      Mitch Wilson, Portage, Mich. - 72-68--140
      Chuck Palmer, Dallas, Texas - 72-68--140
      Dave Ryan, Taylorville, Ill. - 73-69--142
      Tim Jackson, Germantown, Tenn. - 70-72--142
      Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. - 73-70--143
      Buzz Fly, Memphis, Tenn. - 74-70--144
      Doug Hanzel, Savannah, Ga. - 74-70--144
      Chip Lutz, Reading, Pa. - 72-72--144
      Brady Exber, Las Vegas, Nev. - 71-73--144
      Michael Hughett, Tulsa, Okla. - 74-71--145
      Ken Lee, Manchester, Tenn. - 77-69--146
      Don Dubois, Newport Beach, Calif. - 71-75--146
      Keith Decker, Martinsville, Va. - 74-72--146
      Claud Cooper, Birmingham, Ala. - 75-71--146
      David Nocar, Millersville, Md. - 77-69--146
      Gene Elliott, West Des Moines, Iowa - 77-69--146
      Russ Perry, Winston Salem, N.C. - 75-71--146
      Bart Dornier, Metairie, La. - 71-76--147
      T.J. Brudzinski, Columbus, Ohio - 74-73--147
      Jack Hall, Savannah, Ga. - 72-75--147
      Larry Clark, Kingston, Ga. - 74-73--147
      Ned Zachar, Bedford, N.Y. - 72-75--147
      Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa. - 76-71--147
      Bev Hargraves, Little Rock, Ark. - 72-75--147
      Harrison Rutter, Winston-Salem, N.C. - 73-74--147
      Kevin Cahill, Waukesha, Wis. - 75-72--147
      Bob Cooper, Monroe, La. - 73-74--147
      John Pierce, San Antonio, Texas - 74-74--148
      Andrew Fogarty, Ballwin, Mo. - 75-73--148
      Robert Polk, Parker, Colo. - 77-71--148
      John McClure, Los Angeles, Calif. - 75-73--148
      John Fisher, Collierville, Tenn. - 75-73--148
      Jeff Hoffman, Folsom, Calif. - 73-75--148
      Steve Rogers, Bowling Green, Ky. - 76-72--148
      Ronald LaVerdiere, Amherst, Mass. - 76-73--149
      Frank Vana, Boxford, Mass. - 75-74--149
      John Hornbeck, Saratoga, Wyo. - 80-69--149
      Duke Delcher, Bluffton, S.C. - 74-76--150
      George Zahringer, New York, N.Y. - 76-74--150
      Don Donatoni, Malvern, Pa. - 79-71--150
      Alan Hill, Spring Branch, Texas - 76-74--150
      James Pearson, Charlotte, N.C. - 74-76--150
      Mark Coward, Paradise Valley, Ariz. - 74-76--150
      Steve Golliher, Knoxville, Tenn. - 75-75--150
      Patrick Tallent, Vienna, Va. - 77-73--150
      Ian Harris, Bloomfield, Mich. - 74-76--150
      Greg Condon, Monte Vista, Colo. - 73-78--151
      George Marucci Jr., Villanova, Pa. - 74-77--151
      Bob Royak, Alpharetta, Ga. - 78-73--151
      Jack Kearney, Peachtree City, Ga. - 74-77--151
      Larry Corson, Westlake, Texas - 72-79--151
      Chris Hartenstein, Austin, Texas - 71-80--151
      David Nelson, Reno, Nev. - 75-76--151
      Michael Dunsmore, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - 79-72--151
      Scott Thomas, Chesterfield, Mo. - 75-76--151
      Keith Holmes, Macon, Ga. - 77-75--152
      Scott Smith, Houston, Texas - 75-77--152
      Reid Sheftall, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. - 74-78--152
      Michael Rowley, San Luis Obispo, Calif. - 72-80--152
      Craig Steinberg, Agoura Hills, Calif. - 76-76--152
      Jay Sessa, Garden City, N.Y. - 77-75--152
      Rusty Brown, Phoenix, Ariz. - 75-77--152
      Bryan Norton, Mission Hills, Kan. - 77-75--152
      Robert Johnson, Vacaville, Calif. - 74-78--152
      Gordon Marshall, Sarasota, Fla. - 77-75--152
      David Szewczul, Farmington, Conn. - 77-75--152
      William Charpek, Red Bank, N.J. - 74-78--152
      Rand Mendez, Wilmington, Del. - 75-78--153
      Todd Hendley, Greer, S.C. - 79-74--153
      Jim Rollefson, Franklin, Wis. - 77-76--153
      Chip Holcombe, Saint Johns, Fla. - 71-82--153
      Dave Williamson, Crawfordsville, Ind. - 74-79--153
      James Smith, Orchard Park, N.Y. - 77-76--153
      Stewart Alexander, Auburn, Ala. - 77-76--153
      Geno Berchiatti, Greenville, S.C. - 78-75--153
      Rafe Johnston, Vernal, Utah - 77-76--153
      Scott Mayne, Harrisburg, Pa. - 77-77--154
      Alex Moore, Winnetk, Ill. - 76-78--154
      Mike Arter, Lakeville, Mass. - 79-75--154
      Mike Bodney, Jacksonville, Fla. - 77-77--154
      Tom Brandes, Bellevue, Wash. - 78-76--154
      David Ujihara, Brea, Calif. - 79-75--154
      Kenneth Coutant, Dallas, Texas - 77-77--154
      Paul Schlachter, Pittsburgh, Pa. - 78-76--154
      Jim McNelis, Gig Harbor, Wash. - 77-77--154
      Michael Kelly, Odenton, Md. - 75-80--155
      Steven Jacobs, Highland Park, Ill. - 77-78--155
      Walter Odiorne, Blythewood, S.C. - 81-74--155
      Christopher Clauson, Philadelphia, Pa. - 81-74--155
      Frank Remmes, Lilburn, Ga. - 79-76--155
      Brad Carey, Lake Oswego, Ore. - 78-78--156
      Steven Liebler, Irmo, S.C. - 78-78--156
      Roc Irey, Furlong, Pa. - 84-72--156
      Jeff Teal, Excelsior, Minn. - 76-80--156
      Scott Roser, Ruidoso, N.M. - 80-76--156
      John Coles III, Birmingham, Ala. - 79-77--156
      Jim Volpenhein, Cincinnati, Ohio - 79-77--156
      Carl Ho, Honolulu, Hawaii - 82-74--156
      Michael Dallmeyer, Jefferson City, Mo. - 81-75--156
      Terry Werner, Dyer, Ind. - 79-77--156
      Brian Secia, Nantucket, Mass. - 79-78--157
      Jeff Britton, Carmel, Calif. - 78-79--157
      Monty Guest, Solon, Ohio - 79-78--157
      James Sewell, Cameron Park, Calif. - 76-81--157
      Frank Acker, Henderson, Nev. - 80-77--157
      Gary Durbin, Houston, Texas - 84-73--157
      Rick Cloninger, Fort Mill, S.C. - 76-81--157
      Jeff Holmgaard, Rockford, Ill. - 76-81--157
      Bill Jackson, McKinney, Texas - 83-74--157
      Thomas Destefani, Western Springs, Ill. - 74-83--157
      Bradley Karns, Vancouver, Wash. - 78-79--157
      Daniel Sivadge, El Cajon, Calif. - 79-79--158
      Edward Bugniazet, Harrison, N.Y. - 80-78--158
      Mark Vassalotti, Stamford, Conn. - 78-80--158
      Mark Guadagni, Hudson, Ohio - 79-79--158
      David Whittaker, Duluth, Minn. - 81-78--159
      Stu Strang, Olney, Md. - 78-81--159
      Lloyd Fisher, Dade City, Fla. - 78-81--159
      William Gist, Omaha, Neb. - 77-82--159
      Mike Poe, Loudon, Tenn. - 80-79--159
      Casey Boyns, Monterey, Calif. - 79-80--159
      Rich Rowley, San Jose, Calif. - 84-75--159
      Gary Havro, Claremont, Calif. - 79-81--160
      William Jackson, Oklahoma City, Okla. - 82-78--160
      Ted Zurkowski, Chicago, Ill. - 85-75--160
      David Brown, Minnetonka, Minn. - 82-78--160
      Guy Mertz, Longmont, Colo. - 81-79--160
      Ed McDugle, Memphis, Tenn. - 79-81--160
      Kelly Denessen, Snohomish, Wash. - 82-78--160
      Dean Prince, Paradise, Calif. - 79-81--160
      Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va. - 82-79--161
      Iain Macdonald, Fullerton, Calif. - 76-85--161
      Stephen Fox, Barboursville, W.Va. - 80-81--161
      Kent Spriggs, Fargo, N.D. - 82-79--161
      Keith Wood, Atlanta, Ga. - 79-83--162
      Scott Hood, Corona, Calif. - 79-83--162
      Thomas Kmak, Scottsdale, Ariz. - 80-83--163
      Murphy Mitchell, Scottsdale, Ariz. - 81-82--163
      Rod Skyles, Eagle, Idaho - 83-80--163
      Chris Chocola, Harbor Springs, Mich. - 85-78--163
      Jerry Hudgins, Tyler, Texas - 84-79--163
      Scott Ichimura, Mililani, Hawaii - 81-83--164
      Jorge Cora, Atlanta, Ga. - 78-86--164
      Steven Brown, Chandler, Ariz. - 85-79--164
      Sam Billmeyer, Ankeny, Iowa - 82-83--165
      Gene Cook, Woodinville, Wash. - 82-83--165
      Greg Myers, Twinsburg, Ohio - 85-82--167
      Randall Garber, Lakeville, Minn. - 84-84--168
      John Barry, Lakeville, Minn. - 85-83--168
      Joel Benes, North Miami Beach, Fla. - 86-82--168
      Bradley Niswonger, Elm Grove, Wis. - 85-85--170
      Murphy Hart, Benton, Ill. - 89-84--173
      Gary Blackwell, Jacksonville, Fla. - 79-WD--WD
      William Hadden, Manchester Village, Vt. - WD