U.S. Senior Amateur Preview: Big Canyon set for nation's top seniors
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 12, 2014) — In the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur, Doug Hanzel landed his first USGA title with a huge win at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C.

This year, at Newport Beach's Big Canyon Country Club, who are hosting their first ever USGA event, Hanzel will look to go back-to-back while one hometown favorite is set to defend his home turf.

Don Dubois, a Newport Beach resident and current member at Big Canyon, will be playing in his 12th USGA event, but he says this one will obviously be special.

“It’s actually tougher qualifying for it,” Dubois told the USGA. “Some people don’t understand how difficult USGA qualifiers are.”

Don Dubois
Dubois shot 73 at La Jolla Country Club to earn one of five possible spots, and with Dubois turning 55 just this May, the timing was perfect.

“They are excited about hosting the event and they are happy for me,” said Dubois of the Big Canyon crowd. “They’ll be rooting for me.”

Dubois has an impressive resume up until this point, dating back to his junior days in the 1970s. He lost in the quarterfinals to future U.S. Open winner Steve Jones at the 1976 U.S. Junior Amateur and has played in two U.S. Opens.

Maybe his most miraculous accomplishment came in 2005 when at the age of 46, Dubois won the California State Amateur — a tournament usually dominated by top collegiate talent. He handed 17- year-old future Stanford star Joseph Bramlett a 2-and-1 defeat.

Doug Hanzel
Hanzel, aged 57 of Savannah, Ga., will surely be a favorite this week at Big Canyon having won last year’s event. He is a two-time low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open and is the only player in USGA history to make match play at the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid- Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur in the same year, which happened in 2012 — the first year he was eligible for the U.S. Senior Amateur.

Hanzel also won this year's Georgia Senior Amateur in late August, which was the second time he had won the event.

Brady Exber
58-year- old Brady Exber is having an incredible 2014. After winning the British Senior Amateur, Exber took second at the Canadian Senior Amateur. The success has him currently ranked the No. 1 senior amateur in the United States in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Player Rankings.

Six of the top-15 seniors in the nation will be on hand at Big Canyon. Aside from Exber, the list includes Chip Lutz, Ron Carter, Cyrus Whitney, Tom Hyland, and Vance Antoniou.

Lutz recently won the Philadelphia Senior Amateur, which completed the last leg of a "career circle." Lutz has now won the Philadelphia Junior Amateur, Amateur, Mid-Amateur, and Senior Amateur.

In all, 156 players will tee it up Saturday morning at Big Canyon, with 2005 Senior Amateur champion Mike Rice, at age 74, being the oldest player in the field.

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