U.S. Senior Amateur Preview: Big Canyon set for nation's top seniors
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 12, 2014) — In
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
event, Hanzel will look to go back-to-back while
one hometown favorite is set to
defend his home
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
difficult USGA qualifiers are.”
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
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
which happened in 2012 — the first year he was
eligible for the U.S. Senior
Hanzel also won this year's Georgia Senior
Amateur in late August, which was the
second time he
had won the event.
Exber is having an incredible 2014. After
winning the British Senior Amateur,
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,
Tom Hyland, and Vance Antoniou.
Lutz recently won the Philadelphia Senior
last leg of a "career circle." Lutz has now won
Amateur, Amateur, Mid-Amateur, and Senior
In all, 156 players will tee it up Saturday
morning at Big Canyon, with 2005 Senior
champion Mike Rice, at age 74, being the oldest
player in the field.