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Players to Watch at the U.S. Senior Amateur
EUGENE, Ore. (August 24, 2018) - The 156-player field for the 64th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship is set, and players will tee it up at the Minikahda Club as stroke play begins on Saturday with the biggest title in senior amateur golf up for grabs.

Related: 64th U.S. Senior Amateur: A Closer Look at the Field
Related: U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifying Roundup

Here is a look at some of the key players to watch:

Mike Booker
Mike Booker
Mike Booker, 63, of The Woodlands, Texas, is a former University of Houston All-American who competed on the 1977 NCAA championship team. The 2015 Texas Senior Amateur champion is a three-time Texas Senior Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015), and was selected in 2014 as Golfweek magazine’s “Local Legend.” Booker has competed in 10 USGA championships, making it to the Round of 16 in the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur. He won his fourth Carlton Woods Senior Invitational earlier this year.

Tom Brandes
Tom Brandes
Tom Brandes, 62, of Bellevue, Washington, was the runner-up in the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur. He has competed in the U.S. Senior Open five times, most recently in 2016, and has represented Washington in the USGA Men’s State Team Championship four times. Brandes has won numerous Washington State Golf Association and Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) titles, and was inducted into the PNGA Hall of Fame in 2015. Brandes grew up in Eugene, Ore., and graduated from Marist High before enrolling at Seattle University. This is his 20th USGA championship.

Craig Davis
Craig Davis
Craig Davis, 56, of Chula Vista, Calif., was named 2018 Southern California Senior Player of the Year and 2017 Southern California Senior Runner-Up Player of the Year. He won the 2017 Southern California Senior Amateur, the 2017 Southern California Senior Match Play, and most recently the 2018 Southern California Senior Amateur. This is Davis’ fifth USGA championship, dating to the 1978 U.S. Junior Amateur, where he advanced to the Round of 64.

Jimmy Dunne
Jimmy Dunne
James “Jimmy” Dunne, 61, of New York, N.Y., attempted to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur on Sept. 11, 2001. Dunne only completed four holes before finding out the World Trade Center was under attack. Dunne’s investment-banking firm, Sandler O’Neill, was located on the 104th floor of the South Tower. Sixty-six Sandler O’Neill employees died that day, among them Chris Quackenbush, Dunne’s best friend and golf partner. Nine years later, Dunne was playing a round at Shinnecock Hills when he made a hole-in-one on No.11 and set a course-record score of 63. The ball that Dunne had been using was marked with a “Q” to honor and remember Quackenbush. Dunne continues to work at Sandler O’Neill as the senior managing principal, and his legacy will continue to live on through the foundation he started, which is committed to paying for the schooling of the 76 kids who lost their parents that tragic day. This is Dunne’s first USGA championship appearance.

Gene Elliott
Gene Elliott
Gene Elliott, 56, of West Des Moines, Iowa, is the current #1 player in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Player-of-the-Year points standings. He has competed in more than 20 USGA championships. He was a quarterfinalist in the 2006 U.S. Mid-Amateur, and was the stroke-play medalist in the 1999 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. A 2012 inductee into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame, Elliott is a three-time Iowa Amateur champion and two-time Iowa Open champion. He won the Porter Cup, one of the nation’s most prestigious amateur events, in 1998.

Robert Funk
Robert Funk
Robert Funk, 55, of Canyon Lake, Calif., is coming off a 60th-place finish in the 2018 U.S. Senior Open. Following ankle surgery on his left foot in 2015, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. In 2016 he underwent ankle surgery on his right foot but still finished tied for 14th in the Crane Cup and third in the Kelly Cup. Funk was the low amateur in the 2017 U.S. Senior Open.

Randy Haag
Randy Haag
Randy Haag, 59, of Orinda, Calif., has played in 39 USGA championships. Haag has played in 7 professional majors (including three U.S. Senior Opens) with low amateur honors at Carnoustie in 2010 and 2011 at Walton Heath in the 2011 British Senior Open. The six-time Northern California Golf Association player of the year made the quarterfinals of the 1993 U.S. Mid-Amateur when it was held at Eugene Country Club.

Doug Hanzel
Doug Hanzel
Doug Hanzel, 61, of Savannah, Ga., was the 2017 AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of the Year. The 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion has won 13 national senior tournaments in the last three seasons, including this year's Gasparilla Senior and Golfweek Player-of-the-Year Classic. A graduate of Kent State University, where he played on the golf team and now has a golf scholarship in his name, Hanzel works as a pulmonologist, and was named Golf Digest’s top doctor golfer in 2008. He has qualified for the U.S. Amateur in five different decades, spanning from 1978 to 2015. He was the low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open in 2012 and 2013. He is a diabetic and plays golf with an insulin pump.

Tim Jackson
Tim Jackson
Tim Jackson, 59, of Germantown, Tenn., won the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1994 and 2001. He represented the USA in the Walker Cup in 1995 and 1999, and was the low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open in 2009, 2010 and 2011. His most recent national senior win was earlier this year in the Coleman Senior at Seminole. He is a nine-time Tennessee Player of the Year and has served as president of the Tennessee Golf Association. Jackson is a 2012 inductee into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Sean Knapp
Sean Knapp
Sean Knapp, 56, of Oakmont, Pa., is the defending champion in the event and has competed in more than 40 USGA championships. He is a two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinalist and reached the quarterfinals in the 1998 U.S. Amateur. He reached the Round of 16 in the 1995 U.S. Amateur before losing, 2 and 1, to eventual champion Tiger Woods. He is a 14-time Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Player of the Year and won the Pennsylvania State Amateur Championship in 1997. Most recently he won a record-tying 8th West Penn Amateur title.

Chip Lutz
Chip Lutz
Chip Lutz, 63, of Reading, Pa., is the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur champion. He has won the British Seniors Amateur Championship three times and the Canadian Senior Amateur on two occasions. The attorney played golf at the University of Florida and is a seven-time Golf Association of Philadelphia Senior Player of the Year. He was the low amateur in the 2016 U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. His most recent national senior win was last year's George C. Thomas Invitational.

Michael McCoy
Michael McCoy
Michael McCoy, 55, of Des Moines, Iowa, has competed in 53 USGA championships, including 18 U.S. Amateurs. He was the low amateur in the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Senior Opens and in 2013 was the second-oldest winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. McCoy, a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team, works in the insurance business and is an Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member. McCoy won the Trans-Mississippi Senior Championship earlier this summer.

Pat O’Donnell
Pat O’Donnell
Pat O’Donnell, 64, of Happy Valley Ore., is competing in his eighth U.S. Senior Amateur and seventh consecutive, with his best finish coming in 2013 when he lost in the championship match to Doug Hanzel. He is a nine-time Oregon Golf Association Senior Stroke Play champion and five-time Oregon Golf Association Senior Amateur champion. O’Donnell was named both Oregon Golf Association Player of the Year and Pacific Northwest Player of the Year twice.

Dave Ryan
Dave Ryan
Dave Ryan, 64, of Taylorville, Ill., is the 2017 U.S. Senior Amateur champion. He is a six-time Illinois State Senior Player of the Year, and has competed in the U.S. Senior Open four times (last making the cut in 2015). During his Round-of-16 U.S. Senior Amateur match in 2016 with two-time champion Paul Simson, he made a hole-in-one on a par 4, the only such instance of one in the history of the championship.

Paul Simson
Paul Simson
Paul Simson, 67, of Raleigh, N.C., is the 2010 and 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur champion, and was last-year's runner-up to Sean Knapp. He also won the Canadian Senior Amateur and British Seniors Amateur in 2010. The All-America honoree from the University of New Mexico competed in the 1998 U.S. Open and earned low-amateur honors in the 2001 U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass. He has won numerous national senior championships (including six North & South Seniors to go along with his two North & South Amateurs) and Carolinas Golf Association events over the years.

Matthew Sughrue
Matthew Sughrue
Matthew Sughrue, 58, of Arlington, Va., was the runner-up in the 2016 U.S. Senior Amateur to Dave Ryan and made the quarterfinals last year. He has also qualified for two of the last three U.S. Mid-Amateur championships. The 2016 Maryland Senior Player of the Year made a career change after 25 years in the insurance business, going to graduate school to study psychotherapy. He now works as a family therapist and sports performance coach, working with golfers, among other types of athletes.

Frank Vana Jr.
Frank Vana Jr.
Frank Vana Jr., 56, of Boxford, Mass., was a semifinalist in his first U.S. Senior last year and has played in more than 30 USGA championships in his career. He is a two-time Massachusetts Amateur champion and nine-time Massachusetts Mid-Amateur champion. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame in 2016 and was named the Massachusetts Golf Association’s Player of the Decade in both the 1990s and 2000s. He was the youngest player in the field last year, having turned 55 days before the championship.

Jeff Wilson
Jeff Wilson
Jeff Wilson, 55, of Vallejo, Calif., has competed in four U.S. Opens, the most recent in 2008, and earned low-amateur honors in 2000. This year, Wilson was the low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open, joining Vinny Giles as the only players to earn low-amateur honors in the U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open. Wilson has competed in 11 U.S. Amateurs, earning medalist honors in 2000 and 2010. He has played in eight U.S. Mid-Amateurs and been the medalist three times (2000, 2001, 2004).



Results: U.S. Senior Amateur
WinCAJeff WilsonFairfield, CA2000
Runner-upPASean KnappOakmont, PA1500
SemifinalsIAMike McCoyW. Des Moines, IA1000
SemifinalsPAChip LutzReading, PA1000
QuarterfinalsFLJerry RoseSarasota, FL700

View full results for U.S. Senior Amateur

ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Amateur

The USGA Senior Amateur is open to those with a USGA Handicap Index of 7.4 or lower, who are 55 or older on or before the day the championship begins. It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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