BANDON, Ore. (Sept. 30, 2007)-- Tim Hogarth of Northridge, Calif., has been contending in top amateur golf events in his home state since 1996. That was the year he regained his amateur status after a having a “cup of coffee” as a professional golfer.
Success came right from the start.
He won the 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and earned a spot in the 1997 Masters field, something he could never have imagined if he had stayed a professional.
Now, more than 10 years later, the 41-year-old Hogarth is doing more than keeping his golf ball in play.
Sunday, Hogarth endured tough weather conditions to climb the leaderboard with a 4-over-par 75 in his second round of stroke play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Hogarth played the par-71, 6,957-yard Bandon Trails course. He posted a 3-under-par 69 at the Bandon Dunes course on Saturday.
He currently shares top spot for medalist honors at 1-over-par total of 144 with Trip Kuehne of Irving, Texas, and Stephen Sear of Washoe Valley, Nev. Sear shot 74 Sunday at Bandon Trails while Kuehne had 74 at the par-72, 6-988-yard Bandon Dunes course.
Play was suspended as of 2:45 p.m. due to heavy rains. Half of the 264 golfers in the field didn’t get a chance to complete their second round. Included in that group are first-round leaders Dan Whitaker of Cle Elum, Wash., and John Adams of San Clemente, Calif. Both posted 4-under-par 68s at Bandon Dunes Saturday.
Scores ballooned with the inclement weather on Sunday.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Hogarth in describing the tough conditions. “I never would play on a day like this. This is only the second or third time I’ve ever even played in the rain. In Los Angeles, we don’t play in the rain.
“I played phenomenal for 13 holes. It was a joke. And then it caught up to me.”
He finished five over par for the last five holes.
Kuehne was just as emphatic about the conditions.
“It’s brutal. It’s as hard as I’ve ever played in,” said the 35-year-old fresh from his play in Northern Ireland as part of the victorious USA Walker Cup team.
“I expected this weather, but not at the Mid-Amateur,” said Kuehne in reference to the somewhat typical golf conditions in Ireland.
The only golfer who enjoyed the conditions was Todd Mitchell of Bloomington, Ill, who posted a remarkable 4-under-par 68 at Bandon Dunes to rebound from his opening round of 82.
“It was really good,” said Mitchell, who was five strokes lower than any of the morning finishers. “I figured I shot myself out of it yesterday, so I had no fear today. If I shot another 82, so what.
“I just hope something good will come out of this and it was good enough for me to make match play.”
There were 23 rounds under par on Saturday. Only Mitchell finished under par as of the time when play was suspended on Sunday.
--Story by Craig Smith, USGA