By Dave Fanucchi, USGA
Chicago, Ill. – Paul Simson, 58, of Raleigh, N.C., and Patrick Tallent, 56, of Vienna, Va., each posted two-day, 2-under-par 140 totals to share medalist honors at the 2009 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, being held at Beverly Country Club.
Simson has now earned USGA Senior Amateur medalist honors in three of the last four years. He carded the low round of the championship on Sunday by navigating the 6,672-yard, par-71 Donald Ross design with a four-birdie, bogey-free round of 4-under-par 67.
“I can’t complain in the least bit," said Simson, a two-time British Senior Amateur champion. "It was as nice of a round of golf as you could possibly have. I’ll move on to match play now, where you really have to be on your game all the time. Anything can happen.”
Simson should know. When he was the medalist in 2006, he reached the quarterfinals but lost to eventual champion Mike Bell. Again the stoke-play medalist last year at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, he was knocked out in the second round by Randy Nichols.
Tallent, one of three players who shared the first-round lead, shot level-par 71 on Sunday.
“I didn’t drive the ball as well as I did yesterday, but I was able to get up and down a few times today,” said Tallent. “There’s really no excuse for not playing your best golf out there. The course is in perfect shape, the weather conditions are ideal, and the greens are great.”
Both Simson and Tallent will represent their home states in the upcoming USGA Men’s State Team Championship at The Country Club of St. Albans in St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 23-25.
Bell, 62, of Indianapolis, Ind., finished at 1-under-par 141 after turning in a 3-under 68 Sunday, and ended up as the only other player to break par during stroke play.
First-round co-leaders John Grace, 61, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Jeff Burda, 56, of Modesto, Calif., along with John Pallin, 56, of Kenosha, Wis., and George Zahringer, 56, of New York, N.Y., finished at even-par 142.
Bill Ploeger of Columbus, Ga., who at 69 is the oldest competitor in the field, advanced to match play with scores of 72-75--147. The former USGA Senior Amateur champion is in the final year of the 10-year exemption that he received after his victory in 1999.
Beverly C.C. member and two-time USGA Senior Amateur champion Bill Shean Jr., 66, of Hinsdale, Ill., shot scores of 78-81--159 to miss the cut.
There will be a playoff among 11 players who finished at 9-over-par 151, vying for eight remaining spots in the match play field. The playoff will ensue Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the 10th hole, a 171-yard par 3. Among the players in the playoff is two-time USGA Senior Amateur champion Kemp Richardson, 63, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., and 2005 USGA Senior Amateur champion Mike Rice, 69, of Houston, Texas.
The playoff will be followed by the first round of match play, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The second and third rounds will be played Tuesday, and the quarterfinal and semifinal matches are on Wednesday. The championship concludes with the 18-hole final match on Thursday.
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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