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British Seniors Open Amateur Championship: Preview

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (August 2, 2005) -- Over the past ten years the Seniors Open Amateur Championship has taken on a decidedly Stars and Stripes bias with American players winning in seven of the last nine years. It is no surprise therefore that a typically strong transatlantic entry will be challenging for the 2005 title at Woburn from 3rd to 5th August over the Duke’s and Duchess courses.

Kemp Richardson, a stockbroker from Southern California, won the 2004 championship at The Berkshire, thus adding to his first title win at Royal Portrush in 2001. He is also the holder of two U.S. Senior titles, winning these in 2001 and 2003 and must start as one of the favourites for this year’s Championship.

Brian Grieve, from Perth, who finished in third place at The Berkshire is again competing and Ian Hutcheon of Monifieth, the Scottish Seniors Champion in 2003 and 2004 will surely one day challenge for the title.

Hutcheon was one of Scotland’s most capped players and represented GB&I in four Walker Cup matches from 1975 to 1981. His first match in 1975 coincided with Charlie Green making his final appearance and while Green, a six times British Champion, will be 73 when the Seniors is played, he remains a fierce competitor capable of ‘holding his own’ with any of the ‘younger’ seniors.

Many former winners of the title are competing including Ray Smethurst of England, the winner in 2003, American Joel Hirsch the winner in 1996 and 2000 and David Lane, the champion in 1998 at Western Gailes.

Compared to most championship layouts, the Duke’s and Duchess courses are youngsters by comparison, having only been in existence since the 1970’s.

Both have hosted top championships over the years, particularly on the European Tour and it was at the Duke’s Course between 1979 and 1994 that Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo among others lifted the British Masters crown.

Both courses demand accuracy off the tee with testing par 4’s through stands of pine and birch augmented with par 3’s that are deceptive in their difficulty.

252 players each play one round on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th August after which the leading 50 players and ties play a further 18 holes on Friday over the Duke’s course.

ABOUT THE British Senior Amateur

The British Amateur, called the "Seniors Amateur Championship" in the United Kingdom, was launched by The R&A in 1969 to help select a Great Britain & Ireland side to play in the World Senior Amateur Team Championship. Though the British Amateur, played for the first time at Formby, was an instant success, the team event did not survive beyond 1969. Charlie Green has been the most successful player in the history of the event, winning six times in seven years beginning in 1988. Like the U.S. Senior Amateur, players must be over the age of 55 to play. Notable courses played over the years include Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Royal Aberdeen, and Walton Heath.

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