WOBURN, ENGLAND (August 5, 2005) -- American golfers completed a clean sweep in
the 54-hole Seniors British Open Amateur Championship at Woburn. After their domination
of the three days it was Alan Foster who carded a closing round of 76 for an aggregate
of 222, six over par, to take the title by a shot from fellow countryman Alex
Tarumianz, who returned 77, and by two from John French with 78.
In fact, the leading nine players were all from across the Atlantic while the
best British and Irish finishers were Keith Stimpson from Wales and Ireland’s
Maurice Kelly, both on 228, six strokes back.
Foster, 62, from Syracuse, New York, has won several senior titles back home
but nothing as major as the British Championship. "I’m very happy
but also relieved. This was a struggle because these courses are quite tight,"
he said. "I came here thinking I had a chance but I didn’t think
it would be mine after I started badly today."
Foster, who started the day sharing the lead on three over with Tarumianz,
French and Robert Morris, added: "I bogeyed the first to slip behind but
after the first four or five holes I began to hit the ball well."
He managed to birdie the long fifth but dropped shots at the sixth, seventh
and eighth to slip back again. His second and only other birdie came at the
ninth but with his rivals also spilling shots over the home stretch, the title
was wide open again.
It was just a case of who could reel off enough par figures through the avenues
of pines on the Duke’s course and although Foster bogeyed the 15th with
three putts and the 16th after flirting with the trees, he finished with two
pars to stay in front.
"I didn’t make a lot of putts today but I got a couple of good bounces
which it what you need," he added. "This has been a great week and
means I’ll have to come back next year to defend."
It is the sixth time in seven years that an American has emerged as champion,
only Crewe’s Roy Smethurst having broken the chain in 2003.
Smethurst came into the event seeking a unique treble, having won the English
and European seniors titles. But he had problems on the Woburn greens and finished
on 230 after a closing 78.
Stimpson, a Welsh seniors international from Cardiff, carded a sub-par 71,
one of the lowest rounds of the day. "I putted really well and saved the
best till last," he said.
He finished in joint tenth on 228 with Federico Lang from Italy and Maurice
Kelly, who closed with 76 on his debut in the championship.
The Americans also collected the over 65 award which went to Mills Rendell
on 236 after a closing 78.
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Story courtesy the Royal and Ancient Golf Association, visit them on the web at
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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