Dean Channell (USGA photo)
It has been more than half a decade since three men shared medalist honors at the U.S. Senior Amateur, but that just goes to show the depth of senior amateur golf these days.
After two rounds of stroke play at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, N.C., Dean Channell, 59, of Cary, N.C., Doug Hanzel, 62, of Savannah, Ga., and Michael McCoy, 56, of Norwalk, Iowa all had hardware around their neck. The three men were 2 under and one stroke ahead of two more players.
It’s only the third time in championship history that there’s been three or more medalists in stroke play. Besides 1967 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., it also occurred five years earlier at Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, Ill.
McCoy, the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and a semifinalist last year at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club, had a chance to break out of the logjam, but he lipped out a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth hole, his last of the day. He finished with a 2-under 70 after posting an even-par 72 in Round 1 on Saturday.
“I just kind of misread it,” said McCoy. “I saw Duke [Delcher’s putt] go right and I was going to play it right in the middle of the hole. It did go a little right so that was disappointing.”
Saturday’s opening round was plagued by rain, but conditions dried out for Sunday.
“We had a rough day yesterday,” said Hanzel, the 2013 champion who carded a second consecutive 1-under 71 on Sunday. “Surprisingly my good nine [during Saturday’s heaviest rains] was my back nine, which is the front nine [at Old Chatham]. I shot four under. And it really should have been a [6-under] 30. I had two corner lip-outs. That was as good of ball-striking nine holes as I’ve played, maybe ever. But I’m just happy to play well [in the second round] and make it to match play.”
Hanzel and McCoy have combined to play in 97 USGA championships. Channell has a bit of catching up to do in that department. He lives just eight miles from the golf course, and is making his eighth USGA appearance this week.
Channell was the 18-hole leader and followed Saturday’s 4-under 68 with a 74. He briefly got to 5 under for the championship with birdies on Nos. 8 and 9, but he came home in 3-over 39. He saved par from a greenside bunker on No. 18 to remain at 2 under and earn his medal.
“It got windy on the back side but that’s no excuse,” said Channell, a former tennis player at Virginia Tech. “I just hit a few bad shots and missed a few putts here and there.
“I would have loved to have finished more positively. It was pretty nice to get up and down on 18 from the bunker. I hit a pretty good drive and still had 207 (yards). That wind is straight in there. I knew I was in [match play], so there wasn’t much pressure.”
The cut for match play came at 8-over 152 with a 9-for-3 playoff for the final spots in the match-play draw taking place Monday at 7:15 a.m. EDT off the 10th hole. The Round-of-64 matches are scheduled to begin at 7:50 a.m. off No. 1.
Quotes and information from the USGA used in this report
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 14 national
championships conducted annually by the
USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
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