Manakin-Sabot, Va. – Mark Bemowski, 65, of Mukwonago, Wis., leads the USGA Senior Amateur Championship by two strokes over Chip Lutz, " />
Past Champ Bemowski Sets Early Pace At 2011 Senior Amateur


By Michael Trostel, USGA
September 10, 2011

Manakin-Sabot, Va. – Mark Bemowski, 65, of Mukwonago, Wis., leads the USGA Senior Amateur Championship by two strokes over Chip Lutz, 56, of Reading, Pa., after Saturday’s morning wave of play at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. Another wave of 78 players have afternoon starting times.

On a warm and sunny morning, Bemowski opened with three birdies on his first five holes en route to a 4-under 68 on the 6,829-yard, par-72 layout.

"It’s great to start out with a good round," said Bemowski. "I struck the ball really well today. Hopefully that’s a sign of more good things to come."

Though Bemowski was pleased with his start, the 2004 Senior Amateur champion acknowledges that shooting a low qualifying score doesn’t necessarily translate into a championship title.

"It really doesn’t mean a thing until you get into match play. But it’s nice to have a little momentum and feel like you’re playing pretty well. If I keep playing like I am now, I’ll be very competitive."

Lutz, who advanced to the semifinals of the 2010 championship, is looking to continue his phenomenal summer of 2011. After winning the Canadian Men's Senior Championship and the British Seniors Open Amateur Championship earlier this season, he comes to Kinloch attempting to equal the feat of Paul Simson, who won both those championships as well as the USGA Senior Amateur in 2010.

Lutz played a steady round, making just one bogey in his pursuit of the Senior Amateur title in his home country. After an even-par outward nine, Lutz birdied both par-5s coming in to post a 2-under 70.

"The course was very soft – balls were backing up with the driver – but the greens were still very fast, so sometimes you become tentative," said Lutz. "Starting out I hit the ball past the hole a few times but was able to navigate some tricky comeback putts. I can only imagine when these things dry out, they’ll be another foot or two faster which could make things really interesting."

That the course was even playable on Saturday is a testament to the hard work and preparation by Golf Course Manager Peter Wendt and his staff at Kinloch.

The Richmond region absorbed more than 6 inches of rain between Tuesday and Thursday from Tropical Storm Lee, in addition to the more-than 5 inches that fell from Hurricane Irene the previous week. The 11-plus inches of rain that has soaked the Richmond area is nearly three times the average rainfall for the area for the entire month of September (3.98 in., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Defending champion Paul Simson, 60, of Raleigh, N.C., made two birdies and one bogey in an unspectacular, but solid 1-under 71. Simson is trying to become the first player to successfully defend his title since William C. Campbell in 1980.

There were five other former Senior Amateur champions in the morning wave: Mike Rice (2005 winner, 73), George "Buddy" Marucci (2008 winner, 73), Mike Bell (2005 winner, 75), Stan Lee (2007 winner, 77) and Greg Reynolds (2002 winner, 78).

On Sunday, the golfers will compete in a second round of stroke-play qualifying. The field will then be cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which begins Monday. The final five rounds of match play will be at Kinloch, with the championship scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday.

The USGA Senior Amateur, open to golfers 55 and older, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Michael Trostel is the curator/historian at the USGA Museum. Email him at mtrostel@usga.org. 

 

 

 

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image