Mich. – Randy Lewis wishes he would have made better use of his special
exemption into the U.S. Senior Open.
U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, Lewis
didn’t have a poor round Thursday at Indianwood Golf & Country Club, but he
did suffer one bad hole and that led to a disappointing score, a 10-over-par
“I’m going to
try hard tomorrow to show how much I appreciate the invitation,” said Lewis, 55.
A resident of
nearby Alma, Mich., Lewis did plenty to earn his way into this championship.
Last year, at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Richmond,
became by far the oldest winner of the Mid-Am after defeating Kenny Cook,
3 and 2, in
the 36-hole final. At 54, Lewis was 20 years older than the average age of the
30 previous Mid-Am winners.
“I had a
great run for sure,” said the financial advisor, who earlier this year had the
chance to play in the Masters Tournament, an invitation derived from his
victory in the Mid-Am. He missed the cut after shooting 81-78-159.
Lewis did not
make a birdie in his round Thursday, but he was holding steady until the final
four holes. He bogeyed Nos. 6 and 7 to slip to 5 over par, not great but still
respectable for an amateur playing in his second U.S. Senior Open. (He also
competed in the 2009 championship.)
But the par-4
ninth was a disaster. He drove out of bounds with a hybrid, and after hitting
the fairway on his third shot came up short on his approach. With his ball
buried in the bunker, he needed two to get out but still wasn’t on the green. A
chip and two putts added up to a quintuple-bogey nine.
“I can’t tell
you what happened. I hit a hybrid off the planet and it was just a struggle
from there,” Lewis said.
the ninth, Lewis struck the ball decently. He found 10 fairways and 11 greens
in regulation. But he struggled on the greens, needing 35 putts.
putt well, but my iron play wasn’t very good either. I hit it in the wrong spot
a lot, and that contributed to my putting problems,” he said. “Even when I did
give myself a good look, I didn’t have the lines down. It was a pretty
particularly disappointing because he felt like he prepared well, and he likes
the golf course.
Indianwood. I like it a lot,” he said. “It’s really a fun golf course. I did
drive the ball really well, but then to shoot the score I did is kind of a
shock, really. I just did nothing else and I felt like I might play decently.
an honor to be here. I wish I could have lived up to the invitation a little
better,” he added. “We’ll see if tomorrow I can’t shoot something under par,
maybe give myself an outside chance to make the cut.”
Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based
freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA websites.