Lake Orion, Mich. – Sean Knapp
didn’t have to look at a pairings sheet Friday night to find out with whom he’d
be playing in Saturday’s third round of the U.S. Senior Open.
It was elementary, you might say.
“It was funny because it was
about 7:30 last night, and I saw Mr.
Watson's name somewhere around me
on the leaderboard. I said to my wife, ‘Might be about time to go see who we
have for tomorrow,’” Knapp said. “And before I could get to the computer, I
heard all this beeping noise; my phone blew up. And suddenly I had like 82 text
messages. I just put it down, and I said, ‘I don't even have to look. I know
who I'm playing with.’ It was a real treat.”
Knapp, 50, of Oakmont, Pa.,
drew a tee time with Hall of Famer Tom Watson, and even though his score was
disappointing, the day was one of his best in golf.
Just one of two amateurs to make
the cut, Knapp struggled to a 6-over-par 76 at Indianwood Golf & Country
Club and fell to eight over for the championship, tied for 61st place. He trailed
Doug Hanzel by four shots in the race for low-amateur
honors after Hanzel, 55, of Savannah,
Ga., came in with a 71 and 214
“That's the one nice element of shooting
a bad score today, that I haven't blown myself out for that,” said Knapp, who
also qualified for this week’s U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in Utah, but chose to
compete in the U.S. Senior Open instead.
“Well, you know, anytime you get
a chance to play with Tom Watson, it's a special day, special environment here,
having made the cut at the Open,” said Knapp, who eagled his first hole from 20 feet, but didn’t have
another hole under par thereafter.
Watson, the 1982 U.S.
Open champion, also eagled the par-5 first from a greenside bunker and was three
under through seven holes. A poor finish left him with a 70 and 212 total.
“We're all doing the same thing. Doesn't
matter whether it's an amateur or pro. We're all trying to score our best,” Watson, 62, said. “Sean
got off to a really good start, and he eagled the first hole, and he just
barely missed birdie putts on the first – basically, the first five holes.
Didn't play very well after that, but he got off to a really good start.”
For Knapp, it was a good start
and a good finish, with his score being inconsequential to the equation. The
experience, he said, “was right near the top.” And this is a man who has shared
a teeing ground with Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer.
“I've played with Tiger in the
U.S. Am head to head. I've played Luke Donald
head to head. Both of those guys weren't pros then. They weren't Tiger, and
they weren't Luke, although you could
see that they certainly had that potential,” Knapp said. “I played with Mr. Palmer,
but his career was nearing an end at that point. He wasn't playing
competitively on the Tour.
“So when you combine the fact
that you're playing with one of the greatest players ever and in a major
championship venue, you know, it's right there. It's at the top.”
Peter Jacobsen has played well
this week at Indianwood Golf & Country Club. But he’s fighting a feeling of
inadequacy after playing alongside Fred Couples, who shot a third-round 65
“I’ve seen some pretty good golf
this week,” the 2004 U.S. Senior Open. “I’m just wishing some of it would rub
Jacobsen earlier in the championship
was in the same group with Tom
Kite, who set the championship
record with a 7-under 28 on the way to a 65 and the first-round lead.
With three birdies in his final
10 holes, Jacobsen shot a third-round 68 and was tied for 15th at 208.
Through The Weekend
As Mike Goodes
learned again at the U.S. Senior Open, it pays to stay until the cut is
On Friday, Goodes, 54, of Reidsville, N.C.,
went out in the morning grouping’s second pairing and shot a second-round 73 to
sit at 4-over-par 144 for the championship. Upon finishing, Goodes loaded up
his courtesy car and headed for Detroit
think I was going to make the cut,” he said.
the car by the terminal’s curb and passed 80 minutes by talking to championship
“I finally got down to like 54th
[on the leaderboard] and there wasn't enough people to be able to bust me out
so I headed back. My last flight [to Greensboro,
N.C.] was at 7:30, so if I wasn't
there, I wasn't going to make it, and I wasn't going anywhere until I knew that
I missed the cut.
“I would never leave. I wanted to
make the cut too bad and come out here and play this weekend, because you never
On Saturday, Goodes posted a
4-under 66 to reach even-par 210.
“It would be
hard for me to think I can win the tournament at even par now, but you can have
a good tournament,” Goodes said. “You never know, you could sneak in the top 10
or 15 or something. It's good to be here, and this is a fabulous place. I'd
like to play this course as many times as they'll let me.”
David Zink had been on
notice all week. On Saturday, Zink finally got the call.
Twenty minutes before the U.S.
Senior Open’s third round’s 17th grouping, Zink, Indianwood Golf & Country
Club’s head golf professional, was called on to serve as a marker for Kiyoshi Murota.
Russ Cochran had withdrawn due to a back injury
earlier in the morning.
“I was going about my business,
carrying boxes back and forth from the merchandise tent to the pro shop,” Zink
said. “Then my assistant calls me and said, ‘I think they want you to play.’”
Zink only had time to hit a dozen
putts before stepping to the first tee. Given his lack of preparation, Zink
shot a respectable 7-over-par 77 that included a birdie on the par-4 18th hole.
Murota, of Japan,
shot a 1-over 71.
Afterward, Zink signed a handful
Zink, 58, is a fixture at
Indianwood. His family had a membership from 1969 to 1974, and Zink was the
1973 club champion at age 19.
In 1981, he was hired as the pro. He also shares the
unofficial course record of 62.
Zink said he was prepared to be a
marker since Monday, but because of his other club and course obligations he
had not practiced.
“I do know the golf course better
than anybody,” he said. “I've played it probably more times than probably
anybody living, but I haven't swung a golf club in three weeks, either. It took
a little while. I played better on the back nine. I think I hit most of the
greens on the back nine, all but three. Played OK.”
Zink’s last competitive round was
on June 26 when he shot 75 at the sectional qualifier at Radrick Farms Golf
Course about an hour from here in Ann
While players either headed to
the practice range or straight for their cars following their third round, Zink
was going back to work.
“Now I get to go see how many
boxes … hopefully they're all out, everything's out and not much merchandise
left,” he said.