What can I say about this weather that hasn't already been said this week. It's downright perfect again today. Bright sunshine and very comfortable temperatures. Lake Nona must have made a sweeheart deal with the golf gods because you could not ask for better conditions for a national championship than we've had this week for the Senior Amateur.
We are now down to the final eight competitors and interesting enough, four of the top five seeds remain. Medalist Pat Tallent, No. 2 seed Paul Simson, No. 4 seed Don Thames and fifth seed Chip Lutz have all survived. That's quite remarkable considering most match-play competitions rarely stay true to form when it comes to seeding from the qualifying rounds. That should make for some high-quality quarterfinal matches.
We've also come close to establishing a Senior Amateur record for extra-hole matches. Through the third round, we've already had 11 matches go overtime, which ranks second all-time. At The Farm in 2005, there were 13 extra-hole matches.
I also heard last night's "Sweet Sixteen" dinner hosted by Lake Nona was a success. ESPN college football analyst and Lake Nona member Lou Holtz was the guest speaker and Frank Ford III told me this morning he was outstanding. "He says more in two minutes than most of us do in a lifetime," said the Charleston, S.C., native who faces medalist Tallent this morning.
Lake Nona also has put up a small sign at the entrance to the community congratulating four of its international members on their European Ryder Cup victory. That group includes reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, who clinched the winning point in his Monday singles match over 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Hunter Mahan of the United States. Ian Poulter also secured a key point in posting a singles win. Peter Hanson and Ross Fisher were members of the team. -- David Shefter