Very rarely in a match-play competition do the top two seeds survive and meet in the championship match. It's just hard to win five consecutive matches or play that consistently over seven rounds -- two stroke-play qualifying rounds and the ensuing five matches for a 64-player draw.
But at the 2010 USGA Senior Amateur, we've got the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds facing off for the title. Pat Tallent edged good friend Paul Simson by one stroke in the qualifying. But they start from scratch on Thursday morning and will duke it out for 18 holes to decided the title.
It should be great theater as both players are seasoned USGA veterans. But neither has ever appeared in a championship final. Simson had advanced to a pair of U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinals until Wednesday when he won two matches to get into the Senior Am final. Simson is a three-time Senior Am medalist and Tallent has earned that honor the past two years.
"[Paul] has won everything this year," said Tallent. "He and Chip Lutz are the two best seniors in the country. I got by Chip luckily today [in the semifinals]. Maybe I can beat Paul. It will be tough because he's a good player." -- David Shefter