PAR AND YARDAGE: Big Canyon Country Club will be set up at 6,770 yards and will play to a par of 36-36–72. (Note: All yardages subject to change)
BIG CANYON COUNTRY CLUB HOLE BY HOLE:
ARCHITECT: Big Canyon Country Club, which opened for play in 1971, was originally designed by Robert Muir Graves. In 1998, the late John Harbottle III, whose mother Patricia Lesser Harbottle won the 1950 U.S. Girls’ Junior and 1955 U.S. Women’s Amateur, directed renovations to the club. The club has also reversed its nines since it hosted the 2000 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
WHO CAN ENTER: The U.S. Senior Amateur Championship is open to amateurs who have reached their 55th birthday by Sept. 13, 2014, and who have a USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. The deadline for entries was Aug. 6.
ENTRIES: A total of 2,252 entries were accepted for the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur, which was 92 fewer than in 2013. A record 2,498 entries were accepted for the 2005 U.S. Senior Amateur.
SECTIONAL QUALIFYING: Sectional qualifying, played over 18 holes, is currently scheduled between Aug. 11 and Aug. 27, at 51 sites throughout the country.
2013 CHAMPION: Doug Hanzel, 56, of Savannah, Ga., defeated Pat O’Donnell, 59, of Happy Valley, Ore., 3 and 2, to win the 59th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C.
Earlier in the day, Hanzel defeated medalist Chip Lutz, 58, of Reading, Pa., 3 and 2, to secure his spot in the finals. O’Donnell defeated Buzz Fly, 58, of Memphis, Tenn., 2 and 1, in the other semifinal match.
The semifinals were pushed to Thursday morning due to Wednesday’s 4-hour, 15-minute weather delay and late-afternoon fog. It was the first time since 2002 that the semifinals and finals were contested on the same day.
For more information, http://www.usga.org/ChampEventArticle.aspx?id=21474860503.
EXEMPT PLAYERS: A total of 22 golfers are currently exempt from qualifying based on past performances in USGA or elite amateur competitions, or by being among the top 500 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). Here are those players:
Stewart Alexander (1986 U.S. Amateur champion)
Mike Bell (2006 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Don Erickson III (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist)
Brady Exber (2014 British Senior Amateur champion)
Buzz Fly (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist)
Vinny Giles (2009 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Doug Hanzel (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion; 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist)
Tim Jackson (Special exemption from the USGA)
Jim Knoll (2012 U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist)
Louis Lee (2011 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Randal Lewis (Special exemption from the USGA)
Chip Lutz (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist; top 500 in World Amateur Golf Ranking)
George Marucci Jr. (2008 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Pat O'Donnell (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up)
Philip Pleat (2011 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up)
Mike Rice (2005 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Paul Simson (2010 and 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Curtis Skinner (2012 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up)
David Szewczul (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist)
Pat Tallent (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist)
Ray Thompson (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist)
SCHEDULE: Practice rounds will be held Sept. 11 and 12. The field of 156 players will then play two rounds of stroke play, with the low 64 scorers advancing to match play. The schedule is as follows:
Sept. 13 (Saturday) – First round of stroke play
Sept. 14 (Sunday) – Second round of stroke play
Sept. 15 (Monday) – First round of match play
Sept. 16 (Tuesday) – Second and third rounds of match play
Sept. 17 (Wednesday) – Quarterfinals and semifinals, match play
Sept. 18 (Thursday) – Championship match (18 holes)
WHAT THE WINNER RECEIVES: Among the benefits enjoyed by the U.S. Senior Amateur winner are:
1) A gold medal and custody of the Frederick L. Dold Trophy for the ensuing year
2) An exemption from local qualifying at the next U.S. Open Championship
3) An exemption from sectional qualifying at the next U.S. Senior Open Championship, if still an amateur
4) An exemption from sectional qualifying at the next two U.S. Amateur Championships
5) An exemption from sectional qualifying at the next two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships
6) An exemption from sectional qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Senior Amateur Championships
THE TROPHY: The U.S. Senior Amateur Championship Trophy was presented in 1955 by Frederick L. Dold, of Wichita, Kan., who had retired from the USGA Executive Committee after five years of service.
HISTORY: The U.S. Senior Amateur was inaugurated in 1955. Entries were open to golfers age 55 and over who had a Handicap Index not exceeding 10.0. The addition of the U.S. Senior Amateur gave the USGA twice as many championships as it had conducted before World War II, when there were just four. The U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Amateur all started in 1895, and the U.S. Amateur Public Links started in1922). From World War II through 1955, the USGA added four championships: the U.S. Junior Amateur (1948), U.S. Girls’ Junior (1949), U.S. Women’s Open (1953) and U.S. Senior Amateur (1955). The USGA now conducts 13 national championships, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
The first U.S. Senior Amateur, at Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville, Tenn., drew 370 entries from 30 states and the District of Columbia. J. Wood Platt, 56, an eight-time Philadelphia Amateur champion, defeated George Studinger, of San Francisco, 5 and 4 in the final.
In 1959, J. Clark Espie, who had won in 1957, became the Senior Amateur’s first two-time champion. Lewis W. Oehmig, a record six-time finalist, is the only three-time winner (1972, 1976, 1985).
Senior Amateur contestants may ride in carts, a condition not permitted when the championship was first played. Traditionalists who believed walking the course was vital to a valid national title finally allowed carts because the championship is played in the fall, when fewer caddies are available. Carts have been allowed since 1969.
THE USGA AT BIG CANYON: The 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur will be the second USGA championship conducted at Big Canyon Country Club, following the 2000 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, won by Ellen Port. The club, along with neighbor Newport Beach Country Club, was a host site for 2013 U.S. Open sectional qualifying.
CALIFORNIA AND THE USGA: The 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur will be the 72nd USGA championship conducted in California. The last championship held in the Golden State was the 2013 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at CordeValle in San Martin, won by Port.
CALIFORNIA AND THE SENIOR AMATEUR: The U.S. Senior Amateur will be conducted in California for the fifth time and the first since Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles hosted the event in 2004. Here are the four California sites to have previously hosted the Senior Amateur:
1958: Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Pebble Beach (Thomas C. Robbins)
1970: California Golf Club of San Francisco, South San Francisco (Gene Andrews)
1975: Carmel Valley Golf & Country Club, Carmel (William F. Colm)
2004: Bel-Air Country Club, Los Angeles (Mark Bemowski)
Sept. 26–Oct. 1, 2015 – Hidden Creek Golf Club, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
Aug. 26–31, 2017 – The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis, Minn.
Aug. 25-30, 2018 – Eugene Country Club, Eugene, Ore.
TICKETS: Admission to the USGA Senior Amateur is free and spectators are encouraged to attend.
PHOTO MEDIA SERVICE: The USGA will offer daily complimentary high-resolution photographs during the USGA Senior Amateur for news use only. For more information and to register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Jeff Altstadter of USGA Championship Communications by phone at 908-234-2300 (office) or via email at email@example.com.
Media-specific information can be found at http://www.usga.org/Media-Center/Media-Center.