Manakin-Sabot, Va. – Rick Woulfe, 61, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shot a two-day total of 3-under 141 to take the early lead for medalist honors at the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, being conducted at the 6,829-yard, par-72 Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va.
Starting on the 10th hole, Woulfe opened his 1-under-par round on Sunday morning with consecutive birdies. However, a three-putt double bogey on the par-4 12th, followed by another bogey on the ensuing 13th, quickly erased his early efforts.
On 13, my wife could have beat me, said Woulfe, a five-time Florida State Senior Player of the Year who defeated Tiger Woods in the semifinals of the 1992 Dixie Amateur en route to victory. Not one good swing and lucky to make bogey.
Woulfe carded yet another bogey on the par-4 15th to fall even further down the leaderboard, but a key birdie on the difficult par-4 18th proved to be the turning point of Woulfe’s round.
I’m sitting there at the bottom of the swale on 17, I’m thinking, 39 is not going to be too bad, said Woulfe, who converted two birdies on his final four holes to finish 1-under for the round. I got it up and down and then I birdied 18. So that kind of changed my whole thinking.
At that point, it was one of those, ‘Eh, you’re in match play unless you fall dead on the golf course.’ And then all of a sudden, I thought, well, shoot, Bemowski doesn’t play so well and a couple of the boys don’t tear it up and I could be right in there.
Raymond Thompson, 59, of Drexel Hill, Pa., sits one stroke behind Woulfe at 2-under 142, followed by 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion George Zahringer, 58, of New York, N.Y., and Ronald Kilby, 56, of McAllen, Texas, at 1-under 143.
Marvin Vinny Giles, 68, of Richmond, Va., a co-designer of Kinloch Golf Club, shot even-par 72 on his home course to finish at 3-over 147. The 2001 and 2003 Senior Amateur champion, Kemp Richardson, 65, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., finished at 10-over 154, while 1975 U.S. Amateur champion and past USGA President, Fred Ridley, 59, of Tampa, Fla., shot 72-83—155 to finish at 11-over-par.
Seventy-eight players have afternoon starting times, including first-round leader Mark Bemowski, the 2004 Senior Amateur champion, and Chip Lutz, who holds the 2011 Canadian Men’s Senior Amateur and British Seniors Open Amateur Championship titles. Paul Simson, the 2010 USGA Senior Amateur champion who also won the Canadian and British titles in 2010, also plays Sunday afternoon.
Following the completion of today’s round, the field will then be cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which begins Monday. The final five rounds of match play will be played over the next three days, with the championship scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday.
The USGA Senior Amateur, open to golfers 55 and older, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.