U.S. SENIOR AMATEUR
Storylines For 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur September 10, 2014 By Jeff Alstadter, USGA

WHO’S HERE – Among the 156 golfers in the 2014 USGA Senior Amateur field, there are:

Oldest competitor: Mike Rice, 74 years, 1 month, 7 days (8/6/1940)

Youngest competitor: Mark Nickerson, 55 years, 5 days (9/8/1959)

Average age of field: 58.9 years

USGA champions in field (11): Stewart Buddy Alexander (1986 U.S. Amateur); Ken Bakst (1997 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Mike Bell (2006 Senior Amateur); Mark Bemowski (2004 Senior Amateur); Marvin Vinny Giles (1972 U.S. Amateur; 2009 Senior Amateur); Doug Hanzel (2013 Senior Amateur); Tim Jackson (1994 and 2001 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Randal Lewis (2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur); George Buddy Marucci (2008 Senior Amateur); Mike Rice (2005 Senior Amateur); Kemp Richardson (2001 and 2003 Senior Amateur)

Players in field who represented USA in Walker Cup Match (6): Stewart Buddy Alexander (1987); Duke Delcher (1997); Marvin Vinny Giles (1969, 1971, 1973, 1975); Tim Jackson (1995, 1999); George Buddy Marucci (1995, 1997); Mike Peck (1979)

Past Walker Cup Captains in the field (2): Marvin Vinny Giles (1993); George Buddy Marucci (2007, 2009)

Past World Amateur Team Championship participants in field (2): Marvin Vinny Giles (1968, 1970, 1972); Stewart Buddy Alexander (1986)

Competitors who played in 2014 U.S. Amateur (1): Doug Hanzel

Competitors who played in 2014 Senior Open (6): Tom Brandes, Doug Hanzel, Tim Jackson, Bryan Norton, Pat O’Donnell, Mike Peck

PLAYER NOTES:
Stewart Buddy Alexander, 61, of Gainesville, Fla., retired in 2014 from coaching the men’s golf team at the University of Florida. The two-time national coach of the year led the Gators to NCAA titles in 1993 and 2001. Won the 1986 U.S. Amateur and was a member of the 1987 USA Walker Cup Team.

Bill Argus, 59, of Fort Wayne, Ind., is an ophthalmologist, specializing in medical and surgical eye problems.

Ken Bakst, 56, of Riverhead, N.Y., is the Developer and Managing Member of Friar’s Head Golf Club. Following his win in the 1997 U.S. Mid-Amateur he was paired with Ben Crenshaw, one of the designers of Friar’s Head, in the 1998 Masters.

Bill Brammer, 61, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is an organic farmer who grows heirloom tomatoes and strawberries for Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Started Be Wise Ranch in 1977.

Rusty Brown, 57, of Phoenix, Ariz., won the 1980 National Open Putting Championship in Las Vegas, a short-lived tournament aired by ESPN.

Ben Brundred, 61, of Potomac, Md., is a former president of Congressional Country Club and served as the co-chairman of Congressional’s U.S. Open committee in 2011.

David Delich, 57, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was a member of the U.S. National Hockey Team from 1978 to 1980 and played four years of hockey at Colorado College.

Don Dubois, 55, of Newport Beach, Calif., is the only member of Big Canyon Country Club to qualify for the Senior Amateur.

Brady Exber, 58, of Las Vegas, Nev., won the 2014 British Senior Amateur.

Alan Fadel, 59, of Toledo, Ohio, is the founder of the Concession Cup, a competition for Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur players featuring teams from the Unites States against Great Britain and Ireland.

Buzz Fly, 59, of Memphis, Tenn., was a semifinalist at the 2013 USGA Senior Amateur and is a Volunteer Assistant Coach for the University of Memphis golf team. His younger son, Jonathan, was a standout golfer at Memphis. His eldest son, Stephen, was a two-time track and field All-American at Auburn.

James Gallagher, 56, of Yorktown, Va., served 27 years of active duty with the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a colonel in 2008. He was a five-time member of Team USA in the U.S. Air Force vs. Royal Air Force Challenge Cup, captaining the 2000 team and serving as co-captain in 2004.

Vinny Giles, 71, of Richmond, Va., won both the 1972 U.S. Amateur and 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur. Giles competed in four Walker Cups for the USA in 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1975, and captained the 1993 team. Giles is the president and owner of a golf management firm that represents Tom Kite and Davis Love III as well as other professionals.

Doug Hanzel, 57, of Savannah, Ga., won last year’s USGA Senior Amateur at Wade Hampton Golf Club and is a two-time low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open. Named No. 1 doctor/golfer by Golf Digest in 2006. Uses an insulin pump to control his diabetes. He is the only player in USGA history to make match play at the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur in the same year (2012).

Peter Herzog, 56, of Norwalk, Conn., specializes in golf club building, and has built or put together all of the clubs in his bag.

Matthew Horwitch, 55, of Northbrook, Ill., is a Rhodes Scholar Nominee and was a two-time All-America tennis player at the University of Michigan.

Jim Hosey, 62, of Chicopee, Mass., is a pilot and director of safety for Baldwin Aviation. After a 30-year career in the Air Force, the retired colonel has been corporate flying jets for the past 15 years.

Thomas Hyland, 58, of Marlton, N.J., is a professional Blackjack player and was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

Jack Kearney, 59, of Peachtree City, Ga., is a commercial airline pilot for Delta and his son, Patrick, is an air traffic controller. Both are based in Atlanta.

Clive Kegel, 56, of Lahaina, Hawaii, was born in Zambia. Overcame issues with substance abuse and homelessness 14 years ago. Finished fifth overall in the 1983 World Championships of Go-Karts.

Jim Lehman, 56, of Minnetonka, Minn., is the older brother of PGA and Champions Tour professional golfer Tom Lehman.

Chip Lutz, 59, of Reading, Pa., was the stroke-play medalist and a semifinalist in the 2013 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. He won the Canadian Men’s Senior Amateur and British Senior Open Amateur in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

George Marucci Jr., 62, of Villanova, Pa., won the 2008 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. He was the 1995 U.S. Amateur runner-up, losing to Tiger Woods in the final at Newport (R.I.) Country Club. Member of 1995 and 1997 USA Walker Cup Teams, and served as captain in 2007 and 2009, the latter at his home course, Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.

Michael McCarthy, 56, of Bethesda, Md., is the uncle of Denny McCarthy, who recently made it to the semifinals of this year’s U.S. Amateur and was selected to the U.S. World Amateur team. Has coached girls’ high school basketball for the past 24 years.

John McClure, 55, of Austin, Texas, caddied for Fred Couples, his close friend of over 30 years, during the Australian Open in 1998 and Presidents Cup Matches that same year at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Jim McNelis, 58, of Gig Harbor, Wash., has been an airline pilot for 37 years and currently works for Alaska Airlines. Betty Hicks, the runner-up in the 1948 and 1954 U.S. Women’s Open, not only taught McNelis how to golf, but also taught him how to fly.

Kelly Miller, 55, of Southern Pines, N.C., is the president of Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, which has hosted the U.S. Women’s Open three times (1996,2001,2007). His mother-in-law, Peggy Kirk Bell, was the 1990 Bobby Jones Award winner.

David Nelson, 58, of Reno, Nev., is the President of Hole-in-One U.S.A., a business in Reno that provides hole-in-one insurance for golf tournaments.

Mark Nickeas, 57, of Westlake Village, Calif., is a retired English football defender who played 13 years of professional soccer. Five of those seasons were spent playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the North American Soccer League. His son, Mike, is a professional catcher who has spent time in the major leagues with the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.

Pat O’Donnell, 60, of Happy Valley, Ore., was a semifinalist at the 2013 USGA Senior Amateur and is a maintenance analyst for Boeing.

George Pirie, 64, of Warwick, R.I., underwent emergency triple-bypass surgery in November 2012 after suffering a severe heart attack. This will be his first USGA championship since his surgery.

Philip Pleat, 58, of Nashua, N.H., participated in the 2012 U.S. Amateur with his son James. who plays collegiate golf at Dartmouth College.

Randy Reifers, 67, of Columbus, Ohio, is the father of Kyle Reifers, a member of the 2005 USA Walker Cup Team who has competed on the PGA and Web.com Tours.

Kemp Richardson, 68, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., captured the USGA Senior Amateur in 2001 and 2003. His father, John, won the championship in 1987. Was a first-team All-American at the University of Southern Calif.

Doug Roxburgh, 63, of Canada, won the 2014 Canadian Senior Amateur Championship and is a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. The resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, has represented Canada in six World Amateurs and was a non-playing captain in seven others.

John Schaller, 56, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is board-certified in internal medicine, public health/general preventive medicine, and occupational medicine. He appeared on two 1970s television game shows,  The Dating Game and Cross Wits.

Allan Small, 63, of Florham Park, N.J., own an electrical contracting business and is the assistant men’s golf coach at Seton Hall University. At 6’8 he was given the nickname Big Al.

Spike Smith, 65, of Pinehurst, N.C., won the Department of the Army’s outstanding Civilian Service Medal in 2003 as founder of the Patriot Foundation.

Michael Staskus, 57, of Los Altos, Calif., once missed a putt in Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's Chambers at the United States Supreme Court. Has coached high school golf for ten years at Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, Calif.

Patrick Tallent, 61, of Vienna, Va., was an All-American basketball player at George Washington University and was drafted in the sixth round of the 1976 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets, but never played in the NBA.

Alan Thieleman, 62, of Woodstock, Ga., battled severe medical issues in April of 2013 when he underwent surgery to remove several blood clots from his lungs. The surgery required cooling his body down to 65 degrees, followed by stopping his heart for 15 to 20 minutes in order to be able to clear the clots. He returned to golf in July of that year.

Gary Van Sickle, 60, of Wexford, Pa., is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and has covered 110 majors, including 32 U.S. Opens. The former Yale University Golf Club champion is also a past winner of the  Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year Award.

Mitch Wilson, 56, of Portage, Mich., is the director of golf and head men’s golf coach at Kalamazoo College. Went to Central Michigan University to play baseball, but after he was cut as a sophomore, decided to join the golf team.

Rick Woulfe, 64, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., defeated Tiger Woods, 4 and 3, in the semifinals of the 1992 Dixie Amateur.

Tom Yellin, 61, of New York, N.Y., is the co-owner and president of The Documentary Group, a documentary film company. He is a former executive producer at ABC News. Was the captain of the Harvard golf team.

Skip Zobel, 59, of Virginia Beach. Va., served 26 years in the U.S. Navy and is a Rules of Golf Official for the State of Virginia. Upon retiring from the Navy in 2002, he was hired by the PGA Tour, but left after three months in order to pursue playing the game instead of working in it.

 

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