2015 U.S. Senior Amateur Fact Sheet

Sept. 26-Oct. 1, 2015

Hidden Creek Golf Club, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

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FREE ADMISSION

Admission is free. Tickets are not required and spectators are encouraged to attend.

PAR AND YARDAGE

Hidden Creek Golf Club’s course will be set up at 6,864 yards and play to a par of 36-35–71. Please note yardages are subject to change.

HIDDEN CREEK GOLF CLUB HOLE BY HOLE

Hole     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          Total

Par       4          4          5          3          4          4          3          4          5          36

Yards   395       415       538       222       378       424       179       329       582       3,462

Hole     10         11         12         13         14         15         16         17         18         Total

Par       4          3          4          4          3          4          4          5          4          35

Yards   446       130       418       392       200       414       448       526       428       3,402

COURSE AND SLOPE RATING  

Based on the course setup for the championship, the USGA Course Rating is 73.4. Its Slope Rating is 135.

ARCHITECT

Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Hidden Creek Golf Club opened in 2002 and offers multiple angles of play to its subtly contoured green complexes. The holes are bordered by native grasses and framed by pine, maple and oak trees.

WHO CAN ENTER

The U.S. Senior Amateur Championship is open to amateurs who have reached their 55th birthday by Sept. 26 and have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. The deadline for entries was Aug. 12.

ENTRIES

A total of 2,381 entries were accepted by the USGA for the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur, besting the 2014 mark by 129 entrants. The record for U.S. Senior Amateur entries is 2,498, and was set in 2005 when the championship was held at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga.

SECTIONAL QUALIFYING

Sectional qualifying, played over 18 holes, was conducted at 51 sites between Aug. 21 and Sept. 10.

EXEMPT PLAYERS

A total of 24 players are fully exempt from qualifying due to past performances in USGA championships or by being among the top 500 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking as of Aug. 12. Here are the exempt players:

Stewart Alexander (1986 U.S. Amateur champion)
Kenneth Bakst (1997 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion)
Mike Bell (2006 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Rick Cloninger (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist)
Frank Dial (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist)
Buzz Fly (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist)
Vinny Giles (2009 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Danny Green (1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion)
Jack Hall (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist; 2015 Canadian Senior Amateur champion)
Doug Hanzel (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Randal Lewis (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist)
Chip Lutz (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist)
George Marucci (2008 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Bryan Norton (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up)
Pat O'Donnell (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up)
Michael Podolak (1984 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion)
Mike Rice (2005 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Dave Ryan (Returned 72-hole score at 2015 U.S. Senior Open)
Paul Simson (2010 and 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur champion)
Curtis Skinner (2012 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up)
Patrick Tallent (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur champion; 2015 British Senior Amateur champion)
Michael Turner (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist)
Peter Wegmann (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist)

2014 CHAMPION

Patrick Tallent, 61, of Vienna, Va., defeated Bryan Norton, 55, of Mission Hills, Kan., 2 and 1, to win the 60th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif. Tallent, who was the No. 60 seed in the match-play bracket, is the lowest seed to win the title since the USGA began seeding players at the Senior Amateur based on stroke-play qualifying scores in 1992.

This marked Tallent’s 27th time playing in a USGA championship and his first win. A two-time Senior Amateur medalist (2009, 2010), Tallent was also the Senior Amateur runner-up in 2010 to Paul Simson. In addition, he won the 2015 Seniors Amateur Championship conducted by The R&A.

SCHEDULE

Practice rounds will take place Sept. 24 and 25. The field of 156 players will play two rounds of stroke play, with the low 64 scorers advancing to match play. The schedule is as follows:
Sept. 26 (Saturday) – First round, stroke play
Sept. 27 (Sunday) – Second round, stroke play
Sept. 28 (Monday) – First round, match play
Sept. 29 (Tuesday) – Second and third rounds, match play
Sept. 30 (Wednesday) – Quarterfinals and semifinals, match play
Oct. 1 (Thursday) – Championship match (18 holes)

WHAT THE WINNER RECEIVES

Among the benefits enjoyed by the U.S. Senior Amateur winner are:

  • A gold medal and custody of the Frederick L. Dold Trophy for the ensuing year
  • An exemption from local qualifying at the next U.S. Open Championship
  • An exemption from sectional qualifying at the next U.S. Senior Open Championship, if still an amateur
  • An exemption from sectional qualifying at the next two U.S. Amateur Championships
  • An exemption from sectional qualifying at the next two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships
  • An exemption from sectional qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Senior Amateur Championships

THE TROPHY

The U.S. Senior Amateur Championship Trophy was first 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. 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 U.S. Amateur Public Links (1922). 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., received 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). Oehmig is also credited as the oldest Senior Amateur champion, winning the title in 1985 at age 69.

Carts have been allowed since 1969, 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 contested in the fall, when fewer caddies are typically available.

THE USGA AT HIDDEN CREEK

The 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur will be the first USGA championship conducted at Hidden Creek Golf Club. The club has hosted qualifying for three USGA championships, including a local qualifier for the 2011 U.S. Open and sectional qualifiers for the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open and 2004 U.S. Senior Open.

NEW JERSEY AND USGA CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur will be the 59th USGA championship conducted in New Jersey. The last championship played in the Garden State was the 2014 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, won by Joan Higgins.

NEW JERSEY AND THE SENIOR AMATEUR

The U.S. Senior Amateur will be conducted in New Jersey for the third time. Here are the two New Jersey sites to have previously hosted the Senior Amateur:

  • 1957: Ridgewood Country Club, Ridgewood (J. Clark Espie)
  • 2012: Mountain Ridge Country Club, West Caldwell (Paul Simson)

FUTURE SENIOR AMATEUR SITES                     

Sept. 17-22, 2016 – Old Warson Country Club, St. Louis, Mo.
Aug. 26–31, 2017 – The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis, Minn.
Aug. 25-30, 2018 – Eugene Country Club, Eugene, Ore.

USGA MEDIA CONTACT

Please contact Vanessa Zink for more information regarding U.S. Senior Amateur coverage at vzink@usga.org, 908-326-1848 (office) or 908-217-8197 (mobile).

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