Lee, Pleat Advance To Senior Amateur Final

After Louis Lee (right) won their quarterfinal match, his older brother, Stanford (left), caddied for him in his semifinal victory over William Thomas Doughtie. (Steven Gibbons/USGA) 


By Michael Trostel, USGA
September 14, 2011

Manakin-Sabot, Va. – Louis Lee, 55, of Heber Springs, Ark., and Philip Pleat, 55, of Nashua, N.H., each won twice on Wednesday to advance to the championship match of the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur, being conducted at 6,829-yard, par-72 Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. 

After an emotional morning in which Lee defeated his brother, Stanford, in what is believed to be the first match between two brothers in USGA history, Louis Lee dug deep and eliminated William Thomas Doughtie, 58, of Amarillo, Texas, 5 and 4, in the afternoon. 

With his brother serving as his caddie, Louis Lee started quickly against Doughtie, birdieing two of his first three holes to grab an early 2-up lead. He made the turn at 3-up and continued to pour it on, birdieing holes No. 11, 12 and 13 to seal the match. 

Prior to this year’s Senior Amateur, Lee had not played a single competitive event in more than 25 years. Yet he is now just one win away from joining his brother as a USGA champion. 

“It’s surreal,” said Louis Lee, who said he was “way out of his comfort zone” playing on the big stage of a USGA championship. But being close to Stanford, the 2007 Senior Amateur champion, has made the week much easier. 

“There’s no one in the world I’d rather be on the golf course with than him,” said Louis Lee, of his brother. “And I think he’d say the same thing about me. Having him on the bag gives me more confidence. I mean who wouldn’t want to have an All-American, ex-Tour pro, ex-Senior Amateur champion on the bag? I’ll take that. And by the way, he’s free!”  

While playing against Stanford in the morning, Louis Lee built a 2-up lead through 15 holes, but was forced to extra holes when his brother stuck his approach shot on No. 18 within 2 feet of the hole for a conceded birdie. 

On the first playoff hole, Louis Lee drained a 20-foot birdie putt to win the match, prompting a pat on the back and hearty embrace from his 59-year-old brother. Lee won the first hole all three times he played it on Wednesday. 

“In one way it was the most fun round and in the other way it was the most difficult round I’ve ever played,” said Louis Lee, who drove to Virginia all the way from Arkansas with Stanford and their wives. “You want to play good, you want to win, but it’s OK if you don’t win. That’s a strange sensation in golf. You could not have scripted it any better.” 

Though he wasn’t able to make another run at the title, Stanford concurred with Louis.  

“I think this has been the best day of golf I’ve ever had. I got to play with my little brother this morning and caddie for him in the afternoon. That’s darn pretty special. Regardless how he plays tomorrow, it’s been a great week.” 

Louis Lee will face fellow 55-year-old Philip Pleat, of Nashua, N.H., in the championship final. The Granite State native was rock solid in his two matches on Wednesday, turning back two of the most recognizable names on the senior amateur circuit – Paul Simson and Chip Lutz. 

Pleat never trailed on Wednesday, but was pushed to the 18th hole in both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches. He needed his best golf to advance and dug deep, making 13 birdies with normal match-play concessions.  

“It’s pretty unbelievable,” said Pleat, who rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Lutz and book his spot in the final. “I was up against two great players and I knew I needed to be on my game. I’m ecstatic.” 

While Simson and Lutz were looking to rewrite the record books, Pleat let his putter do the talking, dropping several mid-range putts to hold off late charges by both players. Simson, 60, of Raleigh, N.C., was looking to become the first player to defend his Senior Amateur title in over 30 years while Lutz, 56, of Reading, Pa., was hoping to equal Simson’s feat from 2010 when the North Carolina native won the senior amateur championships of Canada, Britain and the United States in the same season. 

“I hit some good shots coming in and made some nice putts, but I missed the one that was probably the easiest,” said Lutz of his 6-foot birdie bid on the 18th that slid by the left edge. “[Pleat] played so nicely that I can’t be disappointed, but when you get this close, you hope to close. But I’ve had a wonderful year.”  

Pleat’s performance continued a strong showing by New Hampshire natives in USGA championships this season. Keene, N.H., resident Chelso Barrett was the runner-up to Jordan Spieth at the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur at Gold Mountain Golf Club. Pleat played against Barrett’s father, Hugh, in the final of the 1981 New Hampshire Amateur. 

Thursday’s championship match between 55-year-olds Lee and Pleat will be the first time two Senior Amateur “rookies” have faced each other in the final since 1993 when Joe Ungvary defeated Jerry Nelson. 

With their semifinal victories, both Lee and Pleat will be exempt into next week’s U.S. Mid-Amateur at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Houston, Texas. All semifinalists will be exempt into the 2012 and 2013 Senior Amateurs. 

The USGA Senior Amateur, open to male golfers 55 and older, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. 

Michael Trostel is the curator/historian at the USGA Museum. Email him at mtrostel@usga.org

Manakin-Sabot, Va. – Results from Wednesday’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of match play at the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, played at 6,821-yard, par-72 Kinloch Golf Club.   


Upper Bracket 

Philip Pleat, Nashua, N.H. (144) def. Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. (139), 2 up 

Chip Lutz, Reading, Pa. (142) def. Jeff Burda, Modesto, Calif. (147), 1 up 

Lower Bracket  

William Thomas Doughtie, Amarillo, Texas (151) def. Ronald Kilby, McAllen, Texas (143), 4 and 3 

Louis Lee, Heber Springs, Ark. (150) def. Stanford Lee, Heber Springs, Ark. (149), 19 holes 


Upper Bracket 

Philip Pleat, Nashua, N.H. (144) def. Chip Lutz, Reading, Pa. (142), 1 up 

Lower Bracket 

Louis Lee, Heber Springs, Ark. (150) def. William Thomas Doughtie, Amarillo, Texas (151), 5 and 4 

Manakin-Sabot, Va. – Pairing for Thursday’s championship match at the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, played at 6,821-yard, par-72 Kinloch Golf Club. 


9 a.m.: Philip Pleat, Nashua, N.H. (144) vs. Louis Lee, Heber Springs, Ark. (150) 

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image