CASHIERS, N.C. – Whoever first uttered the phrase “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” should tell Chip Lutz, who has turned the 2013 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at Wade Hampton Golf Club into a personal 100-meter dash.
For a second consecutive match-play round, Lutz, 58, of Reading, Pa., took little time eliminating his opponent.
In Tuesday’s second-round matchup against Paul Schlachter, of Pittsburgh, Lutz needed just under three hours to post a 5-and-4 win. The stroke-play medalist was the equivalent of three under par, with the usual match-play concessions.
During stroke-play qualifying, Lutz, a two-time Senior Amateur semifinalist (2010 and 2011), shot a pair of 3-under 69s on the 6,842-yard, par-72 layout, seven strokes better than anyone else.
Facing a third-round match on Tuesday afternoon against Robert Valerio, of Hawthorne, Calif., a 2-and-1 winner over Hill Adams, of Katy, Texas, Lutz knows getting done early has its advantages.
“It helps a lot,” said Lutz, who has won the British Senior Open Amateur and Canadian Senior Amateur twice each. “It is a long event and it takes a lot out of you. I am going to get off of my feet for a few minutes to try and stay fresh. I will be able to have some lunch and get ready to go again. Let’s hope the game is just that good.”
Lutz was one of 16 players who advanced to the third round on Tuesday morning. Nine first-round matches that failed to finish on Monday when darkness halted play at 7:22 p.m. EDT also were completed.
One notable player who won’t be moving on is defending champion Paul Simson, 62, of Raleigh, N.C. Patrick O’Donnell, of Happy Valley, Ore., ended Simson’s bid to become the second three-time USGA Senior Amateur champion with a 3-and-2 victory.
“Paul is a legend out here in the East,” said O’Donnell, a quarterfinalist at last year's USGA Senior Amateur. “I am kind of speechless; it’s exciting. I am running on a little bit of adrenaline. Now I have to head back out. It is a whole new match."
O'Donnell faces Michael Turner, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., a 4-and-2 winner over David Nelson.
Patrick Tallent, 60, of Vienna, Va., an All-America basketball player at George Washington and a sixth-round draft pick of the NBA’s Washington Bullets in 1976, had the most dominating performance in the Round of 32.
Tallent, the 2010 Senior Amateur runner-up, ousted Curt Knorr, 61, of Dunwoody, Ga., 6 and 5. The quick victory gave Tallent a little extra time to prepare for his afternoon third-round match against No. 2 seed Jack Hall, of Sea Island, Ga.
“I played 32 holes on Sunday because we only got four holes in the first day,” said Tallent. “I was a little tired yesterday. I didn’t play very well. Then I had to go all the way to 18 (2-up win over Ted Smith). Today I felt a little better and played a little better. Hopefully every day will get a little better. I told Cindy (his wife/caddie) that I haven’t reached my peak yet. I am still trying to get to that. Hopefully it will come. I may not have a peak; maybe I have reached it and I don’t know. Just trying to see if I have a higher peak than I have been doing.”
Doug Hanzel, of Savannah, Ga., the low amateur in the last two U.S. Senior Opens, also advanced to the third round with a 4-and-3 win over Mike Poe. George Zahringer, of New York, is the lone USGA champion left in the draw. The 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion held off Michael Hughett, 2 up.
Jeff Altstadter is the manager of media relations for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.