U.S. SENIOR AMATEUR
Get to Know Field Competing at Old Warson Country Club
September 14, 2016 | St. Louis, Mo.
By Joey Flyntz, USGA
Russell Hook, 55, of South Jordan, Utah, and Bob Royak, 55, of Alpharetta, Ga., are the youngest competitors in the 156-player field. Both were born on Sept. 9, 1961, making them eligible eight days prior to the start of the championship.
The championship’s oldest competitor is 1972 U.S. Amateur and 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur champion Marvin “Vinny” Giles, 73, of Richmond, Va., who was born on Jan. 4, 1943.
The average age of the U.S. Senior Amateur competitors is 59.82 years old.
Field by age:
55-59 – 84
60-64 – 57
65-69 – 13
70-74 – 2
There are three countries represented in the championship: Japan (1), Canada (2) and the United States (153).
There are 41 states represented in the championship: Alabama (1), Arizona (3), Arkansas (2), California (15), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Delaware (1), Florida (13), Georgia (8), Illinois (5), Indiana (1), Iowa (1), Kansas (3), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (3), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), Missouri (4), Nebraska (1), Nevada (2), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (5), New Mexico (1), New York (4), North Carolina (8), Ohio (6), Oklahoma (2), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (7), South Carolina (3), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (5), Texas (11), Utah (2), Virginia (5), Washington (5), Wisconsin (3) and Wyoming (1).
The field includes four players from Missouri – two from St. Louis proper – and one from western Illinois: Mark Allenspach, 57, of Clayton, Mo.; Scott Edwards, 62, of St. Louis; Andy Frost, 56, of St. Louis; Steve Groom, 58, of Raytown, Mo.; and Dave Ryan, 62, of Taylorville, Ill.
There are 12 USGA individual champions in the field:
- Stewart “Buddy” Alexander, 63, of Gainesville, Fla. (1986 U.S. Amateur)
- Michael Bell, 69, of Indianapolis, Ind. (2006 U.S. Senior Amateur)
- Vinny Giles (1972 U.S. Amateur; 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur)
- Danny Green, 59, of Jackson, Tenn. (1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur)
- Doug Hanzel, 59, of Savannah, Ga. (2013 U.S. Senior Amateur)
- Tim Jackson, 57, of Germantown, Tenn. (1994 and 2001 U.S. Mid-Amateur)
- Stanford Lee, 64, of Tumbling Shoals, Ark. (2007 U.S. Senior Amateur)
- Chip Lutz, 61, of Reading, Pa. (2015 U.S. Senior Amateur)
- Randal Lewis, 59, of Alma, Mich. (2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur)
- George “Buddy” Marucci, 64, of Villanova, Pa. (2008 U.S. Senior Amateur)
- Paul Simson, 65, of Raleigh, N.C. (2010 and 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur)
- Patrick Tallent, 63, of Vienna, Va. (2014 U.S. Senior Amateur)
Six players in the field have competed in the Walker Cup Match for the USA: Stewart Alexander (1987); Vinny Giles (1969, 1971, 1973 and 1975); Danny Green (2001); Tim Jackson (1995 and 1999); George Marucci (1995 and 1997) and Mike Peck, 60, of Irving, Texas (1979).
Two players in the field have captained the USA Team in the Walker Cup Match: Vinny Giles (1993) and George Marucci (2007 and 2009).
Four players in the field have won a USGA Men’s State Team title: Danny Green (Tennessee, 2003); Tim Jackson (Tennessee, 2003); Bob Kearney, 60, of Houston, Texas (Texas, 1999); and Bryan Norton, 57, of Mission Hills, Kan. (Kansas, 2010).
The following U.S. Senior Amateur competitors have played or will play in a USGA championship in 2016:
- U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, May 21-25, at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. – 3 players
- Vance Antoniou, 59, of North Barrington, Ill. (missed cut with partner Mark Esposito)
- Randy Haag, 57, of Orinda, Calif. (missed cut with partner Robert Pickett)
- Gary Robinson, 57, of Fayetteville, N.C. (missed cut with partner Brian Dreier)
- U.S. Senior Open, Aug. 11-15, at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio – 5 players
- Tom Brandes, 62, of Bellevue, Wash. (missed cut)
- Randy Haag (missed cut)
- John Hornbeck, 58, of Saratoga, Wyo. (missed cut)
- Chip Lutz (tied for 37th at 10-over-par 290)
- Patrick Tallent (missed cut)
- U.S. Amateur, Aug. 15-21, at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Mich. – 1 player
- Tom Brandes (missed cut)
- U.S. Mid-Amateur, Sept. 10-15, at Stonewall in Elverson, Pa. – 6 players
- James Gallagher, 58, of Yorktown, Va. (missed cut)
- Doug Hanzel (missed cut)
- Randal Lewis (missed cut)
- Chip Lutz (missed cut)
- Matt Sughrue, 57, of Arlington, Va. (missed cut)
- Patrick Tallent (withdrew)
- USGA Men’s State Team, Sept. 28-30, at the Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala. – 7 players
- Tom Brandes (Washington)
- Kevin Cahill, 56, of Waukesha, Wis. (Wisconsin)
- John Hornbeck (Wyoming)
- Michael Hughett, 58, of Owasso, Okla. (Oklahoma)
- Tim Jackson (Tennessee)
- Chip Lutz (Pennsylvania)
- David Nelson, 60, of Reno, Nev. (Nevada)
Forty-one players competed in the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur (click here for results): Stewart AlexanderMichael Bell, Geno Berchiatti, Mike Booker, Tom Brandes, Mills Brown, Kevin Cahill, Michael Dunsmore, Brady Exber, Buzz Fly, John Gibbs, Vinny Giles, Steve Golliher, Danny Green, Randy Haag, Doug Hanzel, Michael Hughett, Tim Jackson, Bob Kearney, Adam Kugler, Bill Leonard, Randal Lewis, Steve Liebler, Chip Lutz, George Marucci, Patrick Murphy, Greg Myers, David Nelson, Bryan Norton, Pat O'Donnell, David Prowler, Gary Robinson, Brian Rothaus, Dave Ryan, Brian Secia, Paul Simson, David Szewczul, Patrick Tallent, Michael Turner and Rick Woulfe.
Select Player Notes
Mike Abram, 58, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., has produced more than 60 golf infomercials and more than 100 golf commercials, including several currently airing. He also co-hosts a sports radio show for ESPN Radio 1280 on the central coast of California, for which he has interviewed many of the top golfers in the world, past and present. He is competing in his first USGA championship.
Gary Albrecht, 60, of Denver, Colo., competed in the Hundred Hole Hike in June at Ballyneal Golf Club in Colorado to raise money for the Double H. Ranch. He played 127 holes without a cart, amounting to 37 miles of walking. He also qualified for the National Long Drive Championship in 1981 and 1982. A board member of the Colorado Golf Association, Albrecht is competing in his first USGA championship.
Stewart “Buddy” Alexander, 63, 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. He won the 1986 U.S. Amateur and was a member of the 1987 USA Walker Cup Team.
Michael Bell, 69, of Indianapolis, Ind., won the 2006 U.S. Senior Amateur at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind., and was a 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinalist. In 2005, he won the Indiana Senior Open at age 65. He is a member of the Indiana Golf Association Hall of Fame and National Senior Golf Hall of Fame.
Mike Booker, 61, of The Woodlands, Texas, was the 2014 Texas Senior Player of the Year. A three-time melanoma cancer survivor, he founded the Mike and Pat Booker Melanoma Research Endowment, which has raised more than $1 million for melanoma research. A financial advisor, Booker has 10 times been named one of the 10 most dependable wealth managers by Forbes magazine.
Casey Boyns, 60, of Monterey, Calif., has been a caddie at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, a five-time U.S. Open host site, for 35 years. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Tom Brandes, 60, of Bellevue, Wash., is a five-time Pacific Northwest Golf Association and six-time Washington State Golf Association Senior Player of the Year. A 2015 PNGA Hall of Fame inductee, he carded a hole-in-one on the 217-yard seventh hole at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va., during the 2011 U.S. Senior Amateur. He finished runner-up in the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur.
T.J. Brudzinski, 55, of Columbus, Ohio, is a senior vice president of sales for D.A. Davidson Companies, an employee-owned investment service firm. His brother, Bob, was an NFL linebacker for 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams (1977-80) and Miami Dolphins (1981-89) who played in two Super Bowls on Miami’s Killer Bees defense.
Mike Brummer, 66, of Rapid City, S.D., has recorded 15 holes-in-one, including one in the 2001 USGA Men’s State Team Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club. He has aced every par 3 on his home course at least once and also one par 4. A multiple-time state golfer of the year honoree, Brummer owns Armadillo’s Ice Cream Shoppe.
Gary Cicatiello, 59, of Providence Forge, Va., is a former minor league baseball player in the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals organizations. He is competing in his first USGA championship.
Mark Coward, 63, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., was an exempt player on the PGA Tour in 1983 after advancing through Qualifying School. He won the Payne Stewart Award for professionalism and sportsmanship while a member of the 2003 Cadillac Senior Mini-Tour. Since regaining his amateur status, he has won the last four Arizona Senior Amateur Championships.
Kiyohito Dezaki, 59, of Japan, now lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and did not start playing golf until he was 40 years old. He is competing in his first USGA championship.
Scott Edwards, 62, of St. Louis, Mo., is a two-time Metro St. Louis Senior Player of the Year. His first hole-in-one came at Old Warson Country Club in 1970, a 6-iron on the par-3 third hole.
Mark Elliott, 56, of Silver Lake, Kan., was an alternate for the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, but did not compete. He did compete in the 2013 U.S. Senior Open at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club. Elliott was a sixth-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977 and played college football at Washburn University after his baseball career ended. He was the head golf coach at Kansas State University from 1991-97.
Brady Exber, 60, of Las Vegas, Nev., won the 2014 Seniors Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A, and finished runner-up in the 2014 Canadian Senior Amateur. The Southern Nevada Golf Hall of Fame member also won the 1991 and 2008 Nevada State Amateur championships and the 2009 Arizona Senior Open.
Buzz Fly, 61, of Memphis, Tenn., was a semifinalist in the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur. His younger son, Jonathan, was a standout golfer at Memphis. His eldest son, Stephen, was a two-time track and field All-America selection at Auburn. He is a member of the Memphis Sports Hall of Fame.
Frank Ford, 64, of Charleston, S.C., won the 1996 South Carolina Amateur, the same year his son, Cordes, won the Carolinas Amateur. Ford is the general chair of the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston.
Andy Frost, 56, of St. Louis, Mo., birdied five of the last eight holes to earn medalist honors in the Senior Amateur St. Louis sectional qualifier at the Country Club of St. Albans. An orthodontist, Frost is joined in the field by his fraternity brother at Duke, Dan Levinson, who qualified in New York to make his first USGA championship appearance.
James Gallagher, 58, of Yorktown, Va., served in the United States Air Force for 27 years, seeing combat in numerous U.S. conflicts, including both Gulf Wars and in Kosovo. He flew B-52s for 15 years and earned several service distinctions, including two Bronze Stars with Valor. Gallagher broke his back in a 1991 aircraft incident flying over Iraq and had experimental surgery to fix it. In order to get the surgery, he had to sign a document promising not to play sports again. Gallagher had to rehab after surgery to regain feeling in his extremities and eventually returned to combat, and his doctor cleared him to try playing golf again. He didn’t play much golf during his military service due to time constraints and injuries, but has won multiple Virginia State Golf Association events and qualified for the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur by birdieing holes 15, 16 and 17, then holing out for eagle on 18 to advance to a 7-for-3 playoff, where he birdied the first hole to earn a spot in the championship at the Country Club of Birmingham.
Marvin “Vinny” Giles, 73, of Richmond, Va., won the 1972 U.S. Amateur and 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur, earning him the record for longest span between USGA championship victories at 37 years. Giles competed in four Walker Cup Matches for the USA (1969, 1971, 1973 and 1975) and captained the 1993 Team. President and owner of a golf management firm that represents Tom Kite and Davis Love III as well as other professionals, he and Tim Jackson share the record for most times as low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open with three (1993, 1996, 1997).
Danny Green, 59, of Jackson, Tenn., is a 17-time Tennessee state champion who won the 1997 Western Amateur and 1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur championships. An All-America selection in tennis at the University of Tennessee-Martin, he finished runner-up in the 1989 U.S. Amateur and 2001 U.S. Amateur Public Links, and is in the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. He won the 2003 Men’s State Team title for Tennessee with Tim Jackson and current PGA Tour player Brandt Snedeker.
Randy Haag, 57, of Orinda, Calif., has competed in three U.S. Senior Opens and four Senior British Opens. He is a six-time Northern California Golf Association Player of the Year (1992, 1994, 1999, 2009, 2010 and 2011) and eight-time Olympic Club champion. In his spare time, he maintains a golf blog (randyhaag.com), and he putts sidesaddle.
Doug Hanzel, 59, of Savannah, Ga., won the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur and is a two-time low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open. Named the No. 1 doctor/golfer by Golf Digest in 2006, he is the only player in USGA championship history to make match play in the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur in the same year (2012).
Kevin Hayes, 60, of La Jolla, Calif., is a 1977 graduate of the United State Military Academy at West Point, where he went 19-1 as a member of the golf team. He has never had a formal golf lesson and once interviewed with U.S. President George W. Bush for the position of Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Russell Hook, 55, of South Jordan, Utah, is the youngest player in the field, along with Bob Royak. Hook is an avid bowler with 22 300 games to his record and once held the Utah record with an 858 series. He is a non-destructive testing manager for Orbital ATK, which tests rocket motors and other aircraft components for military and commercial aircraft.
Michael Hughett, 58, of Owasso, Okla., is the chief financial officer for the Nordam Group. A University of Nebraska graduate, he is in the Nebraska Golf Hall of Fame and has won a record 16 Oklahoma State Golf Association championships, including the 2001 Oklahoma State Amateur at age 42.
Tim Jackson, 57, of Germantown, Tenn., won the 1994 and 2001 U.S. Mid-Amateur championships, setting a record for longest span between U.S. Mid-Amateur victories. The six-time Tennessee Player of the Year earned medalist honors in the 2009 U.S. Amateur, and shares the record with Vinny Giles as a three-time U.S. Senior Open low amateur (2009-2011). In 2009, he set the U.S. Senior Open record for lowest 72-hole amateur score (282) and lowest round by an amateur (66). A Tennessee Golf Association board member since 1988, he was a member of the 1995 and 1999 USA Walker Cup Teams and won the 2003 Men’s State Team title for Tennessee with Danny Green and current PGA Tour player Brandt Snedeker.
Bob Kearney, 60, of Houston, Texas, has won four Texas Golf Association amateur events, including the 2001 Texas Amateur. He was also a member of Texas’ winning team in the 1999 USGA Men’s State Team Championship. He competed in the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club.
Stanford Lee, 64, of Tumbling Shoals, Ark., is the 2007 U.S. Senior Amateur champion and brother of Louis Lee, the 2011 Senior Amateur champion. He advanced to the quarterfinals in 2011, the year his brother won the championship.
Dan Levinson, 58, of New York, N.Y., is the president of Moxie Pictures and has directed and produced multiple golf documentaries, including “Uneven Fairways,” a story about the Negro Leagues of golf; “More Than a Game,” a USGA picture about William Powell and Clearview Golf Club; and “Scotland in December,” a film that portrays Jean van de Velde’s return to Carnoustie years after his infamous finish to lose the 1999 Open Championship. Levinson was a fraternity brother of fellow Senior Amateur competitor Andy Frost at Duke. Levinson didn’t start playing golf until he was 28, and has gone from a 25 handicap to competing in his first USGA championship this week.
Randal Lewis, 59, of Alma, Mich., is the oldest champion in U.S. Mid-Amateur history, winning in 2011 at age 54. He also finished runner-up in 1996. He won the 1992 and 1999 Michigan State Amateur Championships, was named 1990s Player of the Decade by the Golf Association of Michigan and is a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member.
Chip Lutz, 61, of Reading, Pa., is the defending U.S. Senior Amateur champion and a three-time semifinalist. He won the 2011 and 2012 Canadian Men’s Senior Amateur Championships and is a three-time champion of the Seniors Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A (2011, ‘12, ‘16). Lutz was the only amateur to make the cut in this year’s U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club, finishing in a tie for 37th. He is a six-time Golf Association of Philadelphia Senior Player of the Year and has brothers named Wedge and Putter.
George “Buddy” Marucci, 64, of Villanova, Pa., won the 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. The four-time Pennsylvania Amateur champion finished runner-up in the 1995 U.S. Amateur, losing to Tiger Woods in the final at Newport (R.I.) Country Club. A member of the 1995 and 1997 USA Walker Cup Teams, he also captained the 2007 and 2009 Teams, the latter at his home course, Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. He also works as an on-course analyst for Fox Sports’ coverage of USGA championships.
Michael Mercier, 58, of Juno Beach, Fla., won the 2016 Canadian Senior Amateur Championship. He also won the 2015 Wales Senior Open and finished third in the 2014 Seniors Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A.
Daniel Moore, 61, of Chicago, Ill., is a member of the USGA Museum Committee’s Architecture Archive working group. A golf course photographer and architecture consultant, Moore was a promising baseball player in high school who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in 12th grade and had to give up the game. He didn’t play competitive golf until retiring from his full-time job in 2014. He is competing in his first USGA championship.
David Nelson, 60, of Reno, Nev., is president of Hole-in-One U.S.A., a business in Reno that provides hole-in-one insurance for golf tournaments.
Bryan Norton, 57, of Mission Hills, Kan., finished runner-up in the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur and helped Kansas win the 2010 USGA Men’s State Team Championship. A three-time Kansas Amateur champion (1980, 2002 and 2014), he also finished runner-up in the 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur and finished ninth in the 1990 Open Championship at St. Andrews.
Mike Peck, 60, of Irving, Texas, was a four-time All-America selection at Stanford University who made the winning putt for the 1979 USA Walker Cup Team at Muirfield. He also competed in two U.S. Opens and one Masters Tournament.
Mike Rollyson, 70, of Boca Grande, Fla., played college basketball and baseball at the University of Florida and guarded legendary basketball player “Pistol” Pete Maravich of LSU four times in college, proudly claiming to hold him under 60 points each time, all wins for the Gators. Rollyson didn’t seriously start playing golf until he was 40 thanks to a breakthrough lesson from renowned instructor Hank Haney.
Paul Simson, 65, of Raleigh, N.C., swept the Canadian Senior Amateur, Seniors Amateur, conducted by The R&A, and U.S. Senior Amateur in 2010. He also won the 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur and is a four-time North Carolina Amateur champion. The U.S. Senior Amateur record-holder for most times as medalist (2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011), he tied for second with Pat Thompson in the 2015 Canadian Senior Amateur.
James Starnes, 59, of Fort Myers, Fla., is competing in his first USGA championship since the 1974 U.S. Junior Amateur, in which he advanced to the Round of 16. He stopped playing golf almost entirely from 2009-2012 because he could not break 80 anymore, but has since regained his form and dropped his Handicap Index® by nine.
Matthew Sughrue, 57, of Arlington, Va., went to grad school 25 years into a successful career as a CEO of an insurance company to become a psychotherapist. He was a family therapist at SERVE, a 90-bed homeless shelter in Manassas, Va., and now works in private practice, helping several elite athletes perform their best in competition.
Patrick Tallent, 63, of Vienna, Va., was an academic All-America 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. He won both the U.S. Senior Amateur and the Seniors Amateur, conducted by The R&A, in 2015.
Larry Vaughan, 60, of Greensboro, Ga., has a mirror identical twin brother, Keith. Whatever Larry does right-handed, Keith does left-handed. Larry competed in the 1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Old Warson.
Mitch Wilson, 58, of Portage, Mich., started seriously playing golf in his junior year at Central Michigan University after being cut from the baseball team as a sophomore. He was a college teammate of Randal Lewis, the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, who is also competing in this championship.
Rick Woulfe, 66, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., defeated Tiger Woods, 4 and 3, in the semifinals of the 1992 Dixie Amateur. He is a three-time Florida State Amateur Player of the Year (2002, 2004 and 2006) and seven-time Florida State Senior Amateur Player of the Year (2005-08 and 2010-12). He has been a member of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Committee since 1990 and served on the Florida State Golf Association executive board for seven years, including two years as president (2000-01).
Storylines were compiled by the USGA’s Championship Communications team. For more information, email Joey Flyntz at firstname.lastname@example.org.