EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Chip Lutz and Tom Brandes advanced to the U.S. Senior Amateur final Wednesday at Hidden Creek Golf Club.
The 60-year-old Lutz, from Reading, Pennsylvania, beat two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Tim Jackson of Germantown, Tennessee, 1 up, and the 59-year-old Brandes, from Bellevue, Washington, topped former PGA Tour player Steven Liebler of Irmo, South Carolina, with a birdie on the 21st hole.
Lutz reached the final for the first time after dropping out in the semifinals in 2010, 2011 and 2013. He swept the Canadian Senior Amateur and Senior British Amateur titles in 2011 and 2012.
''I knew what I had to do to try to get over those three semifinal losses, and that was significant trying to get by that,'' Lutz said. ''You know, just hung in there, tried to stay calm and breathe and try to play my game and stay in the moment.''
Brandes was aggressive on the 21st hole. He nearly reached the front of the green in two on the 507-yard hole, chipped to a foot and won with a conceded birdie after Liebler missed his birdie putt.
''I said, 'You know what, I'm going to win or lose this thing right now, so that's why I hit 3-wood,'' Brandes said. ''I had 210 (yards) to cover, and after that I didn't worry about it. I was just looking at that cover number, and a little hurt wind, so I knew I could take 3-wood and get it. But yeah, that could have been the thing, and I would have shaken Steve's hands.''
In the morning quarterfinals, Lutz beat stroke-play medalist Randal Lewis of Alma, Michigan, 4 and 2, and Tom Brandes defeated Patrick Murphy of Provo, Utah, 5 and 4.
The tournament is for players 55 and older.