Zahringer Marucci roll on in Senior Amateur


USGAFORT WORTH, Texas ' Past U.S. Mid-Amateur champion George Zahringer and 1995 U.S. Amateur runner-up Buddy Marucci each posted two victories Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals of the USGA Senior Amateur.
Also advancing at Shady Oaks Country Club, was local favorite John Grace, of Fort Worth, who won 4 and 3 in the second round over Bruce Meyer in the morning, and defeated Paul Murphy by the same margin in the afternoon.
The former Shady Oaks mens club champion estimated that he has played this course more than 500 times, and even teed it up with Ben Hogan, who served as the clubs head professional for many years.
Grace has also won the Shady Oaks stroke play title 17 times, including 11 consecutive years from 1985-95.
It would be crazy to say that my local knowledge hasnt helped me this week, said Grace, a member of the United States victorious 1975 Walker Cup Team. But Ive been looking forward to this championship for 2 1/2 years, and I had to qualify for it just like everybody else. So I feel great about what Ive done so far.
All eight quarterfinalists receive exemptions into next years USGA Senior Amateur Championship, to be played at The Beverly Country Club in Chicago.
Zahringer held off Tim Pope 4 and 2 and then beat the oldest remaining player in the field, 68-year-old Jerry Cundari, 2 and 1.
I hit the ball much better today, than I did during stroke play, Zahringer said. I like the fact that Im striking the ball well, and its going where I want it to.
Marucci escaped with a 1-up victory over John Long, and then prevailed 3 and 2 over Frank Travetto. Marucci, the captain of the U.S. Walker Cup team in 2007 and next year, is better known as one of the players Tiger Woods defeated in the finals to win his record three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles.
Match play is never easy, and you always have to play until the very end, Marucci said. The nerves arent quite as bad as playing in the Amateur, but this is a lot of fun. The guys are great and everybody here is trying to win.
Vinny Giles, the 1972 U.S. Amateur champion, earned victories over Tom McGraw (2 and 1) and Logan Jackson (1 up) to advance to the quarterfinals.
Randy Nichols, a member of the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame, took three of the final five holes of his third-round afternoon match to win 1 up over Dave Denezza. In the morning, he beat stroke-play medalist and reigning British Senior Open Amateur champion Paul Simson 2 and 1.
John Pallin, who is in the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame, eliminated defending champion Stan Lee in 19 holes on Monday, scored a 5 and 3 win over Howie Knodt on Tuesday morning, and beat Stephen Bell 4 and 3 in the third round.
Frank Ford III , a semifinalist at this championship in 2007, defeated Michael Shelton (4 and 3) and Bill Heldmar (2 and 1).
Three-time Massachusetts Mid-Amateur champion Joe Keller beat 1991 U.S. Amateur champion Mitch Voges 5 and 4 before ousting 2007 USGA Senior Amateur runner-up Sam Farlow 1 up.