Zahringer Marucci in Senior Amateur final


USGAFORT WORTH, Texas ' Buddy Marucci and George Zahringer advanced to the final of the Senior Amateur Championship, winning quarterfinal and semifinal matches Wednesday at Shady Oaks Country Club.
Marucci, the runner-up to Tiger Woods in the 1995 U.S. Amateur, eliminated 17-time Shady Oaks club champion John Grace 3 and 2 in the morning quarterfinals, then beat Frank Ford III of Charleston, S.C., 2-up in the afternoon semifinals.
Its good to be nervous again, and hit some great shots under pressure, said the 56-year-old Marucci, from Villanova, Pa. The key to match play is that you cant be afraid to lose. But this is a big deal, and Im excited about having a chance to win a national championship. It would be a dream come true.
Zahringer, the 55-year-old New Yorker who won the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur, edged Joe Keller 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals, and topped Randy Nichols of Connersville, Ind., 1-up in the semifinals with a par on No. 18.
My first goal this week was to try and make the semifinals so that I earned an exemption into next years U.S. Senior Open, said Zahringer, granted a special exemption into the championship. The key shot this afternoon was a great, cut 7-iron approach shot I hit into the 18th hole. I thought Randy would make that par putt, but it just slid by.