Overbrook Golf Club’s Ray Thompson made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur before running into an old Golf Association of Philadelphia rival in Chip Lutz, who was playing at a very high level, even by his standards.
Lutz took out Thompson at Wade Hampton Country Club in Cashiers, N.C., but there was a consolation prize for Thompson, a Marple Newtown product and Drexel Hill resident. By reaching the quarterfinals, Thompson was exempt from qualifying for the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur.
And Thompson made the most of the free pass to Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif., reaching match play again before falling in the second round, 5 and 4, to Jack Hall of Savannah, Ga.
The 62-year-old Thompson had to qualify for this year’s Senior Amateur, but fortunately the qualifier was played Monday at White Manor Country Club where Thompson had made a surprising run to the BMW Philadelphia Amateur semifinals in June of 2014.
It took some extra effort, but Thompson is headed for the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur, which is a lot closer to home this year at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., or down the shore in the local parlance. The Senior Amateur tees off Sept. 26.
Thompson carded a 3-over 74 Monday and survived a six-man playoff for the final four qualifying berths available.
Lookaway Golf Club’s Roc Irey took medalist honors as he matched par with a 71. In his first year of eligibility for the Senior Amateur, 55-year-old Glenn Smeraglio of Newtown, Bucks County, finished second with a 1-over 72. Don Donatoni, GAP’s dominant Super-Senior and a White Manor member, used his home-course advantage to card a 2-over 73.
Thompson’s 74 was matched by John O’Malley of Mantoloking, N.J., Kenneth Phillips of Lancaster, Mark Ellinger of Chester Springs, Craig Scott of Marshalls Creek and Drew Panebianco of Gwynedd Valley with O’Malley, Phillips and Ellinger suriviving the playoff along with Thompson to earn final four tickets to Hidden Creek.
Among some of the other top finishers were: Merion Golf Club’s J. Kirk Luntey (76); Hugh Kenworthy (80) of Newtown Square; Concord Country Club’s Doug Fedoryshyn (81); Overbrook’s Oscar Mestre (81); Andrew Sterge (82) of Wayne; Thomas Humphrey (85) of Chadds Ford; Rolling Green Golf Club’s Robert Billings (87); and Merion’s Robert Wagner (87).