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Simson Wins U.S. Senior Amateur
Paul Simson defeated stroke-play medalist Pat Tallent, 2 & 1, to win the U.S. Senior Amateur Thursday for his third national title of the year. The event was held at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.
Simson never trailed in the 18-hole championship final, but had to fend off a late rally from Tallent, a familiar opponent, for the victory. The 59-year-old Simson, from Raleigh, N.C., also won this year's British and Canadian senior amateur championships.
Tallent, of Vienna, Va., played Simson for both rounds of stroke play and earned medalist honors for the second straight year. But the 57-year-old was once again unable to become the first medalist since John Richardson in 1987 to capture the championship.
Simson enjoyed a 4-up lead at the turn and sustained that margin for three until Tallent put his tee shot on the par-3 13th to six feet for a birdie. After halving the next two holes, Tallent won the 16th with a par to get to 2-down with three to play.
"I should have played [holes 13-15] mad before," Tallent said afterwards. He had struggled with those three holes throughout the week until the final match. "I was mad today and I played them better."
On the par-3 17th, Tallent missed the green and couldn't get on the putting surface with his second. Meanwhile, Simson knocked his drive to within 30 feet and was conceded the par and victory after lagging his birdie attempt to a foot.
"I missed four putts and that's what it comes down to in match play," Tallent said. "Paul didn't miss one putt today."
"There's nothing like a USGA championship," added Simson. "The British Seniors are very special to me. Whenever you're a champion of a country, it's something special. … To win the USGA Senior, as far as senior golf, nothing really compares. It is the granddaddy.
"It's a crowning jewel for me. It's a very special thing. And to win all three in one year, I just can't believe it's happened."
Simson and Tallent both receive exemptions from qualifying into the 2011 U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio; the 2011 U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.; and the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. Simson also receives an exemption into the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Richmond, Texas.
The USGA contributed to this article. For the full results, visit www.usga.org.