Holtgrieve eliminated from U.S. Senior Amateur
By: Warren Mayes
St. Louis standout Jim Holtgrieve’s run at the 2012 USGA Senior Amateur Championship ended in the second round of match play.
Holtgrieve, 64, was the stroke-play medalist. He won his first-round match Monday to lead a group of 32 players into the second round of match play at the par-71, 6,838-yard Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J.
In the round of 32 Holtgrieve fell to Gerardo Ramirez, 56, of San Antonio, Texas, 2 & 1. Ramirez rallying from three holes down to oust Holtgrieve.
Holtgrieve, who posted the second-best stroke-play total in championship history with a 36-hole score of 136, became the latest of the top seeds to be eliminated. The No. 2 and No. 5 seeds lost in Monday’s first round.
Ramirez, who is playing in his first Senior Amateur, won three consecutive holes – the 13th, 14th and 15th – to move from 2 down to 1 up. He wrapped up the upset with a conceded birdie on the par-5 17th when Holtgrieve could not get up and down for par from a right greenside bunker.
Holtgrieve, a two-time USA Walker Cup captain, ran into trouble after making birdie on the par-4 10th for a 3-up lead. He bogeyed No. 11 and carded a double bogey on the par-4 13th after driving into the hazard. Holtgrieve’s three-putt at the par-3 14th squared the match.
“That was a big mistake (at No. 11),” said Holtgrieve in a news conference after the match. “I had 92 yards (to the hole) and hit it right. I didn’t do my education enough and study the golf course. It’s going to roll, catching the hill, and goes down to the (collection) area. I tried to putt it up and it came back to me. If I hit that sand wedge left of the hole, it would have been all different.”
The 2012 USGA Senior Amateur Championship continued with the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds Wednesday. The championship is scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday.
The USGA Senior Amateur, for players 55 and older, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Holtgrieve birdied three holes on the outward nine to build a lead and posted a 4 & 3 victory over Patrick Tallent, 59, of Vienna, Va., in the first round of match play.
Holtgrieve also was the 1981 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion.