Raleigh's Paul Simson storms into U.S. Senior Amateur finals

Raleigh's Paul Simson storms into U.S. Senior Amateur finals

He'll face Sean Knapp of Oakmont, Pa., in Thursday's championship match

Reid Spencer Publisher
image (Photo copyright USGA/Chris Keane)
Two-time champion Paul Simson didn't have to go past the 15th in either of his matches on Wednesday, as he cruised into the finals of the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.

Paul Simson now has a chance to join a club that currently has but one member.

After cruising into the finals of the 2017 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship with lopsided victories in Wednesday’s quarterfinals and semifinals at the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minn., Simson can match the record of Lewis Oehmig, the only three-time winner of the event.

Simson, from Raleigh, N.C., dispatched Matt Sughrue, last year’s runner-up, 5 and 4 in Wednesday morning’s quarterfinal and followed that with a comfortable 5-and-3 victory over Frank Vana of Oxford, Mass., in the afternoon semis.

The seventh-seeded Simson will face No. 25 seed Sean Knapp of Oakmont, Pa., in the final match. Knapp was 3 up with five holes to play in his semifinal match against defending champion Dave Ryan and survived a late rally to win 1 up when he and Ryan halved the 18th hole with pars.

Simson first won the U.S. Senior Open in 2010, beating Patrick Tallent 2 and 1 at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Fla. Two years later he claimed the title for the second time in a 4-and-3 victory over Curtis Skinner at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J.

Oehmig, also a three-time runner-up, won his championships in 1972, 1976 and 1985, the record third coming at Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, S.C.

After Thursday’s final in Minneapolis, Oehmig may have company.

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