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Murietan Don Thames ended a remarkable run Wednesday morning at the USGA Senior Amateur Championship in Orlando, Fla., losing the quarterfinal match -- his sixth round of competitive golf in five days.

Thames lost, 5 and 4, to Chip Lutz of Reading, Pa., who finished second at the British Senior Amateur in August. 

Thames, known for steely-nerved play, qualified for the event by surviving a 10-man playoff.  He showed plenty of that grit through the tournament, held at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club.  He completed two rounds of stroke play at one under par over the weekend, tying for fourth place and advancing to one round of match play on Monday and two rounds on Tuesday.  He came from two holes back in Tuesday’s second round to win on the 19th hole.

After five days of great golf competition, Murietan Don Thames was defeated Wednesday morning in Orlando, Fla. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

All quarterfinalists receive an exemption from qualifying for next year’s USGA Senior Amateur Championship, to be held in Virginia.

Along with Thames, Gary Ramsden, another member of Rancho Murieta Country Club, qualified for the event.  Ramsden did not survive the stroke-play cut.

Vince Lepera's picture
Joined: 12/10/2007
Posts: 6
Post rating: 15

Very Proud

We at the club are very proud of his effort! We look forward to seeing Don play again next year as all quarterfinalists are exempt.  On the front of the USGA senior site, is the photo of Don chipping. We all appreciate the effort of Don and Gary and when was the last time that the same country club had 2 players in an event like this in the same year???? Rancho Murieta Country Club where the best play!!!
Sitting by the computer watching the scores after each hole reminded me growing up listening to a ball game on the radio, I was on the edge of my seat!

Hats off to Don Thames and Gary Ramsden!!!!

Rod Metzler's picture
Joined: 08/20/2007
Posts: 41
Post rating: 22

Locals at USGA Events

Rod Metzler


I agree - Congratulations to Don and Gary. And I can provide the answer to your question concerning the last time two locals made it this far in a USGA event. That would be the summer of  2001 when my son, Kyle Metzler, and my wife’s son, Spencer Levin,  (then of Valley Hi Country Club and now a PGA Tour member) both made it to the quarterfinals of the USGA Junior Amateur at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas.  

Rod Metzler

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