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Swenson One Step Closer To Taking Senior Amateur Title

Boynton Beach, Fla. resident Norm Swenson, 61, recorded a 1-under-par to earn the medal in U.S. Senior Amateur sectional qualifying at the Suburban Club Aug. 25. With three spots available for the championship in the 43-man field, the others advancing were Michael Kelly of Odenton and Skip Tendall of North Potomac.

The effort enabled Swenson, a Columbia Country Club member in the 1970s, to complete a "double," as he had recently qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur.

"You're always kind of nervous," said Swenson, who qualified for the championship for the third time in seven tries. "The birdie at the first broke the ice, two nice shots and a 70-yard pitch-in took care of the ninth, and on the back, I was holding on for dear life."

Swenson's birdie at the first hole got him started on the right track. An eagle at the 552-yard, par-5 ninth hole got him to 2-under, and he had eight pars and a bogey coming back.

For Kelly and Tendall, it was the renewal of a friendship that began more than 40 years ago when both were junior golfers in California. The next time they saw each other was several years ago at a Mid-Am event.

Kelly, 56, going for the second straight year, admitted his round over the 6,491-yard course on Park Heights Avenue in Pikesville was not pretty, but he saved it with a 20-foot birdie at No. 15 and a 2-footer at the final hole.

It marks the first advancement in a United States Golf Association event for Tendall, 56, who ended a string of 16 fruitless attempts, as he worked his way through Juniors, Amateurs, Open and Mid-Ams.

With two of the three qualifiers coming out of the last three groups, it relegated early challenger Burke Hayes, of Chevy Chase Country Club, to first alternate. There were three players at 74, but when only one appeared for a playoff, Mark Schecter from Takoma Park became the second alternate.

The championship will be played Sept. 20-25, at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

KRAUS JOINS TOWSON STAFF

Andrea Kraus, one of the top female golfers in the state of Maryland, has joined the Towson University staff as an assistant to Tigers' head golf coach Brian Yaniger.

Kraus will work with Towson's women's golf team which will begin its third season on the varsity circuit.

"In addition to her skills as a player, Andrea is also a recognized teaching pro," Yaniger said. "She's ideally suited for the position and we're very pleased to have her on the staff."

A graduate of Pikesville High School, Kraus was the only female on Pikesville's golf team. She went on to Yale and played on the men's side her first two years. In her junior year the Bulldogs initiated women's golf. She was their first team captain and earned AIAA All-Regional honors. She was also selected to the All-Ivy Silver Anniversary Team.

As an amateur Kraus has qualified for, and competed in, 22 USGA Championships. She won the first Maryland State Women's Open Championship in 1999. She is a two-time Maryland State Women's Amateur Champion (1994, 1999) and has captured the Baltimore Metropolitan women's title a record 13 times. She was nationally ranked by Golfweek in 1997 and 2004.

In 2006, Kraus turned professional. In 2007 she won the Middle Atlantic PGA Women's Championship.

MEDLIN WINS FIFTH SENIOR TITLE

Al Medlin separated himself from the field early and went on to shoot a record-tying 67 for a four-stroke victory in the 14th annual Senior Championship of the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation last month.

With precision shot-making and a deft putting touch, Medlin made a successful defense of a title and extended his total to a record five. Last year's BMGC Match Play champion missed only two fairways and three greens, finishing with 29 putts. Medlin, whose previous championships (and scores) were in 1997 (72), 2001 (70), 2003 (70) and 2007 (71), equaled the record 67 posted by Mike Sunderland in 1999. 

Issue 3.36: September 4, 2008