Medalist White Survives Against 64 Seed Gunthorpe at Martis Camp

By David Shefter, USGA

| Aug 28, 2023 | Truckee, Calif.

Medalist White Survives Against 64 Seed Gunthorpe at Martis Camp

What Happened

Don’t expect Todd White to be invited to any gatherings at the Gunthorpe household in Michigan. For the second time in four years, the Spartanburg, S.C., native knocked out a Gunthorpe family member in the Round of 64 of a USGA championship.

On another Chamber-of-commerce day in the Lake Tahoe area – clear, blue skies and temperatures in the low 80s with low humidity – the top-seed and medalist White outlasted 2021 runner-up Jerry Gunthorpe, 1 up, in the 68th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Martis Camp Club on Monday. In the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club, the high school history teacher defeated Jerry’s son, Nicholas, 4 and 3.

This one was much tighter.

Gunthorpe, who was the last man into the 64-player, match-play draw for the second consecutive year, gave the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion and 2013 USA Walker Cupper quite a tussle. The match finally turned on the par-3 17th hole when Gunthorpe, 60, three-putted to lose the hole. With the contest all tied on No. 18, Gunthorpe came up short with his approach and failed to get up and down for par, missing an 8-footer. White, 55, calmly two-putted from 50 feet, draining a 3-footer for par to earn a spot in the final 32 against 2023 R&A Senior Amateur champion Brent Paterson, of New Zealand.

“When I saw the draw after the playoff [for the final match-play spots], this is the reward I get for being medalist?” said White, who posted even-par 144 in stroke play to best the field. “You expect that. Almost every guy you see on the board for match play, they are all tested. And you know they’re going to play.”

White struggled all day with his driver, hitting only five fairways. That negated his strength – iron play – because he spent so much time playing from U.S. Open-like rough. Throw in a couple of three-putts and the 2023 South Carolina Amateur champion seemingly was playing from behind the entire match. Before winning No. 18, he only held the lead for two holes after taking a brief advantage with a birdie on the par-5 fourth hole. Gunthorpe tied it on No. 7 and never trailed again until the closing hole.

“It’s not good enough,” said a disappointed Gunthorpe, who lost to top-seeded Miles McConnell in 19 holes a year ago at The Kittansett Club. “I’ve been struggling all week. It never went away. I’ve had putting woes and my pace has been off all week. Uphill, downhill, sidehill, I just never got it right. And today kind of showed it through the round.”

Tim Hogarth’s first experience with the U.S. Senior Amateur two years ago was bittersweet. The Northridge, Calif., resident posted 134 in stroke play to earn medalist honors at the Country Club of Detroit, only to succumb to his own self-imposed pressure in the Round of 64 with a 21-hole defeat to fellow Southern Californian Kory Frost.

This year, Hogarth entered match play as the No. 24 seed and playing with different expectations, he rolled to an 8-and-7 victory over John Hadges, shooting the equivalent of 7 under par that included a chip-in eagle. It matched the largest margin of victory in the championship, a mark that had been achieved 10 times previously, the last in 2019 by Bob Royak en route to his title at Old Chatham Golf Club.

Nobody played better in the Round of 64 on Monday than Tim Hogarth, who was 7 under over the 11 holes of his 8-and-7 victory. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Nobody played better in the Round of 64 on Monday than Tim Hogarth, who was 7 under over the 11 holes of his 8-and-7 victory. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Hogarth rolled in an 80-foot birdie on the par-4 ninth and then chipped in for eagle from a tough lie 30 yards out on the par-5 10th to go 7 up. He closed out the match with another birdie on No. 11.

“That was probably the most ridiculous 15 minutes of golf I have played in a long time,” said Hogarth, 57, the 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion. “I hit a 3-wood short of the green into a heavy lie and kind of impossible spot and [the chip] somehow went in. It was probably 30 yards, but there was a big slope in front of me that had to kill the ball and then pop it up. It was like one in a 100 [to make it].”

Speaking of odds, it didn’t look promising for U.S. Senior Amateur rookie Mike Henry, 55, of Bloomington, Ill., on Saturday night after an opening-round 84. But on Sunday, he went 14 strokes better, posting the day’s best round and then he continued the momentum with a 1-up victory over 1979 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Jack Larkin Sr., of Atlanta, Ga.

Henry built a 4-up lead through 12 holes before Larkin began chipping away at the deficit. With Henry 1 up on No. 18, Larkin knocked his approach 20 feet above the hole. Henry followed with a shot to 15 feet. A loud noise erupted when Larkin converted his birdie putt. Henry cooly responded by making his putt to seal a win and set up a Round-of-32 encounter with Hogarth on Tuesday morning.

“I came out today and felt like I was playing with house money,” said Henry. “Jack is just a stud. The shot he hit in here [to 18] and that [20-foot birdie] putt. It did free me up a little bit. The fact that I had to make it or we’re going to one [for extra holes].”

Four other past U.S. Senior Amateur champions also advanced. Doug Hanzel (2013), 66, of Savannah, Ga., raised his overall match-play record to 28-9 with a 2-and-1 decision over Sandy Pierce, of Houston, Texas.

Chip Lutz (2015), 68, of Jupiter, Fla., playing in front of more than a dozen family members, rolled to a 5-and-4 win over Lee Porter, of Pinehurst, N.C. Bob Royak (2019), 61, of Alpharetta, Ga., rallied to win Nos. 17 and 18 with pars to outlast David Levan, of Ann Arbor, Mich., 1 up. And Dave Ryan (2016), 69, of Taylorville, Ill., edged 2021 semifinalist Craig Davis, of Chula Vista, Calif., 1 up.

Lutz and Royak will meet in the Round of 32 on Tuesday at 8:55 a.m. PDT.

Two past champions, Gene Elliott (2021) and Jeff Wilson (2018) were both knocked out. Craig Steinberg, 65, of Agoura Hills, Calif., a two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinalist competing in his 31st USGA championship, won the final two holes with pars to defeat Elliott. Steinberg converted a 20-footer for par – “It was literally the first 20-footer I made in three days” – to tie the match and when Elliott failed to reach the green in five shots, he conceded Steinberg’s 3-footer. Steinberg is now 6-0 in Round-of-64 matches in the U.S. Senior Amateur.

Wilson fell to Joe Palmer, 61, of Norwalk, Iowa, 5 and 3.

What’s Next

Match play continues on Tuesday with the Round of 32 and Round of 16. The first Round-of-32 match is scheduled for 7:15 a.m. PDT, with the first of the afternoon matches slated to commence at 12:30 p.m. Quarterfinal and semifinal matches are set for Wednesday, with the 18-hole final on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Admission is free, and spectators are encouraged to attend.

Dave Ryan (left), of Taylorville, Ill., was one of four past U.S. Senior Amateur champions to advance into the Round of 32. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Dave Ryan (left), of Taylorville, Ill., was one of four past U.S. Senior Amateur champions to advance into the Round of 32. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)


  • The 10-for-6 playoff for the final match-play spots lasted five holes and took 90 minutes to complete with Jerry Gunthorpe garnering the last spot with a par to eliminate Craig Hurlbert. It matched the longest playoff in championship history. In 2013 at Wade Hampton Golf Club, a 13-man playoff also went five holes. One of the players of note not to advance was 1986 U.S. Amateur champion Stewart (Buddy) Alexander, who was eliminated on the second extra hole.

  • California led the way with eight match-play qualifiers highlighted by No. 4 seed Randy Haag (Orinda) and 2018 champion Jeff Wilson (Fairfield). Florida was next with six. Georgia had five and Iowa produced four qualifiers, including 2021 champion Gene Elliott. Jon Brown, of Adel, lost to fellow Iowan and playoff survivor Curtis Holck, of Ankeny, 5 and 4. Joe Palmer, of Norwalk, also made the final 64.

  • On the international side, three players from England qualified for match play, along with one each from the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and Paraguay. John Kemp was the lone Englishman to advance, while 1995 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cupper Jody Fanagan, of Ireland, moved into the last 32. Fanagan went 3-0 in the Match at Royal Porthcawl in Wales, including a foursomes win with Padraig Harrington over Tiger Woods and John Harris.

  • Brent Paterson, of New Zealand, continued his quest to win both the R&A Senior Amateur and the U.S. Senior Amateur in the same year with a 6-and-5 victory over Alan Mew, of England. Seven players have captured both titles, with Gene Elliott (2021), Paul Simson (2010) and Chip Lutz (2015) accomplishing the feat in the same year. Mew, 70, was the oldest competitor to qualify for match play.

  • The Royak brothers, 2019 champion Bob and younger sibling Paul, had mixed results. Bob edged David Levan, 1 up, while Paul lost by the same margin to No. 3 seed Steve Harwell.

  • Seeds 1-5 all advanced. Besides medalist Todd White and Harwell, No. 2 seed Matt Sughrue (3 and 2 over John Barry), No. 4 seed Randy Haag (6 and 5 over Mark Sanchez) and fifth seed Roger Newsom (5 and 3 over Doug Banks) all moved on. Sughrue (2016) and Newsom (2019) are past runners-up.

  • The championship run for local favorite and Martis Camp member Mark Sear came to an end with a 2-and-1 defeat to fellow Californian James Sewell. Sear, who resides in Los Angeles, joined the club when he purchased a home on the property in 2017 after being inspired by the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur conducted at Martis Camp and won by Scottie Scheffler.

  • Peter Persons, who won the 1990 Chattanooga Classic during his PGA Tour career, served as the caddie for fellow University of Georgia alum Jack Larkin Sr. Larkin’s run ended on Monday.

  • Just one match went extra holes with Steve Ivan, of Colorado Springs, Colo., defeating Brad Wayment in 19 holes. Ivan won the last three holes of the match after trailing by two with two to play.


“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to him. [Jerry] made some key putts on the first four or five holes for par to halve the hole. But then I look back on the round and I only hit five fairways, and I had three 3-putts. That’s a recipe for disaster and it doesn’t matter which seed you are playing. Just like I said yesterday, you can throw the seeds out the window because everybody that’s here is good.” – Todd White

“I was looking at him all day. He gave us all [USA] Walker Cup ball markers. He’s with us all. He spread a little bit of the Walker Cup wealth to us. We’re super-excited for him. Well deserved.” – Iowan Joe Palmer on USA Walker Cup captain Mike McCoy, a fellow Iowan who is in St. Andrews, Scotland, for this weekend’s Match on the Old Course

“I didn’t get Jeff’s best game today, but I played well. I think I only missed a couple of greens in the 15 holes. I’ve always been a good match player. I’ve got a decent record. In our state, I’ve won our [match-play event] quite a few times. I beat the young kids back in Iowa two years ago [in the state match play]. It’s fun. It frees you up a little bit. Making the top 64 in this event and all the USGA events is just a grind.” – Palmer

“If I had my choice, I would never do what I did in Detroit ever again. I don’t think anybody puts that sort of pressure except me, and I put a lot on me to continue to play the way that I did. And it just made things more difficult.” – Tim Hogarth when asked if it’s easier to enter match play as the No. 24 seed versus the No. 1 like he did in 2021

“It’s been a good 24 hours. Saturday, I got all over my own way. It just snow-balled and I went home thinking you’re going to need to shoot the low round of the day [on Sunday], and I did. I made bogey on 17 and double on 18 yesterday, and still shot 70. I just had to prove something to myself. So, I came out here today and felt like I was playing with house money.” – Mike Henry, who shot 84-70 in stroke play and won his first-round match, 1 up

“In three of my U.S. Seniors I’ve lost to the winner. I’ve lost to Jeff Wilson (2018), Doug Hanzel (2013) and last year Rusty [Strawn]. And if I would have beaten Doug Hanzel a couple of years ago [at the C.C. of Detroit] my next match would have been [eventual winner] Gene [Elliott]. My draws have not been too generous. But then I saw I got Gene [in the Round of 64], great. But I got him today.” – Craig Steinberg

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.