OCT 2018

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F airfield resident Jeff Wilson no longer has to answer questions about not winning a USGA championship. The longtime NCGA member became the first medalist in 31 years to win the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, claiming the 64th edition with a 2-and-1 victory over defending champion Sean Knapp, 56, of Oakmont, Pa. in late August. For the 55-year-old Wilson, it was the culmination of a journey that began in the late 1970s with the U.S. Junior Amateur and progressed to four U.S. Open appearances, including 2000 at Pebble Beach, where he earned low-amateur honors. He's the only golfer in USGA history to earn medalist honors in the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur and the U.S. Senior Amateur, and earlier this summer he was the low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open, joining two- time USGA champion Marvin "Vinny" Giles III as the only competitors to earn that distinction in a U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open. Reaching the Pinnacle "How is this his first [USGA] win?" a gracious Knapp asked rhetorically near the 17th green. "Anybody that's played amateur golf at a high level has known Jeff Wilson. He's a superstar. You did not see a senior golfer out there. You saw one of the best amateur golfers in the country." Wilson had come close to winning USGA titles before, reaching the semifinals of the U.S. Mid- Amateur in consecutive years (2001-2002) and the quarterfinals of that championship on three other occasions. The U.S. Senior Am marked his 33rd USGA championship. "I think Sean said it best [at the prize ceremony], it's really hard to win one of these things," said Wilson, the owner of a car dealership. "First you've got to get over yourself and then you have to beat the guy playing with you. And it's difficult. I always thought I was good enough to be a USGA champion, but I never work put the work in. And that shows up when the matches are on the line. This year, I put the work in." USGA CHAMPIONSHIPS USGA / J.D. CUBAN

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