September 16, 2014

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) Rick Cloninger advanced to the U.S. Senior Amateur quarterfinals Tuesday, beating qualifying medalist Alan Fadel and David Szewczul at Big Canyon.

The 57-year-old Cloninger, from Fort Mill, South Carolina, routed Fadel, from Toledo, Ohio, 7 and 6 in the second round, and edged Szewczul, from Farmington, Connecticut, with a birdie on the 19th hole.

''It was a big day,'' said Cloninger, a construction equipment consultant who played baseball and football at Wofford College. ''This morning was as good as I'll ever play. I didn't miss a shot early, and I caught Alan a little off. This afternoon, I executed two shots right when I needed them most. On No. 18, it's all or nothing, either it goes in or it doesn't, and I hit as good a putt as I hit all day. That makes me feel the best.''

The medalist hasn't won the event since 1987, the longest active span in the 10 USGA amateur championships.

On Friday morning in the event for players 55 and older, Cloninger will face Frank Dial of Auburn, Alabama. Dial beat James Gallagher of Yorktown, Virginia, 2 and 1.

In the other upper-bracket quarterfinal, Michael Turner of Sherman Oaks, California, will face Patrick Tallent of Vienna, Virginia. Turner beat Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Washington, 2 and 1, and Tallent topped Ron Carter of Monticello, Indiana, 4 and 2.

In the lower bracket, 2011 champion Randal Lewis of Alma, Michigan, will play Jack Hall of Savannah, Georgia; and Bryan Norton of Mission Hills, Kansas, will face Peter Wegmann of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Lewis beat two-time Mid-Amateur champion Tim Jackson in 20 holes in the morning, and topped Emile Vaughan of Pike Road, Alabama in 19 holes in the afternoon.

''It took everything I had to squeak by Tim in the morning and I was tired the whole 18 in the afternoon,'' Lewis said. ''I was running on fumes.''

In the other third-round matches, Hall edged Lee Sandlin of Dallas; Norton beat Todd Hendley of Greer, South Carolina; and Wegmann topped Chris Hall of Mableton, Georgia, all by 3-and-2 scores.

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