ROCKY FACE, Ga. -- Defending champion Mark Bemowski and qualifying medalist Billy Clagett won first-round matches Monday in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.
The 59-year-old Bemowski, from Mukwonago, Wis., beat Frank Saxon of Clearwater, Fla., 3 and 2 at The Farm Golf Club to improve to 15-3 in the event for players 55 and older.
"One at a time," Bemowski said. "The first one is always the toughest."
The 59-year-old Clagett, a Vietnam veteran and a golf cart sales representative from Austin, Texas, edged Ted Lyford of Redlands, Calif., 2 and 1.
"I didn't think I'd be here talking to you," said Clagett, who broke the stroke-play mark at 10-under 134 to earn medalist honors for the second time. "I was down when he birdied the 14th to square the match."
Second-seeded Alan Foster of Manlius, N.Y., the 2005 British Senior Amateur champion, also advanced, beating Don Kuehn of Kansas City, Mo., 3 and 2.
Kemp Richardson of Laguna Nigel, Calif., the 2001 and 2003 champion, moved on with a 4-and-3 victory over A.B. Sisco of Pensacola, Fla.; 1991 U.S. Amateur champion Mitch Voges of Simi Valley, Calif., beat Fred Lukasik of Rock Island, Ill., 5 and 4; and 2002 winner Greg Reynolds of Grand Blanc, Mich., beat Bob Hullender of San Antonio 4 and 3.