Paul Jett, CGCS Retired, former superintendent at Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2 and a 33-year GCSAA member, advanced to today’s quarterfinal round at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, N.C. Photo by USGA/Chris Keane
Major tournament golf is nothing new to Paul Jett, CGCS Retired.
During his 15-year stint as the superintendent at Pinehurst No. 2, Jett led preparations for the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens and the 2008 U.S. Amateur. He also has years of experience in competitive golf as a player, highlighted by an individual state championship in high school in South Carolina and regular appearances in the top 10 at the GCSAA National Championship.
Despite all of that, Jett, 55, took things a step further at this week’s U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, N.C. Playing in his very first USGA national championship, the 33-year GCSAA member advanced all the way to today’s quarterfinal round before losing in 19 holes to Roger Newsom from Virginia Beach, Va.
Jett, now a territory/location manager for Triangle Chemical Co., carded scores of 76 and 75 in the 36-hole stroke play portion of the competition to earn one of the 64 spots in the match play finals. Seeded 57th, he proceeded to upset No. 8 seed Gene Elliott from West Des Moines, Iowa, 2 and 1, in the round of 64, then knocked off 25th-seeded Terry Tyson from Perrysburg, Ohio, 4 and 3, in the round of 32 Tuesday morning.
Playing against the 56th seed, Byron Norton from Mission Hills, Kan., in the round of 16 Tuesday afternoon, Jett secured a 1-up victory with a birdie on the par-4 18th hole.
In today’s quarterfinals, Jett showed plenty of mettle, rallying from behind on several occasions. He was 2 down after four holes but was able to tie the match with Newsom on the par-4 ninth, then again with a birdie on the par-5 14th. Trailing again by a hole heading to the 18th, Jett managed to win the hole to force a 19th hole, but a bogey there ended his tournament run.
Jett originally qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur with a 68 in a sectional qualifying tournament in Lexington, S.C.
Read more about Paul Jett and his career journey, and keep up on the action in the U.S. Senior Amateur.
Scott Hollister is GCM’s editor-in-chief.