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Published: Tuesday, 7/26/2011

U.S. Senior Open

Hoch withdraws; Schaff added to field

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST

Steve Schaff is living proof that there is dejà vu … all over again.

The one-time Sylvania resident, who drove here from Gainesville, Fla., hoping to make the U.S. Senior Open field as an alternate, did just that late yesterday when Champions Tour regular Scott Hoch withdrew.

This is the second appearance for Schaff in a Senior Open. The first was in 2007 when he made the field as an alternate at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. That year, the player he replaced in the field was … Scott Hoch.

"I haven't met Scott personally," Schaff said yesterday. "But one of my best friends is his neighbor, so some day I'm sure we'll hook up and I'll have a big hug for him."

Schaff, 54, said he would wait until today for his first practice round at Inverness Club.

"I'm going to rest," he said. "Plus, the course will be different [today] as it continues to firm up and get faster. I think I'll be best served to wait."

In the meantime, Schaff will count his blessings.

"I'm just amazed," he said. "I guess the message is to never lose sight of your dreams. They do come true. Playing in this tournament was my dream."



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