Boenish Holds Off Field to Win Senior Amateur
By Jeff Hare, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS — There is an old saying in golf that the Masters doesn’t really start until the back nine on Sunday.
The same could be said about this year’s Men’s Senior Amateur tournament held this past weekend at Gardner.
The Open division all came down to Vern Boenish needing and making a 10-foot putt on the 18th green to hold off Dan Dalziel by one shot.
Jay Glasford and Steve Kahler were tied for third, two shots off the pace.
Boenish’s heroics didn’t start with the challenging putt. A chip for an eagle three on the par-five 16th hole put him ahead to stay.
“That shot was huge, and the putt was really tough. I knew I needed it for the win, and I’m just glad it went in,” said Boenish.
The whole back nine was played nip and tuck, as the final group was either tied, or very close to the lead, as they made the turn for home.
“We all knew it was close, but it wasn’t really discussed. We were all so focused on our next shots, and didn’t spend the time adding up the score. We knew it was close and what was at stake.”
Boenish had a Sunday total of 74, which included four birdies, and the eagle.
His two day combined score was 147. Dalziel checked in with a 148, Glasford and Kahler at 147.
“There are so many great golfers over age 50 in Cedar Rapids. I’m honored to have played with those guys, and to represent them as the Men’s senior champion for the year. I’m just so thrilled and proud to be part of this event.”
It was a record turnout this year for the Senior Amateur Championship, with 137 entries in four classes.
Other winners included the men’s silver senior (aged 70-plus) which was won by Jack Peacock with 148, one shot better than Ron Brandt.
In the Senior division (ages 50-59), Craig Runyon came in with a 142, seven shots better than Reno Faust.
Mark Hathaway took home the prize with a 142 in the Super Senior (age 60-69), ahead of Art Borron’s 149.
Hathaway was in control throughout Sunday, after shooting a 66 on Saturday.
Hathaway also won this event last year.
“It was nice this year, especially with the 66. I’ve been playing in a lot of these things, and it is always nice to win,” said Hathaway.
For the weekend, Hathaway had one bad hole, taking a double bogey on Sunday’s last hole.
“Would like to have that one back,” said Hathaway.
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