CEDAR RAPIDS — Scott Carnes walked off the final green of the Senior City Amateur golf tournament yesterday with his friends and competitors.
It was a unique situation that faced Carnes as he edged out his counterparts Todd Hingtgen and Dan Dalziel by a stroke in yesterday’s competition, after shooting a 149. The 69-year-old Carnes said it was a genuine battle through the end.
“That’s the great thing about it,” Carnes said. “They say to you, ‘Great shot,’ and they mean it. It isn’t like they walk away and scuff. They root for you, too.”
Carnes said he played not to hold a lead or get to the lead, but rather playing hole by hole. He had no idea where he stood in terms of position, but knew it was going to be close.
“It was a very interesting round because we switched the nines,” Carnes said. “I birdied No. 3 and No. 5, which got me into the lead and it was a straight battle after that.”
Carnes wasn’t the only one playing with a group of his comrades during the weekend. Jack Peacock, who played in the Silver Seniors division (a division for players 70-plus years old) beat out his acquaintance Richard Tolliver by a stoke early on in the afternoon.
Peacock has spent the past 19 years playing in this tournament and said it gets harder every year.
“I started when I was 50,” Peacock said. “I ran out of things to do and got too old to play softball. All of my friends played golf; that’s why I took it up.
Mark McMahon, the head PGA pro at the Ellis Golf Course, said after running the course for a couple of months, he could already tell there was a real connection with the group of golfers he saw this weekend.
“Seems like a pretty good camaraderie with this group,” McMahon said. “A lot good friends and a good group overall.”
A tournament like the Senior City Amateur, not only for men but the women as well, brings golfers in the Cedar Rapids area together each year, McMahon said. It’s becoming friendlier than the regular City Amateur tournament and there’s more enjoyment behind the rounds.
Tournament director Gary Louvar said this kind of tournament provides the opportunity for players to get together each year.
“It’s a nice outlet for them and the biggest thing is the tournament is growing every year,” Louvar said. “This is the biggest tournament we’ve had with 144 who are playing in it.”
Louvar credits the influx of players this year to younger men coming in who were once too young for the tournament.The tournament is for members who are 50 or older.
“It gives them an outlet to play different tees. When they get older, they get to move up and won’t have to play all of the same tees,” Louvar said. “With the skill level and with the age, it provides an opportunity for everybody to still play and play on a competitive basis.”
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