Another victory for the long putter Chip Lutz defends his title - Royal & Ancient G.A. photo
WALES (August 10, 2012) -- American Chip Lutz became only the third player in history to retain the Seniors Open Amateur title today and he did so in style with his best round of the week at Machynys Peninsula in South Wales. Lutz follows the legendary Charlie Green and Ron White as back-to-back winners.
The 57-year-old from Pennsylvania, the runner-up two years ago and winner at Royal Portrush last summer, overcame a one-stroke deficit to claim to a four-stroke victory with his best performance of the week.
Lutz, who won the Silver Medal as top amateur at the recent Senior Open at Turnberry, posted a closing four-under par 68 for a 54-hole aggregate of 211, on five-under par, to finish ahead of fellow countrymen Douglas Pool, Steve Rogers and three-time winner Paul Simson.
Pool, from Las Vegas, was presented with the Silver Medal as the runner-up by virtue of his last round score.
Steadiness won the day for Lutz as he carded level halves of 34, had just one bogey, on the fourth, and collected five birdies, three on the outward half and two on the way home.
Three-time champion Simson went into the final round one stroke clear of the field and led for much of the day, but after the turn he missed birdie opportunities while Lutz took his and edged clear.
"It feels unreal to have won again. It is a significant achievement as it has not been done for about 20 years and then by Charlie Green who I believe was something special. He won six times in seven years and I certainly have some way to go to catch him up.
“I felt good coming in to the tournament but the standard is so high these days that winning events like this is a tall order and I am just thrilled to have done it and I am really looking forward to Royal Birkdale and The Seniors Open Amateur at Royal Aberdeen next year,” said Lutz.
One of the most impressive achievements was that of Pool, a 61-year-old former Casino operator, who almost pulled out of the event because of excruciating back pain. He shot a splendid 71 to clinch the runner-up spot. "I am really delighted. This is beyond my wildest dreams."
Simson was disappointed with a 73 in his final round. “Just after the turn things went wrong. I bogeyed the 12th and failed to make birdie at the 13th and then Chip put breathing space between us,” said the 61-year-old from North Carolina.
Americans occupied the first five places with Scotland’s Ian Brotherston finishing tied sixth on 217, one-over par.
Former winner Arthur Pierse from Ireland slipped back in the final round scoring 75 for a 219 total and ninth place.
There was some joy for the host country, however, as 68-year-old John Jermine, the Chairman of the Golf Union of Wales, won the over 65’s award with a 54-hole aggregate of 224 to finish in a tie for 25th.
“I am delighted but if my putting had been better I could have been closer to the main prizes as I missed many putts of under a yard over the three days,” said Jermine.
The 2013 Seniors Open Amateur will take place at Royal Aberdeen from 7-9 August.
British Senior Amateur Championship: Top Finishers