preview and George Zahringer photo courtesy R&A
GANTON, England (August 6, 2014) -- George Zahringer will defend his Seniors Amateur Championship title on familiar ground at Ganton this week.
The 61-year-old from New York triumphed in fine style at Royal Aberdeen last year and will set out to retain the trophy at the North Yorkshire course where he played in the 2003 Walker Cup match, won by Great Britain and Ireland by a single point, and where he enjoyed his best performance in the Amateur Championship, reaching the quarter final in 1991.
A place in the Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale next year is on offer to the winner and Zahringer will be one of several strong contenders looking to extend American dominance of the championship in its 46th staging. Since 2004, the trophy has only twice been held outside of the United States: in 2007 when Ireland’s Arthur Pierse won at Nairn and Nairn Dunbar and in 2009 when Bermuda’s Robert Vallis won at Prestwick.
Chip Lutz will be looking to wrest the title back from Zahringer, having won in 2011 and 2012. The 59-year-old from Pennsylvania is fresh from finishing as the leading amateur in the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl in a tie for 46th position, two shots ahead of Zahringer who was tied 58th.
Paul Simson, the champion in 2006, 2008 and 2010, will be another American who will expect to contend once again as will his compatriot Patrick Tallent, who was joint leader after the second round last year before his challenge faded and he finished tied for 7th.