NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland — Patrick Tallent, 61 of Vienna, Va., now holds both the U.S. Senior Amateur and British Senior Amateur title after a narrow one-stroke win over fellow American Matthew Sughrue at Royal County Down on Friday.
“It’s unbelievable to have won both the U.S. and British titles. I’ve been so close in the past and I thought my chance to win here was done,” Tallent told the R&A.
Tallent, who surged into the lead on Thursday with a second-round 68, was five-over during his final round through 11 holes but made a birdie on 12 and grinded his way in with six straight pars to close out a 75 and claim victory. He becomes the first golfer since Paul Simson to hold both the U.S. Senior Amateur and British Senior Amateur crowns at the same time, which Simson successfully did in 2010 when he defeated Tallent at Lake Nona for that year's U.S. Senior title.
Months earlier, Simson had captured his third career British Senior title, doing so at Walton Heath Golf Club.
Runner-up Sughrue, of Arlington, Va., held the lead heading to the 17th tee box but made bogeys on both closing holes to finish a stroke behind his fellow Virginian.
Third place, six shots back of Sughrue, was another American, Chip Lutz of Reading, Pennsylvania. Lutz, having won back-to-back titles from 2011 to 2012, was looking for his third at Royal County Down, but an opening-round 80 set him back significantly. Still, closing scores of 73 and 72 gave him a respectable third-place finish by two over seven players tied for fourth place, including 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur winner Doug Hanzel.
Tallent's triumph makes it the sixth straight American to head across the Atlantic and capture the Seniors title, and 14th in the last 17 years.
Defending champion Brady Exber of Las Vegas, who won by four over Stephen East of England at Ganton Golf Club in 2014, finished in a tie for 37th after rounds of 80-79-76.