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Chip Lutz completes U.S. Senior Open with even-par 70
Chip Lutz hits approach shot on the 10th hole <br>(USGA Photo)</br>
Chip Lutz hits approach shot on the 10th hole
(USGA Photo)
COLUMBUS, OH (August 15, 2016) -- Chip Lutz had never played in a U.S. Senior Open before, but you would have never known based on the way he played this week at Scioto Country Club. Following an opening round 7-over 77, Lutz played very well over the final three rounds finishing 10-over and tied for 37th.

Lutz had tried roughly a half dozen times to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open, but had never been able to survive the grueling test. “Over the last ten years I have tried and I always missed by one or tied in a playoff.”

However, Lutz’s fortune changed this past year when he won the U.S. Senior Amateur and received an automatic qualifying spot.

Lutz began his week with a disappointing first round 77 but the Reading, PA resident hit the ball well with the exception of two holes. After starting his round on the 10th, Lutz hit his drive into the face of the bunker on No. 15, leading to a double-bogey and a tee shot into the water on the par-3 17th resulted in a triple-bogey.

Despite the score, Lutz knew he was playing well and he took that confidence into the second round and rebounded with a 1-under 69 to make the cut by a stroke. Of the 23 amateurs in the field Lutz, a three- time British Senior Amateur winner, was the only player to make it to the weekend.

“That was awesome to shoot the 69 (on Friday),” Lutz said. “It was really special to make the cut as the only amateur, it meant a great deal to me. That was my goal going into the tournament and I was thrilled to make the cut and to be the only amateur to make it. That to me was quite a nice accomplishment.”

In the third round the 61-year-old Lutz played solidly, shooting a 4-over 74 before finishing on Monday with an even-par 70. Following the suspension of play due to an excess of three inches of rain on Sunday, Lutz carded two birdies and two bogeys during his closing round. Beginning his day on the 10th hole and following a bogey on the 13th he carded his first birdie of the round on No. 16.

After turning with an even-par 35, Lutz bogeyed the 2nd before rolling in his final birdie on the 6th hole.

“It really played long and totally different from days previous,” Lutz said of the course following the rain. “We had different conditions each day so there were difficult conditions but the course was great and a great test, what you would expect from a USGA event.”

Throughout the week Lutz played with some of the biggest names on the Champions Tour, including a practice round with Tom Watson, Fred Funk and fellow Florida Gator Scott Dunlap.

During the first and second rounds, Lutz played alongside the then defending U.S. Senior Open champion, Jeff Maggert and 2015 British Senior Open winner Marco Dawson.

“I have played in three British Senior Open’s previously so I had some comfort playing with the professionals. It was very helpful, some recognized me and made it a lot more comfortable.”

If there was one downside to the Monday finish for Lutz, it was that he had to pull out of the U.S. Amateur due to the tournaments overlapping.

“It is a little bit disappointing, but at the same time I am a little relieved as well,” said Lutz. "My feet are sore and I have another big stretch coming up in September, with a lot of majors still to come so I am welcoming the break after a crazy couple of weeks.”

Even though Lutz was the only amateur of 23 to make the cut at the U.S. Senior Open, there were some notable rounds by the amateurs throughout the week. Here is a look at some of the best rounds from Scioto Country Club:

69

Chip Lutz- In the second round Lutz put together the only under-par round of the week by an amateur. Lutz birdied four holes and bogeyed three during his round. Most of damage was done from Nos. 3-7 when he birdied three of five holes.

70

Gregory Condon-It was the second best round of the week by an amateur and it was a fantastic bounce back round as Condon cut 11-strokes off his day one score. During the round Condon birdied three and bogeyed three.

Chip Lutz-For all the details from Lutz's final round 70 please see above

73

Patrick Tallent- Tallent was the low amateur after his 3-over first round. The highlight of the day came on the 7th hole, when Tallent holed an eagle two.

Gene Elliot- Following a disappointing first round, Elliot responded with a solid second round that saw him birdie three times. The birdies came on Nos. 6, 12 and 15.

74

Chip Lutz- Playing in the third round, Lutz birdied one and bogeyed five. His birdie came on the 6th hole.

Don Walsworth- The 74 for Walsworth came in the second round and his scorecard included three birdies. On the back nine Walsworth birdied Nos. 11 and 12 back-to-back.

Dave Bunker- On the opening day of play Bunker birdied three holes to get his tournament started. The birdies were carded during a four hole stretch from Nos. 11-14.

View results for U.S. Senior Open Golf Championship

ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Open

The U.S. Senior Open is one of 13 national championships conducted by the USGA. Open to amateurs and professionals who have reached their 50th birthday as of the first day of the championship.

The Senior Open was first played in 1980 with a purse of, get this, just $100,000. Roberto Vincenzo of Argentina was the inaugural champion (winning $20,000), and Arnold Palmer was a popular winner the following year in 1981 at Oakland Hills. The purse has since grown to almost $4 million with the winner taking $675,000.

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