SAN MATEO, CA (March 29, 2017) -- Jim Ono, nearing his 81st birthday, shot a final round 68 and won the San Mateo County Senior Championship last weekend at Poplar Creek Golf Club.
"My putter [was working] and I was hitting quality shots and at my age those things don't happen consistently," Ono said over the phone. "And your focus is very difficult to maintain after all these years. [But] it is like a flashback moment from the past when you get into contention. Things went well and the stars aligned."
Ono, an attorney, came alive on Sunday, coming from four strokes back to win by a single shot. This was a Senior event (55-plus) not a Super Senior. Jim bested all in in the field, some more than 25 years his junior. He posted scores of 73-68, 141 at the age of 80.
"What Jim did up there is pretty amazing. He's the oldest player to win a Northern California Golf Association points event and [he] beat some quality players to achieve the feat," said NCGA Assistant Director of Communications Jerry Stewart. "We're very happy for him."
The last time Ono had won an event was a couple of years ago in 2015 when he won the Grand Masters Division at the Society Of Seniors Summer Classic at Wianno Golf Cub on Cape Cod.
However, this week Ono had a distinct advantage, he was playing on his home course and he was as he said, "the local hero."
"Normally unless I have a tournament schedule which isn't often these days I play once a week or twice sometimes," said Ono who has broken his age 256 times and counting.
Even with the local knowledge in his back pocket Ono didn't necessarily think he would have enough to pull it off, "[On Sunday] I didn't know where I stood. All I was thinking was trying to stay in the moment because whatever happens, happens. I never thought in my mind I would be in first. I only entered because it was my local tournament and I wanted to support the area."
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