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Long Beach Senior Amateur: Valerio tops champ

click above to view video footage and interview from the event
LONG BEACH, Calif. (May 11, 2007)-- Senior life is treating Hawthorne-native Bob Valerio quite well.

Since turning 50 in late March, Valerio won the Anaheim City Senior by eight strokes, and topped two-time defending champion Steven Hakes by a stroke to win the Long Beach Senior Am Friday at Recreation Golf Course.

Hakes entered the day leading by two strokes, but saw the margin whittled away after holes 13 and 14, which Valerio birdied.

A bogey by Hakes on 15 swung the lead in Valerio's favor, and he would not give it up.

Both golfers birdied the par-5 17th hole, but Hakes found the trees with his tee shot on the final hole, allowing Valerio to three-putt for the win, finishing with a three-day total of even-par 216.

"My putter was working for me today, until that final hole when I didn't really need it," said Valerio. "I play here probably 10 times per year, so that helps, there were definitely some holes where he was unsure of which club to hit."

The victory guarantees Valerio a spot in the $150,000 Long Beach Open, which will be held July 26-29.

For full results, click on the "see also" link at top of article and use the results tab.

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