HOWEY IN THE HILLS, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2013) -- Bill Zylstra is on a roll so far in 2013. By winning the Golfweek Senior National Championship victory on Friday, the 61-year-old claimed his third ranked senior amateur event this year.
Zylstra, a Michigan native who winters in Ocklawaha, Fla., shot a final-round 2-over 74 at Mission Inn Resort’s Las Colinas course in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., on Friday. He prevailed in cold weather, outpacing Richard Pfeil to win the championship at 2-over 214 for 54 holes.
Zylstra and Pfeil, who ended 2012 atop Golfweek’s Senior Rankings, began the day tied for the top spot, and with a seven-shot lead on the next closest player. Zylstra pulled away over the front nine, as Pfeil ended with double bogeys at Nos. 7 and 9. Pfeil finished at 81 for the day, and with a total of 5-over 221.
In addition to claiming the tournament title, Zylstra also won the January Swing on the senior amateur circuit. That title comes after winning the Old Corkscrew Senior Invitational, the Gateway Invitational and nearly winning the Kingsway Senior Invitational.
For Zylstra, better play in 2013 is directly attributable to back surgery at the end of 2012. Zylstra had a seditious cyst removed from his back, and it was something that had been weighing on his mind last year. He also spent part of the offseason reading Fred Shoemaker’s “Extraordinary Golf.” Zylstra said it allowed him to get his head in shape and enjoy the game.
Robert Howe won the Super Senior title at Mission Inn after prevailing in a one-hole playoff with Ted Smith, last year’s No. 1 player in the Golfweek Super Senior Rankings. Both players finished regulation at 3-over 219.
Edward Craig won the Legends division with a 15-over 231 total.