71-Year-Old wins Paul Quigley Rhode Island Senior Amateur
PROVIDENCE, RI (September 14, 2016) -- At age 71, Paul Quigley is still finding new ways to win golf tournaments.

As it is, Quigley has won more events than anyone in the RIGA’s 114-year history, so many that he has lost count. He was not even sure, until someone told him, how many times he has won the Senior Amateur.

After what he did Wednesday at Triggs, the count is now up to seven in that event alone. Quigley added his latest crown by coming from behind and firing an even- par 72 for a 36-hole total of 2-over 146. That was one shot better than 2011 champion Tom Acciardo and three ahead of Eric Ahlborg and Dean Parziale. Ahlborg had the lowest round of the tournament, a 68 that included six birdies, while Parziale had a 75 for their 149 totals.

The day was a wild one in several ways. Not one, but two RIGA presidents, current president Vin Cavallaro and former president Steve Sampson, earned hardware by capturing their division net titles. It also was a day in which the players won a race with the weather.

A beautiful day became heavily overcast late in the afternoon as the final groups were finishing. At one point with the last several groups still on the course, lightning was spotted in the distance and light rain began to fall. However, association officials were monitoring radar weather reports throughout and allowed play to continue because radar indicated the storm would stay south of the course, which it did.

By tournament’s end, Quigley had become the story as he has so often in the past 40 years. Because of the way he won, he was far more excited than he usually is even after a victory. Never before has he spent time talking about an eagle, and a near-eagle, as they keys to his victory.

He has won with precision, not power, through his career. At 5-feet-6 and 140 pounds at 71-years-old, he does not have the power of many in the field. But Triggs has two relatively short par-5s on the back and they turned the tide in his favor.

"I almost had two eagles," he said excitedly. "On 13 (442 yards uphill) I had a 12-footer. A tough putt downhill." He missed it and settled for bird.

Two holes later, at the 495-yard 15th, he not only got home in two, his second shot came to rest only three feet from the hole. He got his eagle there. He spoke about how his work will give him great glee with his family.

"When we talk about par-5s, my brother (Dana, the long time Champions Tour star) and my son (Brett, the former PGA Tour regular) don’t even want to hear me. They tell me, "You can’t reach any par 5,” Quigley related. "I don’t know if I’m even going to tell them what I did." The work on the par 5s helped Quigley play the last 11 holes in 2-under-par.

As it was, he trailed Acciardo, the first-day co- leader, much of the way. Acciardo went out in 35 and had the lead most of the day. But he drove into trouble on the par-4 16th and suffered a double bogey to fall behind by one. When he parred both 17 and 18 he came up one shot short of Quigley the eagle maker.

Quigley had become the oldest player to advance through qualifying for next week’s USGA Senior Amateur Championship in St. Louis, but he has decided to stay home and compete instead in the New England Seniors. That event will be held at Crestwood, the course where his brother was the head pro before joining the Champions Tour.

Beyond Quigley’s work, the day featured a double rarity in having current or former RIGA presidents win titles. Current president Dr. Cavallaro recorded a net 68 (77 with a nine handicap) to finish at 2-under142 and win the net title in the Legends Division for players aged 68 and older. Former president Steve Sampson had a net 72 (80 with an eight handicap) and edged Karl Augenstein by one stroke, 140-141, for the net title in the Super Seniors (for those aged 62-67).

Steven Heath of Jamestown won the overall net title at 70-69_ 139. Acciardo took the Super Seniors gross with his 147 and Quigley the Legends gross where still another former RIGA president, Peter McBride, was second at 156.

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ABOUT THE Rhode Island Senior

36-hole stroke play championship for seniors, super seniors and legends. Eligibility: Age 55 & over. Gross & Net Divisions. Member of RIGA member club.

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