2017 British Senior Amateur champion Bryan Hughes (R&A Photo)
SUNNINGDALE, ENGLAND (August 11, 2017) - Bryan Hughes
of Hesketh Golf Club in the west of England has broken the streak of American winners of the British Senior Amateur, coming from seven shots behind to win by two shots at Sunningdale Golf Club.
Americans have enjoyed a long run of success at the British Seniors, winning the last seven championships (including three by defending champion Chip Lutz
) and 17 of the last 21 dating back to Joel Hirsch
of Chicago in 1996.
Related: Steve Groom Leads American Charge at British Senior Am
And once again players from the USA dominated the leaderboard, taking 9 of the top 12 places. But Hughes put one on the board for the homeland, becoming the first Englishman to win since Roy Smethurst
His final round of three-under 67 was tied for the low round of the tournament. After an early bogey, Hughes played flawlessly, recording birdies at 5, 12, 15, and 18, allowing him to post a clubhouse number that no one in the three groups behind him were able to match.
Scoring was high all week as the course played long and wet due to rain that halted play on day one. Hughes finished at four-over 214.
of Savannah, GA, the #1 ranked player in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Rankings
, was looking for his first British Seniors win. Playing in the group immediately behind Hughes', Hanzel needed a final-hole birdie to tie but instead made bogey, finishing with a round of even-par 70 which put him in a second place tie at six-over 216.
It was Steven Williams
of South Africa who had the last chance to tie Hughes, but he met a similar fate, needing birdie to tie only to make bogey and finish in a tie for second. Williams closed with a 73.
Gene Elliott of Iowa continued his excellent summer
of Des Moines, IA, also seeking his first win in the championship, shot a final-round 73 and was the final player tied for the runner-up spot.
Going into the final round, Steve Groom
of Kansas City, playing in his first tournament in Europe, held the lead at even-par 140. But a four-hole stretch derailed his tournament, as he made two triples and two bogeys starting at the fourth hole. Groom eventually finished in a tie for 18th at 12 over par 222.
The three-time champion Lutz, who the low amateur
at last week's British Senior Open Championship in Wales, finished tied for 7th, four shots behind Hughes.
Other Americans finishing in the top ten included Matthew Sughrue
of Arlington, VA (tied 5th), the 2014 champion Brady Exber
of Las Vegas who closed with a 69 to finish tied 7th, John McClure
of Austin, TX (tied 9th) and Buzz Fly
of Memphis, TN (a closing 68 to tie for 9th).
Among other former champions, Patrick Tallent
of Vienna, VA (2015) finished tied for 21st at 223, and Paul Simson
of Raleigh, NC (2010) was tied 30th at 225.
ABOUT THE British Senior Amateur
The British Senior Amateur, called the "Seniors
Amateur Championship" in the United Kingdom,
was launched by The R&A in 1969 to help select
a Great Britain & Ireland side to play in the
World Senior Amateur Team Championship.
Though the British Senior Amateur, played for the
first time at Formby, was an instant success, the
team event did not survive beyond 1969. Charlie
Green has been the most successful player in
the history of the event, winning six times in
seven years beginning in 1988. Like the U.S.
Senior Amateur, players must be over the age of
55 to play. Notable courses played over the
years include Royal County Down, Royal
Portrush, Royal Aberdeen, and Walton Heath.
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