Todd Hendley, the 2017 North & South Senior Champion
PINEHURST, NC (August 16,2017) – Even Todd Hendley wanted to see history made again.
Perhaps even at the expense of making it himself.
Hendley, a multiple South Carolina Senior Amateur champion who qualified for the U.S. Senior Open this year, defeated the most decorated champion in Pinehurst history, Paul Simson, on the first hole of sudden death to win the 66th Senior Men’s North & South Amateur on Wednesday on Pinehurst No. 2.
Related: North & South Senior: Todd, Eight-Time Champ Simson Lead
“Paul is such a great player, and I kind of hated to see him not win because you really want to see him keep going here,” Hendley said.
“But since he already has the record, I guess I don’t feel so bad,” he quipped.
Hendley, of Greenville, South Carolina, earned it, though. Despite opening the third and final round with back-to-back bogeys, Hendley recovered quickly, making birdies on the next three holes. After a par on the par-3 6th, Hendley added two more birdies on 7 and 8.
That put Hendley, who started the day two shots back of 36-hole leaders Simson and Walter Todd, right into contention. He added another birdie at 13, and after a bogey on 15, came back with an eagle on 16, playing as a par-5. After giving a shot back on 17, Hendley rallied again with another birdie on 18 to finish with a 68 and a 7-under total of 209.
“Seven under in Pinehurst,” Hendley said, looking at the scoreboard. “I can’t play any better than that.”
The score tied the steady Simson, who, with eight wins lifetime in the North & South Men’s Amateur and the Senior North & South, is the all-time winningest player in Pinehurst history. Simson, though, needed a deft up-and-down from long and left of the 18th green to save par and force the playoff.
Back on 18 for the playoff, Hendley drove it long down the left side of the fairway. Simson, though, pushed his drive into the native area on the right, his ball settling in a wire grass bush. He punched out from there, but his ball came to rest against another wire grass bush in the bunker left of the green.
Simson made a beautiful shot to 8 feet from that spot, but his putt slid past the right edge of the cup. A delicate two-putt from about 50 feet gave Hendley the championship.
“This is pretty cool,” said Hendley. “To think my name is going up there with all of the great players who have won this championship, that’s pretty awesome.”
Robert Hess, of Casselberry, Florida, won the Super Senior Men’s North & South Amateur Championship with a three-day total of even-par 216, winning by four shots over Evan Long, of Charlotte.
ABOUT THE North & South Senior
Part of the annual North & South series of
tournaments at Pinehurst that include Men's,
Women's, Juniors and Seniors. Entries are open
male and female golfers who meet the
requirements below. All applicants must
to the USGA Rules of Amateur Status and meet
the requirements of the USGA Gender Policy.
In the Men's Open Division, applicants must
reached 55 years of age by tournament date to
be eligible for competition. All applicants must
have a handicap index of 8.4 or less.
In the Men's Super-Senior Division, applicants
must have reached 65 years of age by
tournament date to be eligible for competition.
All applicants must have a handicap index 10.4
FORMAT: 54-holes of stroke play will determine
the Champion. Play will be divided into four
divisions (Men’s Open, Men’s Super-Senior,
Women’s Open, and Women’s Super-Senior)
contested with one round each on Pinehurst
1, No. 5, No. 8. A full field will consist of 90
Men and 90 Super-Senior Men.
View Complete Tournament Information