US Senior Am: John Olive is Robert Polk's New Best Friend
Time for Robert Polk (L) to start shopping for John Olive's (R) thank-you gift<br>(Colorado Golf Association photo)
Time for Robert Polk (L) to start shopping for John Olive's (R) thank-you gift
(Colorado Golf Association photo)

PARKER, CO (August 24, 2017) - Perhaps Robert Polk owes Colorado Golf Hall of Famer John Olive a thank-you note.

Twice after finishing as first alternate in qualifying for the U.S. Senior Amateur, Polk has gotten into the national field by virtue of Olive withdrawing ahead of time.

It happened in 2011, and a repeat scenario has played out this summer, which means that Polk will tee it up in the national championship starting Saturday (Aug. 26) at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis.

"(Olive) had some other stuff come up that he had to take care of," Polk said Wednesday after finishing third in the CGA Super-Senior Stroke Play at Buffalo Run Golf Course in Commerce City. "He called me Friday afternoon and said, 'Do you want to play?' I said, 'Of course, I'd love to.' He called the USGA and it was all set Friday afternoon."

Ironically, it was a playoff against Olive that kept Polk from being in the national field in the first place. In a July 24 qualifier at Colorado Springs Country Club, the two were part of a three-golfer playoff to determine the final two national berths from the site. Guy Mertz from Longmont advanced with a par on the first extra hole.

But Polk's drive on the second playoff hole finished stymied behind a tree in the rough and he took an unplayable-lie penalty. Olive finished with a regulation par on the hole to land the final national berth.

But after Olive's WD, Polk is heading to Minneapolis after all.

"It's wonderful," said Polk, a 62-year-old from Colorado Golf Club and a three-time CGA Senior Player of the Year. "I've always said, 'This is why you do it.' The USGA is the pinnacle for us. You just want to see what you've got against the best in the country. That's always fun."

It will be the fifth USGA championship overall for Polk, who has also competed in a U.S. Senior Open, a U.S. Mid-Amateur, and a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with Bill Fowler.

ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Amateur

The USGA Senior Amateur is open to those with a USGA Handicap Index of 7.4 or lower, who are 55 or older on or before the day the championship begins. It is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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