Knecht opens 2019 with Old Corkscrew Senior title
Mark Knecht
Mark Knecht

ESTERO, Fla. (Jan. 6, 2018) – The first senior amateur title of 2019 went to Mark Knecht after the 56-year-old defeated Owen Joyner in a playoff at the Old Corkscrew Senior. Both men finished 54 holes at Old Corkscrew Golf Club with a 10-over total, but Knecht prevailed in extra holes.

Knecht, a Paducah, Ky., resident, opened with back-to-back rounds of 74 but a final-round 78 allowed the field to catch up to him. Still, Knecht’s good play stretches back to the end of 2018, when he won the Senior Azalea Invitational in September and followed that with top-4 finishes at the Golfweek Senior Tournament of Champions and Ralph Bogart Tournament in November and December.

As for runner-up Joyner, rounds of 76-73-77 got him to 10 over. At the start of January 2018, Joyner won the Gateway Senior Invitational wire-to-wire. The last time he played the Old Corkscrew event, in 2017, he was runner-up.

Emile Vaughan had consistent rounds of 77-76-76 for a 13-over total that left him solo third. Leon Roday was a shot behind that in fourth. First-round leader Jonathan Valuck shared fifth with Kip Estep at 15 over.

In the super senior division, Pete Allen jumped to the first-round lead with a 73, then used closing rounds of 78 for a two-shot victory. Allen hails from Southport, N.C. Runner-up James Castagna, of Sandy Spring, Md., spent the week on Allen’s heels with rounds of 74-78-79 but couldn’t quite overtake him.

John Blank won the legends division at 10 over. He and Bill Engel, who finished runner-up a shot back, went toe to toe all week but Blank got the edge thanks to a final-round 77.


Mark Knecht drew on consistency Saturday to take over the lead in the Old Corkscrew Senior Championship. Knecht, who ended 2018 with two top-5 finishes in senior events, threw out back-to-back rounds of 74 to gain a one-shot advantage entering Sunday’s final round.

Knecht started the day two shots behind first-round leader Jonathan Valuck, but had the second-best second-round score. Owen Joyner, in second, had the best score of the day: a 73 that bumped him from fifth to second.

Leon Roday is third at 7 over after rounds of 75-76. Emile Vaughan is another two shots back in fourth.

First-round leader Valuck is part of a four-man tie for fifth at 11 over, seven off the lead.

In the super senior division, Pete Allen had rounds of 73-78 to reach 7 over and take a one-shot lead on James Castagna.

Bill Engel leads the legends division with a 3-over total. He has a two-shot advantage on John Blank.


In his 2019 debut, Jonathan Valuck picked up right where he left off last year. The Oklahoma City resident won the SOS Founders Cup in November, and now has the first-round lead in the Old Corkscrew Senior.

Valuck opened with 72 at Old Corkscrew Golf Club, which gave him a two-shot advantage on pursuers Mark Knecht and Harold Payne, who both had 74.

Knecht, of Paducah, Ky., won the Senior Azalea Invitational in 2018. Payne, of Hurrance, W.Va., didn’t get a major senior victory in 2018. He was in the top 10 at last year’s Senior Corkscrew, however.

Leon Roday is solo fourth with 75 while three players tied for fifth with rounds of 76: Mike Arnold, Steve Groom and Owen Joyner.

Results: Old Corkscrew Senior
1KYMark KnechtPaducah, KY70074-74-78=226
2FLOwen JoynerBonita Springs, FL40076-73-77=226
3ALEmile VaughanMontgomery, AL30077-76-76=229
4VALeon RodayHenrico, VA30075-76-79=230
T5TXKip EstepRockwall, TX30078-79-74=231

View full results for Old Corkscrew Senior

ABOUT THE Old Corkscrew Senior

Opening "major" event of the Senior season which earns players points in the Golfweek and senior rankings. The event is a 54 hole individual stroke play tournament for amateurs fifty-five years and over. The tournament includes a Senior Division (age 55- 64); Super-Senior Division (65 and over); and a Legends Division (70 and over), the Legends Division plays from the same yardage and tees as the Super-Senior Division. Participants must reach the minimum age requirement in each division bracket by the first tournament round.

Old Corkscrew Golf Club is a Jack Nicklaus ‘Signature Design’ that has received many coveted awards.

View Complete Tournament Information

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