Craig Calkins (left) receives a handshake from Brady Exber (Photo submitted)
Brady Exber put himself in position to win a third consecutive Morrison Cup title on Saturday afternoon, but that ended with a tricky 5-footer for par on the third playoff hole against Craig Calkins. After playing three solid days of golf at Pauma Valley Golf Club in Pauma Valley, Calif., Calkins put his name on the Morrison Cup winner’s list for the first time.
Calkins, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., led Exber, of Las Vegas, by two at the turn. Exber’s birdie on 15 and Calkins’ three-putt bogey on the treacherous 17th green allowed Exber to draw even.
While the focus had been on Exber and Calkins, another man in the final group was also making a move. David Oas, of Oceanside, Calif., stood in the middle of the fairway at the par-5 17th and crushed a driver to within 10 feet of the green. He got up and down for the only birdie in the group, which allowed Oas to get within one of the lead going to the 18th tee.
Oas’ wayward tee shot there, however, went out of bounds to the left, effectively ending his chances of a spot in the playoff.
After both Exber and Calkins parred the closing hole, it was back to the 18th tee. After two more trips down that hole and still no winner, the playoff moved to the 10th, an uphill par 4 with a large, steeply sloped green.
Both players found the center of the fairway and hit good approach shots into the
green. Exber putted first but left it short, and after carefully watching Exber’s putt, Calkins lagged to within a foot before tapping in for his par. When Exber missed his putt, it left Calkins with the victory.
Calkins was runner-up at the Hesler in 2018 and tied for second at the Ralph Bogart Tournament. His head-to-head defeat of Exber is significant, considering that the defending champion is a two-time Stocker Cup champion, an SNGA stalwart and the reigning Canadian Senior Amateur champion.
ABOUT THE Morrison Cup
The Marion R. Morrison National Senior
Championship, or the Morrison
Cup, is a 54-hole stroke play tournament with
(ages 55+), Super Seniors (65+) and Legends
Entries are open to male amateur golfers who
reached their 55th
birthday on or before the tournament date.
Applicants must have a USGA
handicap index of 5.0 or less (10.0 or less in
Super Senior and Legends Divisions).
Entries will be considered first in the order they
received, second by
player index, and third by
past performance in similar competitions.
View Complete Tournament Information