Wes McNulty (second from left) and his Arkansas team (Sun Country Golf photo)
When you surge to a seven-shot lead over the course of the final round and pull your team up the board right along with you, it qualifies as golf heroics. Wes McNulty was the man of the hour Wednesday afternoon at the U.S. Senior Challenge as he went 67-68 on a 36-hole day at Shawnee (Okla.) Country Club for a double win.
McNulty topped Jon Valuck and Chris Hall, the next-closest individuals by seven shots. He and his Arkansas teammates won the team portion of the event.
McNulty, of White Hall, Ark., was close behind after an opening 73. But McNulty had a total of 10 birdies on Wednesday. Not even a bogey on No. 15 or a double bogey on No. 17 could slow him down.
He was at 5 under while Valuck and Hall were at 2 over for the tournament.
In the team division, Arkansas, led by McNulty, finished at 16 under for the tournament. That was eight shots better than runner-up Georgia.
ROUND 1 RECAP
A year ago, Jim Durr scored a top-10 finish at the U.S. Senior Challenge. This year, he’s on early pace to surpass that. Durr, of Silver Lake, Ohio, has the first-round lead at Shawnee (Okla.) Country Club after an opening 1-under 70.
Durr would be farther ahead if not for a closing bogey on the par-5 18th. It cut his lead over Oklahoma City’s Jon Valuck to one shot.
Valuck went through a rough patch in the middle of the day. After going 2 under in the first six holes, he went bogey, triple-bogey, bogey to finish the front nine. Valuck then played the back in 3 under for his 71.
Valuck, winner of last year’s SOS Founders Cup on the senior circuit, is in solo second ahead of three men at 1 over. That contingent includes Jeff Richter, Chris Hall and Ronald Kilby.
In the senior division, Gary Hardin and Ken Knott are tied atop the leaderboard after rounds of 1-over 72.
The U.S. Senior Challenge also includes a team component. The Ohio team, led by Durr, has a four-shot lead on Georgia and Texas.
ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Challenge
The U.S. Senior Challenge is the nation’s only senior, amateur golf event featuring teams from different states
competing against each other usually held in June of each year. Four-man teams representing their respective state,
one of which can be 50-54 and at least three need to be 55 & over and much like a collegiate event, has an
individual component inside the event.
The tournament is a 54-hole competition. The best three of four scores per hole are counted on the first day of
competitive play when teams are paired together, and the best three of four 18-hole rounds are scored during the
final two rounds.
A team and an individual champion will be identified along with a Senior and Super Senior Payout.
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