Gene Elliott (USGA photo)
From a start-of-the-week 18-hole qualifier to a Sunday tee time, Gene Elliott got the full Senior British Open experience at Royal Lytham and St. Annes this week. By making the cut at this event, the 57-year-old Iowa Hall of Famer, No. 3 in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Rankings, checked off something that’s on many a senior amateur’s bucket list.
Elliott ended up on the right side of the cut thanks in large part to a second-round 2-under 68, a round that included four birdies. He couldn’t match that score on the weekend, instead posting rounds of 76-74. At 13 over for the week, Elliott was part of a three-way tied for 73rd. He finished as the low amateur.
Four shots behind Elliott, English amateur Steven Kelbrick, the only other amateur to make the cut, tied for 76th.
Final amateur leaderboard
Gene Elliott, USA, 76-68-76-74=293 (T-73)
Steven Kelbrick, England, 76-69-78-74 (T-76)
Trevor Foster, England, 74-72=146 (MC)
Robby McWilliams, USA, 74-77=151 (MC)
Steve Sansone, England, 79-75=154 (MC)
Ian Crowther, England, 78-77=155 (MC)
Garry Lacy, England, 79-77=156 (MC)
Andrew Francis, England, 80-80=160 (MC)
As if it wasn’t enough for Iowa native Gene Elliott to qualify into the Senior British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Elliott succeeded Friday in making the cut. This is his second consecutive year playing the event, but a year ago, he failed to make the weekend.
Elliott advanced through an 18-hole qualifier on Monday. It was a slow start in Thursday’s opening round as he went 4 over in the first three holes before finally righting the ship with a birdie on No. 4. He finished that day with a 75 that left him considerably down the leaderboard.
But Elliott, 57, redeemed himself on Friday with a round of 2-under 68 that included four birdies. It bumped him up the leaderboard – 50 spots up, in fact – to a tie for 49th. He is 3 over for the tournament so far.
Elliott was last year’s AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of the Year. Already this year, he has had top-5 finishes at the Jones Cup Senior, Coleman Senior Invitational and George C. Thomas Invitational. He won a remarkable fourth Iowa Senior Match Play title in June.
Besides Elliott, the only other amateur to play the weekend will be Englishman Steven Kelbrick. With rounds of 76-79 for a 5-over total, Kelbrick made the cut on the number.
ABOUT THE Senior British Open
The Senior British Open Championship has been
part of the European Seniors Tour since 1987
and from 2003 is included in the Champions
Tour as one of the five major world events in
senior golf. The event is jointly administered by
the European Seniors Tour and The R&A.
Previous winners include former Open
champions Gary Player, Bob Charles and Tom
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