Allen Peake (Photo submitted)
has had his share of do-or-die moments on the golf course. Until Friday, they’d just never gone his way.
This time, however, Peake took down Ken Kinkopf, the top-ranked player in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Rankings, in the final match of the Golfweek Senior National Match Play. Finally, Peake, 58, has his national senior title, and it’s been a long time coming.
“I’ve been so close on so many other occasions,” Peake said. “Sometimes you kind of get kind of down on whether this will ever happen. This was a big hurdle for me, particularly beating the four guys that I beat.”
Peake could be the busiest man in senior amateur golf. He teed it up in competition more than 30 times in 2018. He has already teed it up in 27 tournaments of some kind in 2019 – and not just in senior events. Four of those were one-day qualifiers, either for state events of USGA events. Some were fields that included mid-amateurs.
Read more: Peake’s senior golf marathon
At the Golfweek Match Play, played at the quirky-yet-highly-rated Tobacco Road Golf Club in Sanford, N.C., Peake earned the No. 2 seed on the match-play bracket. He had to get past Steven Mindak, Craig Hurlbert and Steve Maddalena to reach the final against Kinkopf.
Senior golf – for those who tee it up frequently, like Peake – is about figuring out how to take your game to a level where you can compete for titles.
“Ken has taken his game to that level and proved it this year,” Peake said. “I have quite the admiration and respect for him. We’ve chatted about it a lot. How do you get to that next level?”
Peake’s game was thriving at Tobacco Road in the first three rounds. He knew he wouldn’t be able to make many mistakes in the final match in order to have any chance against Kinkopf, whose hallmark is in his steadiness. That said, Peake found himself 4 down after 12 holes.
That’s when the comeback started.
Peake made a big putt at No. 13 to win the hole and gain a little bit of momentum. Neither played the 14th particularly well, but Peake won that one, too. Peake won his third in a row at No. 15 when Kinkopf “hit one of two bad shots all day.” He made a bogey to Peake’s par.
After halving No. 16, Peake made a tough putt to win No. 17 and Kinkopf pulled off a touchy up-and-down to force extra holes.
On the first extra hole, a par 5, Peake hit two solid shots, chipped to within 5 feet and ultimately won with a birdie when Kinkopf missed his second shot left and couldn’t recover. It was the close that Peake had been looking for for so long.
“To finally win one, it’s just a tremendous relief, and hopefully the first step in going to the next level,” he said.
The Macon, Ga.,-based Peake previously served in the Georgia House of Representatives and owned a number of restaurants. After retiring from government and selling some of the restaurants he owned, this part of his life is about golf. Peake has practically trademarked the term “golf equity.” He’s working hard to build it as he chases more starts in the big events – namely, USGA events. So far, his lone USGA start came at the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
The Golfweek Match Play title could go a long way in helping him earn an exemption in the Senior Amateur. That “next level” that Peake speaks of? He’s well on his way.
ABOUT THE Golfweek Senior National Match Play
The Golfweek Senior National Match-Play
Championship consists of four separate brackets,
senior (age 55-64), super-senior (age 65-69),
legends (age 74) and super-legends (75+). Over the
course of three days, players in each bracket will be
whittled to one Senior National Match-Play champion
in each division. Unlike other match play
tournaments, The Golfweek Senior National Match
Play is not a one loss and done tournament. As
players are eliminated from match-play they will
enter a consolation stroke-play competition using the
stableford scoring system.
View Complete Tournament Information