Jim Graham (Met Golf Association photo)
Nearly four months to the day after claiming the MGA Senior Amateur title in a playoff, Jim Graham, who played out of Winged Foot, pulled off a repeat performance by capturing the MGA Senior Masters Tournament in extra holes over George Zahringer, the defending champion.
Coming in from the afternoon shotgun start at Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, N.Y., neither Graham nor Zahringer thought their rounds of 1-under 71 would stand up against the strong field of the Met Area's top players aged 65 and above. However, that proved to be the number, requiring a playoff between the familiar faces who have competed both with and against one another for years.
Starting on the par-4 18th, Zahringer nearly chipped in for birdie, his ball dipping into the hole before spinning out. While Graham had about 15 feet for his own birdie look, it missed on the high side and both players moved on to the downhill, par-3 seventh. The roles were reversed there, with Graham getting up-and-down from short of the green and Zahringer two-putting for par.
On the par-5 eighth, Zahringer hit his second shot over the green, then chipped to within a couple of feet. Meanwhile, Graham's second finished just above a green-guarding front bunker. He pitched his shot past the hole, but made the eight-footer for birdie. Zahringer's short look then missed wide, allowing Graham to hoist his second MGA trophy of the season.
"I signed up because I won the Senior Amateur earlier in the year," he explained. "Someone had said, 'No one's ever won them both in the same year.' I go, well, that's a reason to sign up -- not thinking I was going to win, but that was really the motivation to send in my entry. To end up winning is unbelievable."
View results for MET Senior Masters
ABOUT THE MET Senior Masters
18 hole stroke play tournament open to male
golfers of MGA Member Clubs who have reached
65th birthday by the tournament date.
View Complete Tournament Information