In Arizona, Tucker Allen wins the Saguaro Amateur
Tucker Allen won the flagship event in the Saguaro Amateur Series
Tucker Allen won the flagship event in the Saguaro Amateur Series

Tucker Allen of Tolar, Texas won the 2021 Saguaro Amateur, firing a final round 69 to edge overnight leader Hunter Epson and a surging Canon Olkowski by a single shot at 11-under for the 54-hole event.

The tournament, held at Ak Chin Southern Dunes in Arizona, is the flagship event in the Saguaro Amateur Series, geared towards collegiate players.

Allen, a University of Oklahoma sophomore, started the day three shots behind Epson, who plays for Long Beach State. After blistering the front nine in the second round with a 6-under 30 -- en route to a tournament-low 64 -- overnight leader Epson started with a shaky double bogey today. Despite bouncing back with a pair of back-to-back birdies, he posted 1-over 37 on the front, against Allen's 34.

With the score tied heading into the back nine, Allen took the lead with a birdie at No. 12 and added to it with another on No. 13. Epson wasn't making mistakes, but he couldn't find the bottom of the cup for a birdie. Remarkably, he made 14-straight pars to close out his round of 73.

Allen's bogey on No. 17 made for a close finish, as Canon Olkowski of Las Vegas -- who plays for Saguaro Series founder Roy Edwards at Colorado -- was turning things up a notch, despite a very strange front nine. Olkowski birdied the first three holes of the day, but things quickly went the other direction, as he bogeyed Nos. 4, 6, and 8.

That's not usually the formula for starting a charge, but Olkowski bounced back with a run of two birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 and an eagle on No. 16 to get right into the mix.

But when he settled for pars on the last two holes, and Epson missed a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to force a playoff, Allen had secured the victory.

Finishing tied for fourth at 8-under were Zihao Jin (San Diego Sate), Blake Hathcoat (St. Mary's), Carson Barry (Oregon State), and Rosswell Sinclair (University of New Mexico).


Despite the finish for Epson, he took home the 2020-21 Troon Saguaro Amateur Series title. Consistent play over the entire year led Epson to the series title. Epson won the Silver State Amateur and put up top finishes in multiple other Saguaro Series events.


And now for a Spanish test. Do you know what Saguaro means or how to pronounce it?

According to Meriam Webster:

Saguaro is a tall columnar usually sparsely-branched cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) of dry areas of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico that bears white flowers and a scaly reddish edible fruit and that may attain a height of up to 50 feet (16 meters) The word "saguaro" originated in Ópata, a language spoken by peoples of the Sonoran Desert region of Mexico. It came into English by way of the Spanish spoken by the Mexican settlers of the American West.

It's pronounced "SUH-WAA-ROW."

Unless your ball is found next to (or even worse stuck in) one. Then you may call it something entirely different.

Results: Saguaro Amateur
1TXTucker AllenTolar, TX40066-70-69=205
T2NVCanon OlkowskiLas Vegas, NV30069-69-68=206
T2CAHunter EpsonLong Beach, CA30069-64-73=206
T4South AfricaRoss SinclairSouth Africa20071-69-68=208
T4IDCarson BarryEagle, ID20071-68-69=208

View full results for Saguaro Amateur

ABOUT THE Saguaro Amateur

54-hole event with field comprised of 108 men’s amateur golfers from all over the United States. Most players are college golfers on winter break. All players must have completed high school by January 1 and must have a handicap of 3.0 or lower. The host club, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, has hosted the Arizona Amateur three times as well as U.S. Open and PGA Tour qualifying.

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