- Sea Island photo
Doug Hanzel (Savannah, Ga.) is back on top, winning the Jones Cup Senior Invitational at Sea Island for the fourth time after a birdie-birdie finish that put him one stroke ahead of 2018 champion Gene Elliott (W. Des Moines, Iowa) and Jack Larkin (Atlanta, Ga.).
Hanzel, a four-time AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of the Year, is now a four-time Jones Cup Senior champion, having previously lifted the trophy in 2012, 2014 and 2019.
It was a return to form for the 64-year-old former U.S. Senior champion, who won seven national senior events in 2019 but reduced his competitive schedule last year. He did win a couple of team events -- the National Father-Son in Pinehurst and the Georgia Senior Four-Ball with Bob Royak, both successful title defenses -- but went winless individually on the national stage for the first time as a senior.
Hanzel carried a three-shot lead into the final round over three players -- Elliott, Larkin, and Frank Vana (Boxford, Mass.). Playing in the group ahead of Hanzel, Elliott pulled into a tie with five holes left after birdies at 12 and 13, and Larkin making it a threesome at 3 under par with a birdie of his own at 13.
Larkin would bogey the next hole, and when Hanzel went bogey-bogey and 15 and 16, it looked Elliott's tournament to win. But a bogey at 17 proved costly, and when Hanzel rebounded with two birdies to finish, he snatched the tournament away.
Hanzel's winning score was 3-under 213 after closing with a 73. Elliott and Larkin each shot 71 to finish 2 under.
Elliott and Hanzel are now 1-2 in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Ranking.
Steve Harwell (Mooresville, N.C.) and Peter DeTemple (Callaway, Md.) tied for fourth at even par.
Royak, the defending champion this week, finished tied for 17th at 9 over.
In the Super Senior division, there were no such dramatics, thanks to the dominance of Jack Kearney (Peachtree City, Ga.). The 65-year-old shot the low round in each of the three rounds, with scores of 68-70-70 giving him an 8-under-par total and an amazing 14-shot win over Marc Fried (Solon, Ohio).
Kearney played only four of his 54 holes over par, while racking up 14 birdies.
ABOUT THE Jones Cup Senior
54-hole senior invitational event inaugurated
in 2012, that follows in the footsteps of the
Jones Cup, an event that unofficially kicks off
the amateur circuit each year.
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