When Gene Elliott
travels to play in national senior tournaments, he apparently doesn't like to return home empty handed.
The West Des Moines, Iowa native again showed why he is the No. 1 ranked player in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Ranking
, shooting three straight subpar rounds (the only player in the field to do so) for a two-shot win in the Golfweek Senior Amateur at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
With the win, the 2018 AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of the Year
has extended an impressive streak. Dating back to 2019, Elliott has nine straight top-3 finishes in national senior events. The streak includes five wins, two runner-ups, and two third-place finishes.
The last senior championship in which Elliott didn't finish in the top 3 was the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur, when he lost his first-round match. A USGA championship is one of the few achievements that has eluded Elliott over a long amateur career, but few would doubt that he will contend for one given his track record and continued good form.
At PGA West, Elliott opened with a 1-under 71, one shot behind first-round co-leaders John Wright
(Fairhope, Ala) and Tommy Brennan
(Covington, La.). In round two, Elliott took the lead on the strength of three straight birdies on the front nine, and an eagle-two on the par-4 14th hole. But a double on 17 and a bogey to finish handed the lead back to Wright.
Starting the final round one shot back, Elliott stayed close with another eagle at the par-5 7th while Wright birdies both par 5s on the front to maintain his slim lead. Wright still led with four holes to play, but a pivotal two-shot swing occurred in Elliott's favor on the par-5 15th, and three pars to finish were enough for Elliott to finish it off.
Elliott shot rounds of 71-70-71 for a 4-under 212 total. Wright closed with a 74 to finish two shots back at two under. Brennan struggled in round two but rebounded with a 70 to finish solo third at even-par 216.
Three players -- Jerry Slagle
of Texas along with Allen Peake
and William Mitchell
, both from Georgia -- were tied for 4th at one over. Peake had the low round of the tournament with a final-round 68.
(La Quinta, Calif.) ran away with the Super Senior division, shooting 3 under par to win by eight shots over Craig Calkins
(Manhattan Beach, Calif.). Robin Rubrecht
(Newburgh, Ind.) was third.
In the Legends division, Gary Hardin
(Fort Worth, Texas) overtook second-round leader Ken Knott
(Los Angeles, Calif.) for a three-shot win.
(San Diego, Calif.) shot a final-round 71 to get into a playoff with Jack Marin
(Durham, N.C.), which Saivar then won to take the Super Legends division title.
ABOUT THE Golfweek Senior Amateur
Golfweek Senior Amateur is a premier event
for Seniors (55+), Super Seniors (65+), Legends (70+)
and Super Legends (75+)
with a handicap index or 8 or less.
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