Adam Kugler (L) with tournament host Gary Shimmin (Lowcountry Senior photo)
Three division winners were crowned Wednesday following the completion of the Low Country Senior Invitational in Okatie, S.C.
Adam Kugler (Closter, N.J.) won the Senior championship, Kirk Geiling was the champion in the Super Senior division and Spike Smith was victorious in the Legends and Super Legends division after three days of play on three different courses in the Palmetto State.
The final round of this year’s 54-hole stroke-play event was played at the Chechessee Creek Club with the opening round held Monday at Hilton Head National and the middle 18 holes on Tuesday played at Old Tabby Links on Spring Island.
Kugler, the reigning New Jersey Senior Amateur champion, saved his best golf for the final 18 when he fired a 68 at Chechessee for the low round of the tournament in the Senior division (55 and over) to post a two-shot victory with a three-round 214 total.
Going into the final round, Kugler was three strokes back of Walter Todd (Laurens, S.C.) after shooting 75-71 for a 146 score through 36 holes.
Todd, who ended up settling for second, held the lead going into the last day at 143 (71-72), but his final round 73 was not good enough to hold onto the top spot on the leaderboard at 216 for the tournament with Kugler going low over the closing round.
Allen Peake (Macon, Ga.) placed third at 219 (73-73-73) while Rusty Strawn (McDonough, Ga.) came in fourth (69-77-74).
Strawn, who has two victories this year and currently leads the AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of-the-Year points race, held the lead after the first round with a 69 along with Bryan Hancock who matched him at Hilton Head National to start strong before finishing 11th overall in the 32-player division.
In the Super Senior division (65 and over), Geiling finished at 220 for the three days and prevailed by a shot over runner-up Tim Pope who ended up at 221. Both players carded a 71 in the final round on Wednesday.
Geiling opened with a 75 on Monday, but bounced back with a 73 in the second round. Pope posted a 72 over the first 18 holes and followed that up with a 77 in round two.
Pope shared the overnight lead after the first day with two other golfers.
Evan Long took third overall with 221 (73-76-72) and John Armstrong rounded out the top four at 225 (78-75-72). Armstrong won the Super Senior division the last time the tournament was played in 2019.
The Legends (70 and over) and Super Legends division (a 75-plus sub-division within the larger grouping) produced the widest margin of victory as Smith won by four shots with his three-round 220 mark.
The champion started fast, firing a 68 in Monday’s round at Hilton Head before shooting 73 at Old Tabby in round two and then finishing the job with a 79 at Chechessee.
Three players tied for second at 224, but a tiebreaker was used to determine their official order of finish. Tom Grady was awarded second, Mike Weiner, the Legends winner in 2017, placed third and Charley Yandell, finished fourth.
Yandall had one of the three sub-par rounds in the division posted on the scoreboard. Dave Crocker recorded the other as he carded a 67 in round one to hold a one-shot advantage over Smith who notched the 68 over the first round to become a factor from the beginning.
ABOUT THE Lowcountry Senior Invitational
Tournament format will be 54 holes of stroke play
over three courses. Three divisions:
Senior (age 55+), Super Senior (65+) and Legends
(70+). Formerly the Chechessee Creek
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