Elliott and Gunthorpe to meet in U.S. Senior Amateur final
Gene Elliott (left) will play Jerry Gunthorpe for the U.S. Senior Amateur title
Of the record 2,565 entries the USGA received for the U.S. Senior Amateur, 156 golfers made their way to the Country Club of Detroit to compete for the championship.
Two golfers are left standing.
of West Des Moines, Iowa and Jerry Gunthorpe
of Ovid, Mich. will meet for championship on Thursday morning after both won their quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Wednesday.
Elliott, the No. 1 player in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Ranking
, defeated Craig Davis
(Chula Vista), 5 and 4 in a semifinal match-up to earn a spot in Thursday's championship match.
It was the first breather for Elliott, who survived two grueling matches against Mike McCoy
(19 holes) and Doug Hanzel
(1 up) just to reach the quarterfinals, where he took out local favorite Tom Gieselman
of nearby Commerce Township, Mich., 2 and 1.
The reigning British Senior Amateur champion
seems to be getting stronger as he advances through match play, as he won four holes against Davis with birdies or better.
“This is a special week,” said Elliott, who is looking to join Ed Updegraff (1981) as Iowa natives to win the U.S. Senior Amateur. “We’ve gotten it this far. Just want to keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
Gunthorpe, the top seed remaining at No. 9, defeated Rusty Strawn
in the quarterfinals and then scored a 3 and 2 victory over Dave Bunker
to advance to the final. Gunthorpe got off to a fast start against Bunker, winning the first three holes, including two with birdies. Bunker cut the lead to one with wins on holes 6 and 7, but Gunthorpe increased his lead to 3 up with birdies on 10 and 11 en route to a 3 and 2 victory.
Gunthorpe, a native of Ovid, Mich. which is approximately 80 miles from the Country Club of Detroit, will try to give Michigan its second USGA champion in as many months, following Canton's James Piot's victory at the U.S. Amateur
“I’m just looking forward to tomorrow,” said Gunthorpe. “I played with Gene one other time in a Golfweek event last winter. Great guy, good player. I know it's going to be a tight, tough match if I play well. I just need to play well and see what happens.”
Thursday's championship match will mark the first final for both players. Elliott reached the round of 16 in 2018 while Gunthorpe advanced to match play in 2019 before bowing out in the first round.
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