Gullikson, Ironroad deny Rank, McInnis a 3rd J.R. Williams title
Chris Ironroad (L) and Tyler Gulliksen (JRW photo)
Chris Ironroad (L) and Tyler Gulliksen (JRW photo)

Tyler Gulliksen (San Diego, Calif.) and Chris Ironroad (Fairfax, Va.) shot a final-round 66 on the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club to erase a 5-shot deficit and win the 57th John R. Williams Invitational.

Gullikson, a 34-year-old volunteer assistant coach at the University of San Diego, played golf at the Naval Academy and went on to become a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Unit (EOD). The 39-year-old Ironroad also has Navy experience as a Judge Advocate, and winning the All-Navy Sports Golf Tournament in 2018.

In shooting the low round of the day, Gulliksen and Ironroad denied the Canadian team of Garrett Rank and Simon McInnis a third Williams title. Rank and McInnis, who won the tournament the last time it was played in 2018 (a course renovation and COVID-19 cancelled the tournament the last two years), shot an 8-under 62 in the second round to take a four-shot lead into the final round. But they could never get anything going on Saturday, struggling to a 72 which put them one shot back of the winners a 8 under par.

Gulliksen and Ironroad started well, shooting a 5-under 65 on the West course to take the lead, before stalling out on the East Course for a second-round 70.

Kyle Downey (Webster, N.Y.) and Brandon Grzywacz (Sanford, N.C.) tied for second after a final-round 67. Jordan Sease (Cayce, S.C.) and Sam Jackson (W. Columbia, S.C.) finished fourth at 7 under, while Tom Linehan (Fairport, N.Y.) and Kevin Lewis (Rochester, N.Y.) rounded out the top five at 6 under.

The 2017 champions, Clark and Eric Rustand of Tucson, Ariz., tied for sixth at 3 under. The 2016 champs John Hunter (Houston, Texas) and Kyle Nathan (Coral Springs, Fla.) tied for 20th at 4 over par.

A total of 33 teams made the 36-hole cut which fell at 5-over 145.

Jim Scorse (L) and Wade Sarkis (JRW photo)
Wade Sarkis (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and Jim Scorse (Churchville, N.Y) won the Senior title on the first playoff hole over the team of Richard Kerper (Oldsmar, Fla.) and Mike Finster (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Sarkis and Scorse took a two-shot lead into the final round, but saw their playing partners draw even with a final-round 3-under 68 on the East Course. The two teams finished 54 holes art 8-under 205.

Bob Royak (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Doug Hanzel (Savannah, Ga.), who each have a U.S. Senior Amateur title, closed with a 67 to finish two shots back in third in defense of the title they won in 2018.

The 2017 champions John Kircher (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Mike Jaros (Endicott, N.Y.) started the day two back of the lead but fell back to a 7th place finish at 1 under. Two-time champs Tom Blank and Mark Dugan of the host club finished 10th.

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ABOUT THE John R. Williams Invitational

54-hole two man best ball format. By invitation only. Entrants must have a handicap of 3.4 or less, with the team total not to exceed 5.5. Both members of teams in the Senior Division must be 55 years of age by the first day of the tournament. Senior index requirements are 4.4 individual and 7.2 team.

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