Jack Larkin, Sr. (Georgia Golf Association photo)
There is no shortage of accomplished and highly-decorated senior players in the state of Georgia. From USGA champions, a recent national player of the year and a marker who has a track record of beating some of the top players in the world at the Masters, the Peach Tree state has had more than its share of senior moments on the golf course over the years.
Given the pedigree of the field and the backdrop of Augusta Country Club, a strong case can be made to give the Georgia Senior Championship "major" status on the 55 and older circuit.
Jack Larkin Sr.
, who has qualified for the U.S. Amateur on seven occasions, completed a wire-to-wire victory on Thursday to earn his first state senior amateur championship, joining a list of notable champions which includes USGA title holders Bob Royak
and Doug Hanzel
Larkin strung together rounds of 67-67-73 for a 9-under total of 207, good for a two-stroke victory over Rusty Strawn
, currently, the world's No. 2 ranked senior amateur who was a quarterfinalist at this year’s U.S. Senior Amateur, and four clear of Jeff Knox
, a member of famed Augusta National who has outplayed the likes of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia playing as a marker at the Masters.
The 60-year-old Larkin, who claimed a USGA title of his own at the 1979 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, seized control of the tournament by carding a pair of 67s in the first two rounds which provided enough of a cushion to withstand a closing 73 and deliver a two-stroke victory to the former University of Georgia golfer.
"I loved winning the Georgia Senior Championship, particularly at Augusta Country Club," said Larkin Sr. "I’ve been going there for years with a lot of different friends, so it always feels comfortable to be at Augusta Country Club.
"I was in a good mindset all week, struck the ball very well, and was consistent with my putting."
Larkin's first-round 67 on Tuesday was highlighted by five birdies in a seven-hole stretch to start his inward nine. The Atlanta native turned in a second consecutive round of 5-under on Wednesday at 10-under, took a three-stroke lead over Knox into the final round.
While Knox fell out of contention with a final round 74, Strawn, who began the day six strokes back, crept up the leaderboard with his second consecutive round of 69, but fell two strokes short of the eventual champion.
View results for Georgia Senior
ABOUT THE Georgia Senior
Entries: Open to male amateur golfers age
older as of the first day of the
Field: 144 players with the lowest USGA
Format: 54 holes of stroke play; field cut
low 70 and ties after 36 holes
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