2022 Plantation Senior Invitational champion Allen Peake
Durability and persistency have been strengths of Allen Peake
over the years.
Senior golf's ironman has played in more than 100 tournaments around the country since the beginning of 2018, earning him the distinction of being one of amateur golf's busiest players over the last three years.
Although he is currently ranked third in the world among senior amateurs, the ability to close out tournaments admittedly hasn't been one of Peake's strong suites.
Though he had a breakthrough win at the 2019 Golfweek Senior National Match Play, victories, for the most part, have been few and far between for the former Georgia State Representative and restaurant chain owner.
"I’m kind of the Charles Howell of senior amateur golf -- lots of high finishes but not very many wins," said Peake.
That may be changing.
With his win Wednesday at the Plantation Senior Invitational in Venice, Fla., the 59-year-old from Macon, Ga. delivered an early new year's message that he's no longer satisfied just being in the mix and wracking up a slew of top-10 finishes.
Peake carded rounds of 73-70-71 for a 2-under score of 214, which was good for a three-stroke win over Joe Shaktman
on the Plantation Golf and Country Club's Panther Course. Steve Houle and Ken Kinkopf
were five back at 3-over 219 while Steve McPherson
rounded out the top-five at 4-over 220.
After opening with rounds of 73-70, Peake found himself tied with Shaktman heading into the final round while Kinkopf was just one off the pace.
While Shaktman and Kinkopf, who both earned victories in December, went out in 39 and 38, respectively, Peake was able to gain a little breathing room at the turn after a steady 36 on his outward nine. Birdies on 11 and 17 offset a bogey on 13 and led to a final round 71 and his second senior amateur title.
"It was a good back-and-forth match the entire first nine, and then I made a 30-foot downhiller on the 11th for birdie that was a huge momentum swing," said Peake. "I knew I had a 2-3 shot cushion on Joe and Ken on the back nine, and then they made birdies on 15, and I had about a 4-foot gut check, knee-knocker for par. Fortunately, I made that putt gave me a decent cushion. And then I tried to just make good smart decisions coming in, and made about an 18 footer for birdie on 17 that gave me a little more breathing room.
"This was a big win for me," said Peake. "It was my first national win since 2019 at the Golfweek Matchplay, so I was beginning to wonder if I would ever win again."
Knocking on the door so many times without it opening can leave a toll on a player's psyche, so Peake made a phone call.
"Last spring, I made the investment to spend some time with Bob Rotella, and it took me several months to work many of the things he chatted with me about into my routine and process. But there’s no doubt that those slight, subtle mental improvements made a huge difference in finally being able to win."
Hard work and an improved mindset paid dividends this week for Peake. As he prepares to enter the teeth of the senior schedule come springtime, he can add one more weapon to his arsenal - confidence.
ABOUT THE Plantation Senior Invitational
Debuting in 2022, this is the first tournament of the
major senior amateur season, kicking off the senior
Florida Swing. 54-hole stroke play
tournament with Senior
(ages 55+), super senior (65+), legends (70+) and
super legends (75+) divisions.
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