Doug Hanzel (Credit: USGA)
The names at the top of the leaderboard heading into the last day of the National Senior Hall of Fame tournament were all very familiar. A trio of Georgians held the lead; Allen Peake
, Doug Hanzel
, and Bob Royak
all sat at four-under par with Gene Elliott
was lurking just two shots behind.
Hanzel admitted that he's had a particular struggle recently, and it has nothing to do with his swing.
"My mindset for the day was to stay focused as I’ve had some problems staying focused," Hanzel said.
Hanzel would need all his focus, as it was shaping up to be a showdown at High Point (N.C.) Country Club, but Hanzel had other ideas and he won his third NSHOF title with an impressive closing 68. He didn't drop a shot until the 13th hole, and collected four birdies along the way on holes 7, 9, 11, and 13 to reach eight under par for the tournament.
Early on, the defending champion Royak seemed to be ready to battle with Hanzel. Royak, like Hanzel a U.S. Senior champion and his frequent best-ball partner, made birdies on holes five and ten to reach six under. However, he played holes 11-13 in four over par and slipped off the pace with a 40 on the back nine.
Elliott, who was trying to be the first player since Paul Simson
in 2012 to win the NSHOF tournament in the same year as he was inducted, made some noise with an eagle on the seventh hole, but he could muster up one more birdie over the day on the 13th hole.
Peake was the final heavy hitter in the bunch, he shot steady 72 in the final round. Two birdies on six and 17 were the highlights.
Hanzel credits his putting for the win.
"I didn’t have any 3 putts on the slick tricky greens. Conditions were superb especially the greens," Hanzel said.
In the Super Senior division, Jim Pearson
shot an impressive three rounds of 71-73-71 to win by eight shots.
The Legends division ended with some fireworks. Pete Allen
held off Don Marsh
by one shot. Marsh played the final nine holes in 31 strokes. Allen needed birdied on the 15th and 17th holes to reach six-over par and win by a shot.
ABOUT THE National Senior Hall of Fame
54 hole invitational started in honor of Dale
(a member at Willow Creek) typically draws one
of the strongest fields of the year. The tournament
organizers desire to create and maintain a true and
meaningful Hall of Fame that recognizes the best in
amateur golf of national and international acclaim.
Their list of previous inductees and champions attest
to our success in these efforts, most have won
the U.S. or the British Senior Amateur Championship
or innumerable other prestigious championships
as the U.S. Amateur.
View Complete Tournament Information