John Adams (SCGA photo)
John Adams has been a fixture in South Orange County for nearly three decades, winning a record seven San Clemente City Championships, a tournament won by others such as Mark O'Meara, Kevin Na and Paul McGinley.
After taking a decade off from competitive golf, the San Clemente, Calif. native is back on top after winning the 45th Southern California Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship on Wednesday at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
Adams shot even par in Wednesday’s final round to finish 6-under 210 (71-67-72) for the championship, which was good for a three-shot win over four-time SCGA Senior Amateur champion Craig Davis and Scott Almquist, who recently qualified for his third consecutive U.S. Senior Open.
Adams, Davis and Almquist were the only three players to finish in the red for the 54-hole tournament which attracts the top senior golfers from the state.
Playing in the penultimate group, Davis made a ferocious charge on his front nine, shooting a 32 highlighted by a string of four consecutive birdies on holes Nos. 3-6 to rundown Adams, who began the day with a four-shot lead.
After opening his final round with 11 straight pars, Adams picked up his first birdie of the day on the 12th and played his eight holes at even par, while Davis stumbled with bogeys over his last five holes to finish three back.
Adams came into the SCGA Senior Amateur in good form, having finished second last week at the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association's Senior and Mid-Master Championships held at Hacienda Golf Club.
The win was a long time coming for Adams, who took a decade-long break from competitive play. His last win came at the 2010 San Clemente City Championship.
“I stopped playing competitively 10 years ago because I don’t hit it far enough to hang with the younger guys," said Adams. "But I started getting back into it and I started practicing and playing again. All this hard work has finally paid off. We have a lot of great players here in Southern California. When you beat them, you should pat yourself on the back.”
Adams was visibly choked up as he clutched the trophy after winning his first SCGA championship.
"I guess this is why they say your first one is the best one.”
View results for SCGA Senior Amateur
ABOUT THE SCGA Senior Amateur
This event is open to members with handicap
of 9.4 and below and are age 55 and above.
Competitors compete in 18 holes of qualifying play
order to reach the final field of 84 players. In the
championship, players compete over 54 holes of
play over three days. The top 30 players and ties
advance after 36 holes to the final round to
the overall Senior Amateur Champion.
View Complete Tournament Information