Chip Lutz (Golf Association of Philadelphia Photo)
The 53rd Senior Amateur Championship is shaping up to be a legacy builder for a pair of GAP’s most respected elder statesmen. Jeff Frazier, the reigning Senior Player of the Year, and Chip Lutz, who won nine-straight Senior POYs (2010-18), each carded impressive 2-under-par rounds of 68 at Overbrook Golf Club to forge ahead after the first round of the Association’s premier 55-and-older event in sauna-scorching conditions.
Perry Landis of Moselem Springs Golf Club posted the only other under-par opening round with a 1-under 69.
Those three will be in the final Day Two grouping. They begin at 12:10 p.m. The field was cut to the low 70 players. The cutline fell at 10 over. Frazier birdied three of his final four holes to turn an average round into something special.
On No. 15, he nailed an 8-iron to 15 feet right of the cup and made the putt, and on No. 17, he launched a 9-iron from 133 yards to 15 feet above the hole and rolled it in. On No. 18, he lifted an 8-iron from 136 yards uphill and into a little breeze to 20 feet for another red circle.
“I hit it good all day. I just had to figure out the putting,” said Frazier, 58, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., who three-putted twice earlier in his round. “I hit a lot of greens and had a lot of looks. They finally started falling down the stretch.”
Lutz needed a red-hot flagstick on this sultry day to keep his name in contention. He only hit three of his final nine greens but managed to get up-and-in every time except on No. 18. He missed the green short left and watched a six-foot par try scoot to the right of the cup.
“The GAP Senior Amateur is always special. I’m kind of getting up there [in age]. I’m 68, and I’m playing against the 55-year-olds and not feeling like I’m not hitting it as far as some of the guys I’m playing against [anymore],” said Lutz, of Reading, Pa. “I have to remember it comes down to chipping and putting and all-around game. I’m happy to be able to continue to compete.”
Lutz is a two-time tournament champion (2014, 2021). Allan Sussel of Squires Golf Club holds a record six Senior Amateur titles.
Lutz and Frazier played with John Barry of Lancaster Country Club. All three competed in the U.S. Senior Amateur, Aug. 26-31, at Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif.
Barry, 57, of Lancaster, Pa., currently leads the Senior Silver Cross race at 1-over-par. Frazier sits at 2-over. Chris Storck of LedgeRock Golf Club and Don Donatoni of White Manor Country Club are tied for third at 3-over.View results for Philadelphia Senior Amateur
ABOUT THE Philadelphia Senior Amateur
Format: 36-hole individual stroke play over two
Eligibility: Open to GAP Member Club golfers who
55 years of age and over as of the first day of the
championship. Players must have a handicap index
of 7.0 or lower, super-senior 7.0 or lower handicap
index. A Super Senior (65 years of age and older)
may play in the "Senior tournament," play to be
the Senior tees.
View Complete Tournament Information