Bryan Hughes of Hesketh Golf Club Crowned British Senior Amateur Golf Champion
Bryan Hughes of Hesketh Golf Club in Southport has broken the streak of American winners of the British Senior Amateur, coming from seven shots behind to win by two shots at Sunningdale Golf Club.
Americans have enjoyed a long run of success at the British Seniors, winning the last seven championships (including three by defending champion Chip Lutz) and 17 of the last 21 dating back to Joel Hirsch of Chicago in 1996.
And once again players from the USA dominated the leaderboard, taking 9 of the top 12 places. But Hughes put one on the board for the homeland, becoming the first Englishman to win since Roy Smethurst in 2003.
His final round of three-under 67 was tied for the low round of the tournament. After an early bogey, Hughes played flawlessly, recording birdies at 5, 12, 15, and 18, allowing him to post a clubhouse number that no one in the three groups behind him were able to match.
Scoring was high all week as the course played long and wet due to rain that halted play on day one. Hughes finished at four-over 214.
Doug Hanzel of Savannah, GA, the #1 ranked player in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Rankings, was looking for his first British Seniors win. Playing in the group immediately behind Hughes’, Hanzel needed a final-hole birdie to tie but instead made bogey, finishing with a round of even-par 70 which put him in a second place tie at six-over 216.
It was Steven Williams of South Africa who had the last chance to tie Hughes, but he met a similar fate, needing birdie to tie only to make bogey and finish in a tie for second. Williams closed with a 73.
Going into the final round, Steve Groom of Kansas City, playing in his first tournament in Europe, held the lead at even-par 140. But a four-hole stretch derailed his tournament, as he made two triples and two bogeys starting at the fourth hole. Groom eventually finished in a tie for 18th at 12 over par 222.
The three-time champion Lutz, who the low amateur at last week’s British Senior Open Championship in Wales, finished tied for 7th, four shots behind Hughes.
Other Americans finishing in the top ten included Matthew Sughrue of Arlington, VA (tied 5th), the 2014 champion Brady Exber of Las Vegas who closed with a 69 to finish tied 7th, John McClure of Austin, TX (tied 9th) and Buzz Fly of Memphis, TN (a closing 68 to tie for 9th).
Among other former champions, Patrick Tallent of Vienna, VA (2015) finished tied for 21st at 223, and Paul Simson of Raleigh, NC (2010) was tied 30th at 225.
View results for British Senior Amateur Golf Championship