Guinn makes it three in a row
By Jimmy Trodglen
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The ending wasn’t exactly what he had intended, but the outcome was on target for what Greg Guinn had hoped for.
Guinn had an uncharacteristic struggle to the finish line in the final round of the Clarksville Senior City Am. The two-time defending Senior Am champion built a five-stroke lead, but recorded a bogey on three of the final four holes.
But Guinn had enough of a margin remaining to hold off Brad VanKirk at Swan Lake Sunday. Guinn shot a 70-71 – 141 for a one-stroke win, taking home the traveling trophy for a third straight year.
“This is a tough golf course,” Guinn said. “We played at The River Club, we played out here at Swan Lake and the greens are totally different. It will probably identify the most versatile player if nothing else.”
Guinn became the first golfer in the 19-year history of the Senior City Am to win the even three-straight years and is tied with Keith Peterson for second-most Senior City Am titles.
Harold Hensley owns the record with four titles. Hensley has another five titles in the super senior division.
“Brad played really well on the back nine today,” Guinn said. “Fortunately, for me, I played pretty good on the front. There toward the end I had a pretty large lead going into 14 and I’m trying to play smart and not take any risk. It seemed like the safer I played, the more bogeys I made.”
Guinn had a five-stroke lead following No. 14, but his advantage was trimmed to two strokes with three holes remaining. With one hole remaining, Guinn’s lead had been narrowed down to one shot.
“It kept getting worse and worse,” Guinn said. “I hit probably the worst shot that I hit in the whole tournament off the 18 tee and I got lucky and it went through the trees. It was a lot of fun, but it definitely went from being low stress to a lot of stress.”
VanKirk, who won the Senior City Am in consecutive years before Guinn’s run, was playing in his first CGA event since the Wendy’s in May. VanKirk had been sidelined after a pair of foot injuries.
“I’m happy that I am healthy enough to play again,” VanKirk said. “I never really got anything going and had no idea I was within a shot of Greg (heading to No. 18).”
VanKirk has won at least one CGA event every year since he was eligible for the Senior Division six years ago. On the strength of his two top-five finishes, he’s in good position in the points standing to qualify for the Mann, Smith and Cummings Tournament of Champions, but VanKirk only has two opportunities left to continue his streak – the Mayor’s Golf Classic in mid-September, followed by the TOC.
“I don’t think I will have any problem getting into the TOC,” VanKirk said. “I would like to win at least one.”
Bobby Yingling won the 60-64 age division with a 72-72 – 144, but was in contention with Guinn and VanKirk for the overall title before a triple bogey on the par 3, No. 16 hole took him out of contention.
1 Under par
Todd Greene shot the only under par score in Sunday’s round, finishing with a 1-under 70. Greene shot a 77-70 – 147. Marcus Sartain also shot even par at Swam Lake Sunday and had a two-day 80-71 – 151.
Powers wins over 65 division
Ronny Powers beat Hensley in a one-hole playoff to win the over 65 division. Powers and Hensley both shot 77-77 – 154, but Powers won his second over 65 division title – the first occurring in 2015.
Jimmy Trodglen, editor, Twitter@Tnsports360