Paul Simson becomes the 2010 Seniors Open Amateur Champion
American Paul Simson maintained his overnight lead to win the Seniors Open Amateur Championship by five shots from countryman Chip Lutz. Closing with an impressive 54-hole total of eight under-par 208, with rounds of 70, 69 and 69, the 59-year-old from North Carolina added this title to two previous wins in 2006 and 2008, which came at Saunton and Royal Cinque Ports and Prince's.
Simson, who was recently inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, got off to a flying start with birdies on the second and third holes. The narrowly missed 90-foot eagle-putt on the third hole was then followed by a stunning six-iron shot into 15 feet on the par-three seventh and a two-putt birdie on the par-five eighth for an outward nine of 33, two-under par.
A three-iron to eighteen feet and two putts secured another impressive birdie on the par-five 16th, before he closed in style with a 15-foot birdie-putt on the final hole.
“I really wanted to get off to a good start, which I was able to do,” Simson said. “I had a good swing pattern going and it went really well; I was in control. This is the best score I have shot in this event and I am just very pleased.
“The golf course here at Walton Heath is so wonderful. I can’t wait to play in the Seniors Open Amateur again next year.”
Courtesy of his victory, Simson will return to Walton Heath for the Senior Open Championship, as well as the US Seniors Amateur, which takes place at Lake Nona in October.
“It is a real thrill to win here, it’s a great great golf course and I am really looking forward to coming back here for the Senior Open.”
Pennsylvania’s Chip Lutz made a spirited challenge for the title. Having started the final day four shots behind the leader, Lutz recorded a final round of 70 for a three-under-par total of 213.
Playing off a handicap of plus three, the 55-year-old from Ledge Rock Golf Club made three birdies on the front nine, one coming after an exceptional bunker shot to three feet on the 8th. A three-putt on the par-five 16th hole, however, ended his challenge.
“I knew I had to play well as Paul had a really good lead. I thought I could put a little pressure on early but he had a great start, so I just tried to play away and make some birdies. I just didn’t make enough to catch up.
“I love the course, all the history and tradition here. It’s unlike other places. It’s a wonderful place and I have had a great trip”
Former Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Captain Garth McGimpsey finished a further two shots behind in third position after today’s one-over-par 73 left him on a total of 215, one under par for the Championship.
England's Roy Smethurst, winner in 2003 at Blairgowrie, scored a 54-hole total of 220, after rounds of 71, 77, and 72, to win the 65 and over age category.
The 2011 Seniors Open Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Portrush on 3-5 August.