Jim Gallagher parlayed a gamble at the end of his opening round into his third Senior Amateur Tour Championship title in the past six years, grabbing the lead with a hard-way birdie and never letting go on the final day at Hilton Head National.
Gallagher, from Yorktown, Va., held a share of the lead as he came to the final hole of his opening round at Dolphin Head Golf Club but appeared headed for a bogey after his drive splashed down in the water.
Taking his penalty drop, Gallagher then uncorked a splendid 5-wood that stopped two feet from the flagstick for a birdie that capped off an opening 70.
Dan Anthony (Thomasville, N.C.) pushed Gallagher on the final day to pull even heading to the back nine. But Gallagher birdied No.10 and Anthony’s double bogey two holes later created the necessary cushion as Gallagher finished off a 74.
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Rich Campbell (Columbus, Ohio) used a strong finish to pass Anthony for second, following a fifth-place finish a few days earlier playing against younger foes a the Golfweek Amateur Tour Championship.
All three lower divisions also produced comfortable winners. Virginia’s Tip Wight (A flight) and Florida’s Fred Turner (C flight) ran off with three-shot triumphs, while Michigan’s Brett Hoffman was a two-shot victor in the B flight.