65-Year-Old Gary Backlund Wins Clark's Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Senior Amateur for Third Time

Backlund wins State Senior Amateur for third time; first since 2015.

LEXINGTON, KY (August 16, 2022) – At the age of 65, Gary Backlund is a champion of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Senior Amateur for the third time in his career. Backlund became one of the oldest players to win the championship in its history and did so with a closing round of 68 (-4). He totaled 138 (-6) for the tournament which earns himself a spot on the W.E. “Slim” Nelson Trophy once more to go alongside his back-to-back victories in 2014 and 2015.

Entering Tuesday’s play at Kearney Hill trailing by two shots to Paul Douglas, Backlund overtook him five holes into the round with three early birdies to jump ahead. “Boring golf” followed for the next dozen holes as Backlund made twelve straight pars, all preserving a solo lead for the bulk of the afternoon.

Sole possession of the lead for Backlund evaporated for the first time in three hours when he was standing on the 17th tee due to a heat-seeking back nine from Davis Boland. A competitor in the U.S. Senior Open earlier this summer, Boland played the back nine in 31 (-5) which tied him for the lead with the pressure now squarely on Backlund to close. On the par-five 18th, still tied for first, Backlund hit a stunning pitch shot from fifty yards to within two feet of the hole to essentially ice the tournament. A simple tap-in for birdie followed to clinch the victory.

“There’s so much involved in winning and health is such a big part of that,” said Backlund, who has struggled with injuries in recent seasons.” Both my wife and I have had a lot of health problems the last few years and I entered this tournament without any expectations. I came out here to have a good time, meet new people… and I did those things. Had I made bogey on the last hole or shot in the 80s today, my attitude would be the exact same as it is now. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment, but the last few years have certainly taught me that golf is secondary to life.”

Backlund played up in a division as he could have played in the Masters Division for players aged 60-69, but that decision came to the benefit of Hazel’s Tommy Fike who won the gross competition in that division by two strokes. Rounds of 71-70 resulted in a 141 (-3) total ahead of Rick Harp and Larry Brown.

The Legends Division title is in the possession of Jim Caudill for the second straight year. He successfully defended his 2021 victory at University of Louisville Golf Club with a four-stroke victory today. The Morehead product shot 143 (-1) for the tournament while Elmo Greer finished in second place.

The championship’s net winners begin with Scott Ray from the Senior Division who tallied 137 (-7) for a one-stroke victory. In the Masters Division, Rick Harp and Charles Verrette shared the crown after matching 139 (-5) marks. The runner-up from the gross leaderboard in the Legends Division, Elmo Greer, got the win in the net portion by three shots.

Click here to view the final results

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The Kentucky Golf Association extends its thanks to Chris Boysel, PGA Head Golf Professional and the entire staff at Kearney Hill Golf Links for their assistance in hosting this tournament. The KGA also lends its appreciation towards each player who participated in the event.

The next KGA event on the schedule is the fifth Am Series event of the season which will be at Heritage Hill Golf Club on Saturday, August 27. Registration for that event is open and can be completed by clicking here. The Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Championship Series will continue in just under a month with the Women’s State Senior Amateur on September 13-14 at Elizabethtown Country Club.

About the Kentucky Golf Association:
The Kentucky Golf Association (KGA) is one of the three organizations encompassed under Golf House Kentucky, in addition to the Kentucky Golf Foundation (KGF) and Kentucky PGA Section (KPGA). The Kentucky Golf Association represents the amateur body of Kentucky’s golfers working in assistance with the United States Golf Association (USGA). The KGA provides a wide range of services, including handicapping, USGA course and slope ratings, and tournament management software to its Member Clubs. The KGA also operates the state’s premier amateur tournaments along with USGA National Championship qualifiers. Alongside the KGF and KPGA, the KGA strives to promote the benefits and enjoyment of golf while continuing to grow the sport across the Commonwealth.

Media Contact:
Ethan Fisher, PGA | Golf House Kentucky | | (502) 792-9703

About Golf House Kentucky

Golf House Kentucky is the umbrella organization for Kentucky’s Family of Golf Organizations: Kentucky Golf Association, Kentucky PGA and Kentucky Golf Foundation. The vision of Kentucky’s golf leaders, Golf House Kentucky was founded in 1978, and is headquartered in a picturesque country setting in Louisville, Kentucky. Golf House Kentucky conducts competitions for golfers of all ages, gender and skill levels (amateur, professional and junior), and provides valuable services to Kentucky PGA professionals and member golf facilities. Working in partnership with the USGA, Golf House Kentucky provides individual golfers and member golf facilities with a wide range of services: Handicapping, USGA Course and Slope Rating, award programs, club consulting and golf management software. The family’s philanthropic affiliate, Kentucky Golf Foundation promotes the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame, Kentucky golf museum and provides grant and scholarship programs for youth in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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