Gary Ellis (right) is headed to Detroit following his first attempt at qualifying for a U.S. Senior Amateur. The qualifier was held in Williamsburg at Stone Creek Golf Club and it played long, which suited the big-hitting 56-year-old of Norwalk.
Ellis fired a one-under round of 70 and tied with Jim Butler, of Fort Madison. The two competitors headed to the first tee box for a playoff to decide the who would qualify. Ellis pulled his drive to the left and Butler’s drive found the fairway, but left him with a long shot into the green.
“I had to lay up to about 30 yards after my tee shot and was able to make par,” Ellis said. “I shortened some holes today off the tee, which gave me a slight advantage.”
Butler managed a par and Ellis made birdie to came away with the medal. Though Butler missed the qualifying spot, he had an impressive round. Four of the six par threes resulted in birdies for Butler, and he finished as the first alternate.
The second alternate spot went to Ron Peterson who carded an even round of 71. Peterson played a solid round of golf and birdied the final hole to give himself a chance to join the playoff.
Gary Ellis will play at the Country Club of Detroit at the U.S. Senior Amateur beginning on August 28.
U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifying
1. *Gary Ellis -1 70 – Qualifier
2. Jim Butler -1 70 – 1st Alternate
3. Ron Peterson E 71 – 2nd Alternate
4. Chris Kramer +1 72
T5. Tom Norton +2 73
T5. Bret Taylor +2 73