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Age is No Object for Johnson

63-year-old claims CGA Senior Match Play title after 39-hole final day


by Gary Baines - 6/14/2013


As a 63-year-old, Harry Johnson could have entered the CGA Super-Senior Match Play this week.

But where's the fun in that?

Instead, Johnson got to prove he could compete -- and beat -- some of the best 50-something (and 60-something) amateurs in the state at the CGA Senior Match Play Championship.

The Vail resident, who plays out of Eagle Ranch Golf Course, won the last three holes Friday afternoon to defeat fellow Western Slope golfer Tom Musselman of The Bridges in Montrose, 2 up, and claim the Senior Match title at Canongate at Blackstone in Aurora.

In the process, Johnson (pictured above and below) became one of the oldest champions -- if not the oldest -- of the CGA Senior Match Play. Though Les Fowler won a CGA Stroke Play at age 65 in 1989, and Jerry Kidney earned the same title at age 63 in 2011, it's a rarity for a golfer that age to claim state senior amateur championships in Colorado.

"I'm playing as good a golf as I've played in my life, although I know my skills are diminishing -- eyesight, stamina," said Johnson, a runner-up in the 2011 CGA Mid-Amateur and the 2012 Senior Stroke Play. "But a lot of times (good shots) seem to come at the right time. Maybe that's the good side of getting old: I know when to turn it on."

It was the first individual CGA championship for Johnson, who has been playing in the association's tournaments since the 1980s. (He did win the senior division of the 2008 CGA Two-Man Team with Ken Sady.)

What made this week's championship particularly notable is that not only did a 63-year-old win it, but he did it after playing 39 holes on Friday -- 18 in the championship match and 21 in the semifinals. And over the final two days of the event, Johnson played 77 holes.

"The adrenaline gets you through," he said. "It seemed whenever I was about to pack it in, I'd get a little help (from opponents)."

In the end, when Musselman missed his par putt on 18 and conceded Johnson's 3-foot par to end the match, the emotion came out and Johnson threw a fist-pump, Tiger Woods-style.

"I'm very elated," the 2011 CGA Senior Player of the Year said. "I wish there were some people here to share it with. It means a lot. The players I've been playing with for 20 years -- Larry Netherton, Kelly Crone, John Olive, those guys ... It's just special. When you look at the names on that trophy -- Dave Delich, my friend Ken Sady -- it's very, very special."

In Friday's final match, neither player led by more than 1 up until the last hole. Musselman, who along with Johnson lost in a playoff at the 2012 CGA Senior Stroke Play, went 1 up after a par on the 15th hole.

But Johnson won 16 with a 6-foot par putt, 17 with a birdie after getting up and down from the greenside rough, and 18 with a conceded par.

Musselman (pictured at left), meanwhile, struggled with his putter late in the round after being stellar with it most of the week. The 53-year-old missed a 6-foot par putt on No. 16, a 6-foot birdie putt on No. 17, and a 4-foot par putt on No. 18.

"I'm very disappointed," he said. "I putted well all week, and all of a sudden when it counted, I couldn't execute."

Whatever the case, Johnson felt fortunate to prevail, both Friday afternoon and in the morning.

"I felt in this (match), I beat a better player for whatever reason," he said. "In the match this morning against Mark Franz, I thought his game was better than mine, but somehow I just prevailed. On a given day, anybody can beat anybody. What I'm saying is, maybe it just went my way; that type of deal. It just worked out."

In Friday morning's semifinals, Johnson was extended even further than in the afternoon, needing 21 holes to overcome Franz, who plays out of Saddle Rock Golf Course. Musselman eased past Flatirons Golf Course superintendent Dave Brown 6 and 4 in the other semifinal.

Mooney Rallies to Win Second CGA Super-Senior Match Play Title: In the CGA Super-Senior Match Play for golfers 60 and older, Patrick Mooney of Colorado Golf Club won the title for the second time in four years, beating Bruce Hayes of Heritage at Westmoor on Friday, 4 and 2.

"I'm happy and I'm relieved," Mooney (pictured at left) said afterward.

The 65-year-old, who also won the CGA Senior Match Play in 2000, was 3 down after four holes to Hayes before going 1 under for the rest of the day to rally for the victory.

"It's fun to win tournaments at my age," said Mooney, the 2001 Utah Senior Open champion. "It's very rare I win anything now that doesn't have 'senior' in the title somewhere. But it's very satisfying to be able to still compete -- and win.

"But at the same time, I'm very thankful because it's difficult. As you get older, you can't stay focused as well. My mind slips and wonders. It's hard to keep in the moment and hit shots. I could be thinking about what bottle of wine I'm going to open for dinner. That doesn't lead to good golf shots most of the time."

 

CGA Senior Match Play
At Canongate at Blackstone in Aurora

Round of 64
  Eric Hoos, Highlands Ranch GC (1) def. Bill Woodward, Cherry Hills CC (64), 4 and 3
  Terry Hymans, Canongate Colorado (32) def. David Delich, Broadmoor GC (33), 2 and 1
  Ronald Swartzwelder, CommonGround GC (49) def. Brian Woody, The Ridge at Castle Pines North (16), 1 up
  Gary Kephart, Eisenhower GC (17) def. John Balnis, Lone Tree GC (48), 6 and 4
  Scott Crone, Pinehurst CC (57) def. Pat Bucci, West Woods GC (8), 2 and 1
  Gary Fox, CC at Castle Pines (40) def. Sean Forey, Bear Creek GC (25), 4 and 3
  Tom Musselman, The Bridges (9) def. Ken Sady, Eagle Ranch GC (56), 6 and 5
  Steve Stultz, CC at Castle Pines (24) def. Cliff Damato, Meridian GC (41), 4 and 3
  Terry Lorenz, Pinehurst CC (4) def. James Pullin, The Olde Course at Loveland (61), 3 and 2
  Bob Chandler, The Heritage at Westmoor (36) def. Frank Wilkinson, Lincoln Park GC (29), 5 and 3
  David Draper, Green Valley Ranch GC (52) def. Steve Bell, Denver CC (13), 1 up
  Bruce Hogg, Patty Jewett GC (45) def. John Sostmann, Raccoon Creek GC (20), 6 and 5
  Rod Walters, Heritage at Westmoor (5) def. Ron Crowder, Broadmoor GC (60), 5 and 4
  Dennis Truitt, Kennedy GC (37) def. Art Cudworth, Raccoon Creek GC (28), 3 and 1
  Dave Brown, Rmgcsa GL (53) def. Larry Netherton, Highlands Ranch GC (12), 2 and 1
  Dennis Hartman, Wellshire GC (44) def. Jerry Beren, Coal Creek GC (21), 2 and 1
  Jim LeMar, Meadows GC (2) def. Scott Gardner, BD Golfing Society (63), 6 and 5
  Bill Fowler, Bear Creek GC (34) def. John Olive, Broadmoor GC (31), 3 and 2
  Mark Franz, Saddle Rock GC (15) def. Dennis Fields, CommonGround GC (50), 3 and 2
  Bob Kubiak, South Suburban GC (47) def. Chuck Delich, Eisenhower GC (18), 5 and 4
  Scott Patterson, The Courses at Hyland Hills (58) def. Kent Moore, Cherry Hills CC (7), 3 and 2
  Pat Bowe, CommonGround GC (26) def. Doug Jones, Tiara Rado GC (39), 3 and 2
  Jim Reynolds, Bear Creek GC (10) def. Tony Goodman, Silver Spruce GC (55), 19 holes
  Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC (23) def. Lonnie Miller, Lincoln Park GC (42), 5 and 4
  Jeff Sweet, Saddle Rock GC (3) def. Jerry Kaylor, Broadlands GC (62), 3 and 1
  Don Sall, Broadmoor GC (35) def. Bo Powell, West Woods GC (30), 3 and 2
  Lance Balthaser, Broken Tee Englewood (14) def. Kronin Kelley, Heritage at Westmoor (51), 5 and 3
  Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (19) def. Ken Bailey, Telluride Ski & GC (46), 2 and 1
  Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC (6) def. Scott Hansen, Lincoln Park GC (59), 7 and 6
  Robin Bradbury, Heritage at Westmoor (27) def. Mark Barkley, Canongate Colorado (38), 7 and 5
  Thomas Roos, Spring Valley GC (11) def. Rick Tarasiewicz, Patty Jewett GC (54), 1 up
  Chuck Fisher, Riverdale GC (22) def. Rick George, Castle Pines GC (43), 5 and 4

Round of 32

  Eric Hoos, Highlands Ranch GC (1) def. Terry Hymans, Canongate Colorado (32), 3 and 2
  Gary Kephart, Eisenhower GC (17) def. Ronald Swartzwelder, CommonGround GC (49), 4 and 3
  Gary Fox, CC at Castle Pines (40) def. Scott Crone, Pinehurst CC (57), 20 holes
  Tom Musselman, The Bridges (9) def. Steve Stultz, CC at Castle Pines (24), 4 and 3
  Bob Chandler, The Heritage at Westmoor (36) def. Terry Lorenz, Pinehurst CC (4), 2 and 1
  Bruce Hogg, Patty Jewett GC (45) def. David Draper, Green Valley Ranch GC (52), 3 and 2
  Rod Walters, Heritage at Westmoor (5) def. Dennis Truitt, Kennedy GC (37), 1 up
  Dave Brown, Rmgcsa GL (53) def. Dennis Hartman, Wellshire GC (44), 7 and 6
  Bill Fowler, Bear Creek GC (34) def. Jim LeMar, Meadows GC (2), 5 and 4
  Mark Franz, Saddle Rock GC (15) def. Bob Kubiak, South Suburban GC (47), 7 and 5
  Scott Patterson, The Courses at Hyland Hills (58) def. Pat Bowe, CommonGround GC (26), 3 and 2
  Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC (23) def. Jim Reynolds, Bear Creek GC (10), 5 and 4
  Don Sall, Broadmoor GC (35) def. Jeff Sweet, Saddle Rock GC (3), 3 and 2
  Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (19) def. Lance Balthaser, Broken Tee Englewood (14), 19 holes
  Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC (6) def. Robin Bradbury, Heritage at Westmoor (27), 4 and 2
  Thomas Roos, Spring Valley GC (11) def. Chuck Fisher, Riverdale GC (22), 3 and 2

Round of 16

  Eric Hoos, Highlands Ranch GC (1) def. Gary Kephart, Eisenhower GC (17), 5 and 4
  Tom Musselman, The Bridges (9) def. Gary Fox, CC at Castle Pines (40), 3 and 2
  Bob Chandler, The Heritage at Westmoor (36) def. Bruce Hogg, Patty Jewett GC (45), 7 and 6
  Dave Brown, Rmgcsa GL (53) def. Rod Walters, Heritage at Westmoor (5), 20 holes
  Mark Franz, Saddle Rock GC (15) def. Bill Fowler, Bear Creek GC (34), 1 up
  Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC (23) def. Scott Patterson, The Courses at Hyland Hills (58), 1 up
  Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (19) def. Don Sall, Broadmoor GC (35), 6 and 5
  Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC (6) def. Thomas Roos, Spring Valley GC (11), 20 holes

Quarterfinals
  Tom Musselman, The Bridges (9) def. Eric Hoos, Highlands Ranch GC (1), 2 and 1
  Dave Brown, Rmgcsa GL (53) def. Bob Chandler, The Heritage at Westmoor (36), 19 holes
  Mark Franz, Saddle Rock GC (15) def. Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC (23), 1 up
  Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC (6) def. Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (19), 1 up

Semifinals
  Tom Musselman, The Bridges (9) def. Dave Brown, Rmgcsa GL (53), 6 and 4
  Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC (6) def. Mark Franz, Saddle Rock GC (15), 21 holes

Final
  Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC (6) def. Tom Musselman, The Bridges (9), 2 up


SUPER-SENIOR MATCH PLAY
Round of 16

  Bob Sims, Canongate Colorado (1) def. Michael Clark, Heritage at Westmoor (16), 5 and 4
  Bruce Hayes, Heritage at Westmoor (9) def. Randy Miller, Boulder CC (8), 5 and 4
  Jim Pierce, Saddle Rock GC (13) def. Fredrick Steffers, Patty Jewett GC (4), 19 holes
  Roger Gunderson, Aurora Hills GC (5) def. Mark Runyan, Canongate Colorado (12), 6 and 5
  Terry Pettit, Mariana Butte GC (15) def. Richard Barg, Meadow Hills GC (2), 3 and 2
  Patrick Mooney, Colorado GC (7) def. David Comeau, Highlands Ranch GC (10), 1 up
  Bill Weinman, Canongate Colorado (14) def. Vance Adler, CC at Castle Pines (3), 20 holes
  Joe Morrill, Eagle Ranch GC (11) def. Steve Ivy, Pelican Lakes G & CC (6), 7 and 6

Quarterfinals
  Bruce Hayes, Heritage at Westmoor (9) def. Bob Sims, Canongate Colorado (1), 2 and 1
  Jim Pierce, Saddle Rock GC (13) def. Roger Gunderson, Aurora Hills GC (5), 4 and 3
  Patrick Mooney, Colorado GC (7) def. Terry Pettit, Mariana Butte GC (15), 4 and 2
  Joe Morrill, Eagle Ranch GC (11) def. Bill Weinman, Canongate Colorado (14), 5 and 4

Semifinals
  Bruce Hayes, Heritage at Westmoor (9) def. Jim Pierce, Saddle Rock GC (13), 1 up
  Patrick Mooney, Colorado GC (7) def. Joe Morrill, Eagle Ranch GC (11), 2 and 1

Final
  Patrick Mooney, Colorado GC (7) def. Bruce Hayes, Heritage at Westmoor (9), 4 and 2


CLICK HERE for Senior stroke play results

CLICK HERE for Super-Senior stroke play results


Go to CGA Senior Match Play Results Archive




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