It’s been said it can be tougher to win a golf tournament on your home course, because everyone expects you to win. To a certain extent, West Des Moines’ Gene Elliott (above left) knew that all too well this week at the 42nd Iowa Senior Amateur at Crow Valley Golf Club, a place he grew up playing.
“That’s what I told the members here at Crow Valley,” Elliott said. “But this isn’t my home golf course anymore. I have been over every inch of property at this golf course and probably have had every putt out there.”
Elliott (+5), who finished with rounds of 74-73-71 (218), got off to a quick start in Wednesday’s final round, with an opening nine holes in 32 (-3). A couple slight bumps in the road on holes 14-16 made things more interesting down the stretch, but with two pars to finish, Elliott won his fifth Iowa Senior Amateur title by a shot over Muscatine’s Tom Norton (+6), who posted his own final round 71 (E).
Elliott admitted, regardless of how many times you’ve played at Crow Valley GC one thing remains the same – the difficulty of the greens are nothing to lose sight of.
“These are some of the toughest greens in the midwest,” Elliott said. “It doesn’t matter how many times you have played here, the putts are still hard.”
Elliott, who recently played in the U.S. Amateur in Oregon, a tournament loaded with ‘kids’ much younger, said it’s good to be back competing against players over 50.
“It’s nice playing with my own age group,” Elliott said. “As long as I am still standing, we’ll go for a sixth (title) next year.”
In the Super Senior Division, Marshalltown’s Rob Christensen (above right) outlasted fellow Marshalltown resident Pat Ryan by eight shots overall after a fine final round of 70 (-1), including a near hole-out to end his tournament on the par three 9th hole.
“That was a nice way to finish,” Christensen said. “I birdied a lot of par threes this week.”
Christensen commented that he was able to pick up a lot of ‘home course’ knowledge during his practice round and without a doubt that was the key to his success in the Quad Cities this week.
“I owe a lot to Bill Tank, a member here (at Crow Valley),” Christensen said. “He took us around during our practice round and told us where to hit, not to hit it. He said whatever you do, do not be above the hole. That was the key for me, I kept it below the hole all week.”