Perry wins playoff for Senior Amateur title
Though he now calls Winston-Salem home, Russ Perry said Durham holds a special place in his heart because of deep family history here.
So winning the Durham Senior Amateur golf tournament, as he did on Tuesday, would have been special because of that.
Winning it on the fourth hole of a three-man playoff only added to the fun.
But that’s what happened when Perry birded the fourth playoff hole to eliminate Ahoskie’s Bill Long and Bill Everett of Raleigh at Croasdaile Country Club.
“We used to come here when I was a kid,” Perry said. “So this is very special to me because of the heritage of my parents and my relatives.”
Perry’s mother and father grew up in Durham, and his grandfather was a physician in town. His sister lives about 15 minutes from Croasdaile.
“This is the first year I’ve played in it, and I will certainly be back,” Perry said.
His first visit netted the first-place trophy for Perry, who trailed two-time tournament champion Don Slater of Durham by a stroke after Monday’s first round. Perry shot a 1-over 73 to notch a two-day total of an even-par 144.
Slater, winner of the first two Durham Senior Amateur events before not participating a year ago, shot a 79 on Tuesday to miss the playoff.
After shooting a 2-over 74 on Monday, Long shot a 70 Tuesday to catch Perry.
“I just played really solid,” Long said.
Long made eight consecutive pars to start his round before notching three birdies in a row.
“That got me into contention,” Long said.
He also birdied No. 16.
Everett was one of 15 golfers who were unable to complete their first rounds on Monday after a rain delay of two-and-a-half hours disrupted play. He finished early Tuesday morning, shooting a 71, before playing his second round. He finished that with a score of 73 to join Perry and Long in the playoff.
The three started on hole No. 10 and remained deadlocked after the first two holes.
On the par-4 No. 12, Long made a bid to win the tournament with a 40-foot birdie putt. But it rimmed off the edge of the hole, and he tapped in for par.
Perry and Everett also missed birdie putts to send the group to the par-5 No. 13.
On the fourth playoff hole, all three players teed off to the center of the fairway, about 270 yards from the hole.
But Everett’s second shot landed in the rough amidst a group of trees. He needed two shots from there to get to the green, which essentially knocked him out of contention.
Long’s second shot left him just short of the green. On a chip for birdie, the ball struck the flag pole and bounced away from the hole. That left him with a 12-foot birdie putt, which he missed.
That opened the door for Perry, who had attempted an eagle putt. His birdie putt from 8 feet was true, and he claimed the championship.
In the Super Seniors division, Jamestown’s Larry Boswell had the low round of the tournament to claim first place.
Boswell fired a 72 on Monday and entered his final round two shots behind the leader, Pinehurst’s Rick Luzar. But Boswell’s final-round 66 to bolt into the lead after his morning round on Tuesday.
Luzar played in the afternoon but didn’t play well enough to catch Boswell. Luzar shot a 74 on Tuesday to finish six shots back at 144.
Gary Strickfaden shot a 69 on Tuesday and, coupled with his first-round 72, finished three shots behind Boswell in second place.