On Monday and Tuesday, 97 players from all across the country converged on Chattanooga, TN to host the inaugural Senior Major at two famous private clubs. The opening round was held at the prestigious Black Creek Club in Chattanooga, built as a tribute to Seth Raynor with tribute holes designed if the classic architects had experienced the modern game. Ranked as a top 100 residential course, Black Creek winds through a beautiful neighborhood at the base of the mountains. The second round was held at a very special and historical facilities. Players made the trek up Lookout Mountain into Georgia to play Seth Raynor’s last project, The Lookout Mountain Golf Club. At its creation, it was the second most expensive golf course to build in the world. Players got to enjoy many of the classic “template holes”, while enjoying breathtaking views overlooking the countryside below.
In Division 1, Tim Saunders (Smoky Mountain) got off to a hot start on Monday, shooting a 2-under par 70 to take a 4-shot lead over Ronnie Fowler (Memphis). On Tuesday at Lookout Mountain, Ed McDugle (Memphis) and Paul Hess (Metro Philadelphia) made a charge at the lead with low rounds of 75, but Tim Saunders pulled away late for the win shooting rounds of 70-76 146. McDugle finished in 2nd place with rounds of 76-75 151 and Paul Hess finished in 3rd with rounds of 80-75 155.
It would take more than 36 holes to determine a winner in Division 2 as scores were low in Monday’s opening round. Johnny Pierce (Smoky Mountain) got off to an early lead with an even-par 72, but was chased closely by Dale Morrison (Iowa) and Phil VanGeersdaelen (Charlotte), who sat only 1-shot behind with rounds of 73 headed into the final round at Lookout Mountain. The slopes and tricky greens at Lookout Mountain played substantially more difficult, where Dale Morrison and Johnny Pierce finished the day tied at +12. The playoff started with pars for both on hole 13, pars on hole 14, until Pierce mad a par on the difficult 15th to seal the victory. Travis Wartluft (Charlotte) finished in 3rd with rounds of 77-78 155, while Cary Anderson (Nashville) and Phil VanGeersdaelen (Charlotte) tied for 4th 2 shots off of the pace.
In Division 3, Jerry Drewry (Nashville) got off to an early lead with a 78 at Black Creek Club, to be followed closely by Ande Jones (Birmingham) with a 79. Anything could happen on the tricky and difficult layout on top of the mountain, and Kentucky’s Gary Barrow came from behind with the low-round of the day with an 83 to earn a 5 shot victory of Jerry Drewry. Rod McCasland (Houston) used steady play both days to tie for 3rd with Ande Jones.
In Division 4, John White (Nashville) got off to an early lead, firing an 82 to lead by one over Pat Ryan (Houston), Mark Wright (Indianapolis), and Steve Minder (St. Louis). Day two proved to be anyone’s game as Robert Lawless (Columbus) shot the low round of the day by 4 shots to put pressure on the leaders. Lawless fell just short to Pat Ryan (Houston) who held on to earn a two-shot victory and win his second Major Championship on the APT (2021 Lone-Star Shootout at TPC San Antonio). Ryan is just the second multiple major winner in APT history. 3rd place went to Mike Baker (Northern California), shooting 86-88 to finish just 4 shots of the pace. John White (Nashville) and Mark Wright (Indianapolis) each finished tied for 4th just 6 shots back.
In Division 5, Don Hamblett (Birmingham) fired an 88 to take the early lead on Rick Burton (Indianapolis). During the final round, Burton held off a late charge by Marcus Swinson Jr. (Kansas City) to earn a 3 shot victory with a two-day total of 186. Swinson Jr. finished in solo 2nd 3 shots off of the pace with 96-93 189. Bryan Baker (Tampa), Jeff Noel (Birmingham), and Sean Tavel (Virginia Capital) tied for 3rd place with two-day totals of 190.