McCoy in pole position at R&A Senior Amateur
Mike McCoy arrived safe and sound in the north of Scotland, but unfortunately not his clubs. The 59-year-old borrowed a putter and some wedges from club professional Royal Dornoch but had to travel to Inverness to buy the rest. He managed to put them to good use in his first round of competition on one of Scotland’s biggest Championship ties.
McCoy carded a bogeyless, four-under-par 66 on Tuesday on the championship course at Royal Dornoch to take a one-stroke lead over Scotsman Robert Jenkins after the first round of the R&A Senior Amateur Championship.
Americans Robert Clapp and Lee Porter tied for third place by one under after both shooting a 69 around the Struie and Championship courses.
By saving installs the nerves
McCoy’s first competitive success with his new kit did not pay immediate dividends.
“My first shot, I hit it into one of the fairway bunkers and I had to explode, but I hit a good four-foot corner and saved par,” McCoy said.
“It kind of calmed me down and I remained patient. I rolled well and kept the ball in play all the way. Other than the first, I was stable all day.
Elliott provides information
McCoy is good friends with fellow Des Moines native and defending champion Gene Elliott. He credits last year’s champion, who returned a 74 on the Struie layout to sit eight strokes behind McCoy, for giving him renewed inspiration despite a distinguished career that saw him win the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Championship. amateur 2013, finishing low amateur in 2014 and 2015. US Senior Opens and playing in the 2015 Walker Cup.
“Gene is my neighbor and we are good friends. We play a lot of golf together. Seeing what he did last year winning at Ganton and then adding the US Senior Amateur inspired me.
Walker Cup Responsibilities
McCoy was named captain of the 2023 US Walker Cup in March and will lead the top 10 American players on the Old Course next year. He says work begins in earnest next week when he travels to St Andrews for meetings at the 150th Open Championship.
“We are just getting started with all of this and it will be nice to meet my counterpart, Stuart Wilson, next week. I’ll start to get an idea of the timing and the logistics. So it’s easy to play golf right now, but it might be a little tougher once we get closer to the Walker Cup. He could well show up for next September’s game as the R&A Senior Open champion.
Hole-in-one with borrowed clubs
McCoy wasn’t the only American to show up at Dornoch without his golf clubs. Scott Almquist did too, but that didn’t stop the 57-year-old from finishing his round three of 73 on the Struie course with a bit of panache.
Almquist finished the hole on par-three, 18th with an 8-iron for his eighth ace.
“He was upwind and landed an inch out of the hole, went about six inches and came back into the hole,” Almquist said. “I was surprised because I play with rented clubs and have trouble shaping the irons.”
He finally found the right form on the 18th hole.
ABOUT british senior amateur
The British Senior Amateur, called the “Seniors Amateur Championship” in the UK, was started by the R&A in 1969 to help select a team from Great Britain and Ireland to play in the World Senior Amateur Tag Team Championship . Although the British Senior Amateur, first played at Formby, was an instant hit, the team event did not survive beyond 1969. Charlie Green was the most successful player in history of the event, winning six times in seven years beginning in 1988. Like the US Senior Amateur, players must be over 55 to play. Notable courses played over the years include Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Royal Aberdeen and Walton Heath.
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