Springtime in Palm Springs
The southern California desert city of Indian Wells again played host to the 2014 SOS Senior Masters.
More than 160 players entered the annual competition played among cactus blooms, blue skies, snow capped distant mountains and perfect weather. The pleasant conditions at the Indian Wells Golf Resort were the coda to a week of manicured tees, lush fairways, and quick true greens.
After 54 holes, in the Senior division, it was Birminghamís Steve Hudson, playing in his first SOS event carding a final round 68, placing him atop the field. Rockwall Texasí Kip Estep began the final round tied with Hudson at 142, but was only able to post even par for the final round, good for lone second by four. Long hitting Chris Maletis of Portland, Oregon turned in a consistent trio of 72ís for 216 and sole possession of third place.
In the Super Senior division, seventy-one players and Ted Smith teed it up with the hopes of bringing home the hardware. After 54 holes of regulation play, seventy-one players stood by as Ted Smith again bested the field with at fine 1-under 215 total. Smith, of Wilkinson, Indiana opened with rounds of 71-70, good enough to enjoy a five shot lead into the third round over Bruce Richards, Seattle, Jim Holtgrieve, St. Louis and Jim Saivar of San Diego. Smith coasted in with a final 74, good for a two shot victory over Richards and a three shot margin over Atlantaís Jerry Greenbaum and Walnut Creek, Californiaís Ron Johnson. Johnsonís final round 66 was the best of the event.
In the 75 and over division, Bob Hullender, San Antonio, dusted off the sticks to take low honors with rounds of 76-72-72. Hullenderís 220 total was four better than Honoluluís Wendell Kop (75-75-74) and 10 shots ahead of perennial favorite Claud Johnston, Ann Arbor (79-78-73).
Special thanks go to the SOS Staff logging 12-hour days Tuesday and Wednesday. Thanks to starters Gary Taylor and Dick Mizer, thanks to scoring specialist Paul Pope and to Rules and Competitions Director Matt Lefferts. The Society events continue to be among the best senior events because of this sort of extra effort.