Rusty Strawn outduels fellow Georgian Doug Hanzel for 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur title

·1 min read

It was a Peach State battle in the Bay State.

Fellow Georgians Rusty Strawn and Doug Hanzel locked horns in the final Thursday of the 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur and it was Strawn coming out on top thanks to a 3-and-2 win at The Kittansett Club in Marion, Massachusetts.

Strawn, who was the 2021 Golfweek Senior Player of the Year, is the fourth golfer from Georgia to win. This December, he’ll be the captain for the Golfweek Challenge Cup at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Strawn, 59, is also the fourth Georgia Southern alum to win a USGA championship, following in the footsteps of his former college teammate Gene Sauers (2016 U.S. Senior Open), Jodie Mudd (1980 and 1981 U.S. Amateur Public Links) and Stewart “Buddy” Alexander (1986 U.S. Amateur).

“It’s amazing,” said Strawn. “I mean, I never thought that I’d have this opportunity [or] if I could actually pull it off. I felt like that I had the game in the right conditions and the right course setup, because I have that determination. But it’s just amazing.”

This was the first time in 19 years that the U.S. Senior Amateur came down to two golfers from the same state.

Strawn jumped out to an early lead, winning five of the first six holes.

“I gave him some simple holes,” said Hanzel, 65, who was competing in his 40th USGA championship.

With the win, Strawn is exempt into the next 10 U.S. Senior Ams, the next two U.S. Amateurs, as well as the 2023 U.S. Senior Open Championship, which will be staged at SentryWorld in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek