Top-ranked senior Gene Elliott leads Golfweek Senior Tournament of Champions

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Gene Elliott, the top-ranked senior amateur, is back where he is most familiar: at the top of the leaderboard.

With 18 holes to play at the Golfweek Senior Tournament of Champions at The Forest Country Club Bear Course in Ft. Myers, Florida, Elliott should feel pretty comfortable.

The 59-year-old from Iowa has already had a year for the record books, winning both the U.S. Senior Amateur and the British Senior Amateur. He also has a track record at this event where he has won twice since its inception in 2018.

Elliott began the second round two shots back of co-leaders Dave Bunker and Jerry Gunthorpe, who each began the day at 2 under. Carding birdies on holes Nos. 2, 3, and 4, Elliott made quick work in erasing the deficit. Despite a bogey on the par-4 16th, he did enough to take the top spot heading into Friday’s final round.

Bunker negated any ground made up on the field in the first round with a second-round 75. Having four bogeys on his card, the top-ranked Canadian senior slid from a tie for first to solo second at 1 over. As for Gunthorpe, a trio of back-to-back bogeys throughout the day saw him fall into a tie for sixth at 4 over.

Seven golfers are within five strokes of Elliott heading into Friday’s final round. The two co-leaders from round one find themselves still atop the Super Senior division. Randy King and Edward Turner account for two-thirds of tomorrow’s final pairing as they sit at 5 over with Keith McKelvy.

Defending Legend champion Jim Rollefson leads the pack that will be looking to chase Charley Yandell, who backed up his opening 1-over 73 with yet another to take a commanding four-stroke lead in the Legend division.

Gil Stenholm of Illinois bounced back from a first round 78 with a 1-over 73 on Thursday to go 7 over for the tournament. The 75-year old leads by two over Jack Marin who sits in solo second. Round 1 leader Steve Wilson and defending champion Charlie Busbee lurk at 10 and 11 over respectively.

Four golfers will take home trophies and have bragging rights as a ‘Champion of Champions’ following play on Friday.