Gar Hamilton of the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club in Mississauga, Ont., has qualified to play in the U.S. Senior Open, which will be played July 30 to Aug. 2 at a course Hamilton once called home.
Hamilton was even par during qualifying at the Lockport Town and Country Club, just outside of Buffalo.
“I played pretty efficiently,” said Hamilton. “The greens were running about 13 and the pins were located on knobs, so it made it really tough.”
What made it even more difficult for Hamilton was that a weather system swept in and delayed play while he was standing on the 18th hole at even par.
“I knew that even par or one under would be good,” said Hamilton. “When I saw that I only needed to make par on the 18th hole, which was a par three, I tensed up a bit.”
Hamilton hit his utility club to 15 feet and two-putted for par to get into his first major championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.
“I’m thrilled to be playing at Crooked Stick,” said Hamilton, a former Indiana University captain.
“I used to actually play out of there when I was playing the PGA Tour and lived close to the course back in the 70s and I have a number of friends who still live there,” said Hamilton, who has won the Canadian PGA Club Professional Championship four times and the Canadian PGA Senior title once.
Hamilton has some experience on the Champions Tour, where he has tried Q-School. In 2002, he tied for sixth at the Canadian Senior Open at the Essex Golf and Country Club, near Windsor, Ont.
“My members have always been supportive of my playing and they are all pulling for me,” said Hamilton.
“I hit some balls on the range at 7a.m. (Wednesday) morning and will keep practicing as much as I can before we head down on the Sunday before.”