There was no shortage of drama at the 2023 Golfweek Senior Amateur.
The Firecliff course at the Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, California, played host to one of the more dramatic finishes in Golfweek Senior Amateur history, with two of the events needing a playoff to decide things.
Vance Welch outlasted four others in a wild playoff.
Jeff Burda was dominant in the Super Senior division.
George Walker overcame a snowman on the scorecard earlier in the week.
John Seehausen defeats a former NBA star to win the Super Legends division.
Here’s more on each of the four divisions:
Senior Division (55-64)
Five players in the senior division ended up tied at 2 over following 54 holes. 36-hole co-leaders Tommy Brennan and Kirk Maynord both slipped from the top rung of the leaderboard following rounds of 4-over 76 to find themselves in a five man dog fight for the title.
The three challengers were all coming of sub-par rounds with Loren Lopeman having the hottest hand following a 4-under 68 to earn a spot in the playoff.
Heading to the par-4 1st hole, Mike Combs bowed out with a bogey. The four remaining players then headed to the par-4 9th where Loperman and Brennan were eliminated.
Just as the sun was setting over the San Jacinto mountains, Vance Welch won the championship with a par on the par-3 8th. Welch, a Maryland native, improved each day en route to the win using rounds of 75, 72 and closing with a final 71 to backdoor his way to the win.
Super Senior (65-69)
Jeff Burda didn’t just play this week. He dominated.
The lone super senior that is exempted into last year’s U.S. Senior Amateur ran laps around not just his age bracket, but the entire field.
The So Cal native built a seven stroke lead with back-to-back rounds of 70 but saved his most impressive round for last. His bogey free final round 64 was the lowest score to par all week across all age groups and was six shots off of the all-time scoring record of 18 under.
Curtis Worley carded a final round 71 to secure a solo second place finish at 4 over while Scott Masingill rounded out the podium with a 5-over performance on the week.
Legend Division (70-74)
Legend George Walker had himself quite a roller coaster of a week.
Opening the tournament with four consecutive birdies, Walker ended his first round with an eight for a three-way tie for the 18-hole lead. After a second round 76, Walker trailed the leader, Fred Clark, by four shots heading into the final round.
Repeating his hot start from Thursday, Walker birdied the first four holes. Unlike Thursday, Walker was able to close out his round strong and avenged his snowman on 18 with a birdie to capture the championship and win by two shots.
Fred Clark finished second at 2 under for tournament while Patrick Rohan finished third at 2 over.
Super Legend (75+)
Another playoff occurred, this time in the 75+ Super Legend division. John Seehausen and former NBA star Jack Marin were both tied at 7 over through 54 holes.
Losing a playoff in this event two years ago, Marin was once again a bridesmaid as Seehausen defeated him in a one-hole playoff to take home the championship.
If you think you have what it takes to play against some of. the best senior amateur players from across the country check out the Golfweek Senior Amateur schedule here.