For Paul Gentry, turning 50 years old doesn’t mean he’s over the hill. It means he’s just starting to thrive. Gentry, who became eligible for the fifth Senior City golf Championship by turning 50 on May 14, was the medalist with a three-under-par 67 on Sunday at McDonald to finish with a twoday total of 136. He defeated second-place Tm Alexander by eight strokes. “I don’t really pay much attention to age,” Gentry said. “I’ve made a couple of minor swing changes. I’m hitting it longer and better than I have in my whole life. It’s a matter of practice and good instruction.
I’ve worked hard. I’ve hit a lot of golf balls. There’s only one way to get better and that’s through practice.” Gentry, who won his first tournament title of the year, said he was going to delay his celebration. He will compete in the State Amateur qualifier today, which starts at 7:30 a.m. at Cambridge Golf Course near I-164. “I like to win,” he said. “That’s why I came here, to win. You could win the ‘podunk open’ and feel good.” Gentry and Alexander were tied at 69 after Saturday’s first round at Fendrich.
But Gentry began to take control in the latter half of the front nine on Sunday, finishing the day with five birdies and no bogeys. “I just never really put myself in difficulty,” Gentry said. “I only missed four fairways. I hit a 60-footer on the green and lo and behold (it went all the way into the cup). I played really solid. I was lucky to play a couple of par fives two under.” Alexander, 57, said Gentry deserved all the accolades. “Paul played beautifully,” said Alexander, who shot a 75 on Sunday to end with a 144. “He played great golf and I didn’t. It was pretty simple. To shoot a 67 out there today is pretty good. The conditions were a little wet (after a morning rain), but it wasn’t that bad. “About the seventh hole he started making birdies and ran away with it. I played like I did (Saturday). I didn’t get up and down. I was scrambling. I was all over the place. I’m not striking the ball real well. I’ve been able to get away with it.”
“The turnout of 121 players was about all McDonald could hold”, Alexander said. “I think (the Senior City tournament) is great,” he said. “The field was filled up. One hundred-twenty one was about all (McDonald) could stand. You can’t put any more players that that (on this course).” Gentry said the conditions were much soggier on Saturday at Fendrich. “There was some mud on the ball, but considering all the rain we’ve had the conditions (were great),” he said. Jim Atkins finished third with two rounds of 73 for a 146.