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Turnbow, Crockett log National Senior-Junior victory
Whit Turnbow and Dan Crockett (center) (Tournament photo)
Whit Turnbow and Dan Crockett (center) (Tournament photo)

JUPTER, Fla. (Jan. 9, 2018) – Whit Turnbow, president of the Tennessee Golf Foundation, came out from behind the scenes on Wednesday to win the National Senior-Junior title beside partner Dan Crockett. The two combined for a 63 at Dye Preserve, which tied the low round of the day.

Scores were close entering the final round of a two-man event in which the format changes each day. The third and final round was played as a scramble, and the 63 allowed the pair from Tennessee to gain an edge.

Tony Hejna, who has qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur each of the past two years, and Jamie Miller, a semifinalist at the 2017 Crump Cup and winner of the 2018 C.B. McDonald Annual Invitational, also had a final-round 63 but came up one shot short. Louisiana standouts Tommy Brennan and Patrick Christovich, the second-round leaders, tied Hejna and Miller for second.

Two teams tied for fourth after final-round 65s. Roger Newsom and Evan Beck were part of that tie, and so were New England players Frank Vana and Bobby Leopold. Vana won the Massachusetts Mid-Amateur for the 10th time over the summer, and also won the Massachusetts Senior for the first time. Leopold, from Rhode Island, won the 2016 Crane Cup and the 2017 New England Amateur.

The Senior Junior also includes a legends division, won by Paul Quigley and renowned sports psychologist Bob Rotella. The pair took a five-shot lead into the final round and combined for a 68 to win by two shots.

ROUND 2

Tommy Brennan and Patrick Christovich have the lead after two rounds of the National Senior-Junior. The two combined for an opening 67 at Dye Preserve in the four-ball portion of the event, then followed it with a 64 when the format switched to Pinehurst on Day 2.

At 13 under, Brennan, of Covington, La., and Christovich, of New Orleans, have a one-shot lead on three teams entering the final round.

The National Senior-Junior is a unique team event with each team comprised of one senior player and one mid-amateur, and always draws a strong national field. The format changes in each round. The final round will be a scramble, which all but guarantees a shootout.

Behind Brennan and Christovich, New Englanders Frank Vana and Bobby Leopold have put up back-to-back rounds of 66 to land at 12 under. Dan Crocket and Whit Turnbow, president of the Tennessee Golf Foundation, as well as Roger Newsom and Evan Beck are also at that number.

Brennan and Christovich won this title in 2014 and 2015. The two have long amateur resumes. Christovich, 40, is a former winner of the Coleman Invitational, Birmingham National Invitational, Harvey Penick Invitational and Timuquana Cup. Brennan competes on the senior circuit, and won the Trans-Miss Senior in 2016. He had top-5 finishes in 2018 at the Crane Cup Senior, George C. Thomas Invitational and Coleman Senior Invitational.

The Senior Junior also includes a legends division. Paul Quigley and renowned sports psychologist Bob Rotella are at the top of that field after rounds of 69-68. It will be a tall order to catch the duo during Wednesday’s scramble format considering that they have built a five-shot lead on the field.

ABOUT THE National Senior Junior

Mid Amateur, Senior Amateur. Unique 54 hole stroke play invitational features a "junior" (mid am) and a senior. There is also a Legends division that pairs legends and super seniors. Started in 1991 by some Society of Seniors members. Played on a wonderful course re-done by Pete Dye. Best Ball Format Round 1 – Pinehurst Format Round 2 – Scramble Format Round 3.

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