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Griffing's Steady Play Wins Senior Open

May 10th, 2011

Despite a brief hail delay that postponed his winning three-foot putt, Quinn Griffing battled back from a three shot deficit behind Bill Schumaker to win the Indiana PGA Senior Open Tuesday at Harbour Trees. “I thought I needed to shoot in the 60’s today to have a chance, but I’m really surprised Bill backed down like that,” said Griffing, who carded a 71-70=141. "I scrambled well today with my chipping and putting which nullified poor shots off the tee."

Schumaker fired a first round 68 to have a three shot lead heading into the final day, and held on to his lead until the 13th hole. At 13, Griffing’s birdie took him to two-down along with Schumaker. At the 14th, a three-putt by Schumaker gave Griffing his first lead of the day. The 16th changed the game though. While Griffing’s bogey moved him back to 1-under, Schumaker’s double-bogey moved him to over par for the first time in the championship. “At 16 I forgot how much that tree in the fairway comes into play,” Griffing explained. His approach flew over the green, and he was unable to convert the up-and-down. Schumaker finished with a 76 which was good enough for 4th. Between the two, also in contention throughout the day, were amateurs Randy Nichols (72-70=142) and Tim Miller (71-72-143). Nichols sank a long putt at the 18th to finish even for the tournament and put pressure on Griffing's 3-footer to avoid a playoff.

This was not at all the first time that Griffing and Schumaker have fought for a title. Since 2008 when Griffing entered the senior ranks, the two have gone back and forth at senior championships and in the player of the year rankings. In 2008, Griffing found victory at the Senior Professional Championship, and Schumaker was close behind in 3rd. In 2009, Schumaker avenged his defeat and won the Senior Championship, sending Griffing home with second place. At the end of that tournament, Schumaker had almost clinched Senior Player of the Year for the ninth time. But Griffing’s national performance earned him the extra 25 points he needed to edge out Schumaker by only 20 points – 1,125 to 1,105. This Senior Open title for Griffing adds him to a past champions list where you can also find Schumaker listed twice.

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