FALMOUTH — Shawn McLoughlin won his first tournament as a senior golfer in 2000 at the New England Senior Amateur Championship.
Thirteen years later, the youthful 70-year old nabbed his second New England Senior title by playing steady golf for 36 holes and avoiding the big mistakes as he won by one shot Wednesday afternoon at the Portland Country Club.
McLoughlin of Newtown, Conn. shot 73-72–145.
He parred the difficult 465-yard, par-4 18 by two-putting from 35 feet, the last one a three and a half-foot knee knocker, and then watched Bob Currey of Boston, Mass., playing in the next group, fail to make par on the same hole to tie McLoughlin.
Bill Hermanson of Connecticut, playing in the last group, also had a chance to tie McLoughlin, but he needed his 20-foot, downhill putt to drop and it slid left.
Currey’s putt was also downhill from 10-feet.
“I suspected I needed to make it to tie,” he said
Currey and Hermanson tied for second at 146. Robert Linn of Massachusetts was fourth at 147 while Jim Romaniello of Connecticut and Jack Kearney of Massachusetts tied for fifth at 148.
“I left before Bill putted,” McLoughlin said. “I didn’t want to watch. It would have made me too nervous,” he said.
McLoughlin started the final round three shots behind first round leader Bill Torza, also of Connecticut. Torza shot a final round 80 and finished in a tie for 11th.
“I figured if I shot a 72 or 73, I would be in the hunt and that’s exactly what I did. All in all, I played really good and this is way beyond all my expectations.”
McLoughlin went two under on the front nine with birdies on Nos. 3 and 5. He gave them back with bogeys on six, eight and nine to make the turn in 36.
He had eight pars and one bogey on the back nine.
Along with his two New England Senior Championships, McLoughlin has won the Connecticut Seniors, the Metropolitan Seniors, the Westchester County Seniors and was twice Westchester County Senior Player of the Year.
McLoughlin also won the tournament’s super senior title (age 65 and over)
The players heaped praise on the condition, the beauty and the challenge of the Portland Country Club.
“This is a really nice course,” McLoughlin said.
“It’s a challenging course, but very enjoyable to play.”
Tom Bean of the Augusta CC was low Maine player and tied for seventh at 149.