Former George Washington basketball player Patrick Tallent won the U.S. Senior Amateur on Thursday, beating Bryan Norton 2 and 1 at Big Canyon.
The 61-year-old Tallent, from Vienna, Virginia, survived a 15-for-13 playoff Monday to advance to match play in the event for players 55 and older. He was the runner-up in 2010.
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"This is nerve-racking because we’re not used to playing under conditions like this," Tallent said. "Although, I’ll be honest with you, you can get nervous playing in anything, but it’s certainly more nervous playing in a USGA event, so it’s spectacular, fantastic. I can’t express my joy at having won this event."
Tallent won the par-4 first hole with a par and took a 4-up lead with a birdie win on the par-4 ninth. Norton, a 55-year-old reinstated amateur from Overland Park, Kansas, won Nos. 11, 12 and 14 to cut his deficit to a hole, but Tallent rebounded to take the par-3 15th with a birdie.
"I was able to get the momentum, but after I got it, I wasn’t able to get anything to go in that was meaningful," Norton said. "I had my chances."
Tallent matched Norton with a bogey on the par-5 16th and a birdie on the par-3 17th — holing a 30-footer — to close out the match.
"I never thought I would win one," Tallent said. "You know, when I was young and foolish, I thought I might be good enough to do something, and I played pretty well in the Mid-Am a couple times."
No. 60, Tallent is the worst-seeded player to win since the since the USGA began seeding players based on qualifying scores in 1992. Bill Shean was No. 58 when he won in 2000.