Joey Holley shot a 71 on Tuesday at Riverchase Country Club to qualify via Sectional Qualifying for the U.S. Senior Amateur.
The other qualifier was Doug Stiles of Athens, Ga., who shot even par 72 and survived a three-way playoff for the second and final spot. Former State Amateur champion John Coles III of Birmingham made bogey on the third playoff hole, No. 9, to drop out, with Stiles making birdie on No. 1, the fourth playoff hole, to oust Kevin Carey of South Dennis, Ma.
Holley and Stiles advance to the U.S. Senior Amateur to be played at Hidden Creek GC in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., Sept. 26-Oct. 1.
Holley, who will turn 55 on Sept. 11, lives in Troy. Fifty-five is significant as this is the minimum age to play in this championship. He has won two State titles: the State Four-Ball with Terry Mobley and the State Senior Four-Ball with Stan Sherlin. This will be his first USGA individual championship, having played in the State Team Championship twice for Alabama.
“This is a dream come true (to qualify for a USGA championship),” an emotional Holley said. “Prayers have been answered and I always wanted to do this. The Lord has blessed me with some good ability and it paid off today.”
He also credited his wife, Beth, who often watches him play and is very supportive of his golf.
Holley pointed to a green side bunker shot he holed for birdie on the challenging ninth hole as key to his round.
“I played very solidly. I hit every fairway and 14 greens (in regulation). This (qualifier) was something I’ve been pointing towards.”
Click for the scores.