Former NYS Junior Champ Bob Royak Wins 65th U.S. Senior Amateur
DURHAM, N.C. -- Guilderland native Bob Royak captured the 65th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship after a match play victory over Roger Newsome of Virginia this week during the final match at Old Chatham Golf Club.
Royak, who resides in Alpharetta, Georgia, was without a birdie during the championship match, but sixteen pars and two bogeys were enough to secure the win, 1-up.
In the semifinal, he faced off against defending champion Jeff Wilson of California, where it took 21 holes for Royak to secure his spot in the final. The quarterfinal wasn’t so stressful as he put away Walter Todd of South Carolina, 6 and 5.
He defeated William Mitchell in the Round of 16. He also knocked off No. 2 seed Dean Channel in the Round of 32. In his Round of 64 match, he defeated Kenneth Coutant of Texas, 8 and 7, tying the largest margin of victory in the championship’s history.
He entered the match play bracket as the No. 31 seed during stroke play qualifying with rounds of 77-72.
The 57-year old appeared in the last four U.S. Senior Amateurs, and has competed in 16 USGA Championships, including three U.S. Amateurs and two U.S. Senior Opens (2012, 2019).
With the victory, Royak earns exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Senior Amateurs, the 2020 U.S. Senior Open, the next two U.S. Amateur Championships and U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships, and from local qualifying for next year’s U.S. Open.
He also earned a USGA gold medal and custody of the Frederick L. Dold Trophy for one year.
His recent accolades include winning the 2019 Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) Senior Match Play, the 2017 GSGA Senior Amateur and earned the 2017 Senior Player of the Year. He also appeared in this year’s U.S. Four-Ball (with partner Doug Hanzel, the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champ), and U.S. Senior Open.
Royak won the 1979 NYS Boys’ Junior Amateur Championship when it was held at Soaring Eagles Golf Course in Horseheads, N.Y.
The former NYSGA Champion played golf at the University of Tampa along with his younger brother Paul, who was also in this year’s field. The two brothers competed in the same USGA championship this week for the first time since the 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Bob’s older brother Jack, who played golf at Siena College back, served as his caddie all week during his march to the title.
Royak was exempt from this year’s championship due to his current World Amateur Golf Ranking, as a top 15 age-eligible points leader. He is currently ranked 824.