Sweeney swings to Northern Kentucky senior amateur title

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Second-day play Wednesday at the 83rd Northern Kentucky Amateur Championships at Triple Crown Country Club in Union crowned a senior winner and broke a tie atop the championship division standings for the men. In the women’s division, the first-day runaway leader kept running away from the pack.

All that was good news for senior champion Jim Sweeney, championship division leader Adam Horn and women’s leader Megan Yoder, who’ve acquitted themselves well at the 7,111-yard, par-72 course.

Sweeney, 65, representing Traditions Golf Club, won his first Northern Kentucky senior crown by holding off runner-up Tim Sorrows of Hamilton Elks. Sweeney, a former University of New Mexico golfer, finished with a 36-hole score of 5-over-par 149. His 1-over 73 Wednesday was the best 18-hole score of the senior event. He scored 36 on the back nine for the second round in a row while vanquishing some of the biggest names in local senior golf.

Sorrows, 66, finished runner-up for the second straight year with a score of 7-over 151, two shots behind Sweeney. The 2014 Greater Cincinnati Golf Association senior player of the year and two-time Cincinnati Metropolitan Senior Amateur champion, Sorrows shot 35 on the back nine, part of a second-day score of 75.

Tim Sorrows shows off his runner-up trophy won at the Northern Kentucky Senior Amateur championship at Triple Crown Country Club in Union. Photo provided

Cincinnati Legends of Golf honoree Jim Volpenhein, a seven-time Cincinnati Metropolitan Amateur champion playing out of Traditions Golf Club, finished in a four-way tie for third with fellow Traditions member Rob Petrey, Rick Harmon from Friendly Meadows and Ed Steiber from Miami View. All finished with scores of 10-over 154.

Volpenhein, the former Covington Catholic and University of Kentucky standout, shot 75 the second day. Petrey, a local multi-club champion including several at Hickory Sticks and Kenton County, carded four Wednesday birdies. Harmon and Steiber, a five-time GCGA senior player of the year and a four-time Senior Met winner, were tied for first after the opening round at 74.

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Sweeney, Volpenhein and Petrey gave Traditions three of the top four senior finishers, earning bragging rights over the host club, Triple Crown, whose three senior participants finished ninth, 11th and 18th.

In the championship division, City of Mason Golf Center’s Horn broke away from first-day co-leader Yadhu Urs of Hickory Hills. Horn, 18, put together a Wednesday score of 1-under 71, thanks to three birdies on the back nine. A former Milford High School golfer now playing at Wright State University, Horn enters Thursday’s final round with a two-day score of 3-under 141, three shots ahead of Urs, a college golfer at Ohio Dominican. Urs, 19, has a two-day score of even-par 144.

Mason Witt from The Acres and Boone/Lassing’s CM Mixon are tied for third at 2-over 146. Zack Beard from Miami View is fifth at 149. Among those in a five-way tie for sixth at 150 are Jason Aspelund, the low scorer thus far for host club Triple Crown, and Traditions’ Evan Stewart and Kenwood Country Club’s Brandon Conner, who joined Horn with Wednesday low scores of 71.

The championship field was cut to 30 players after Wednesday’s round.

Yoder from Fort Wayne Country Club extended her lead over Four Bridges’ Ali Green, last year’s runner-up. Yoder, 20, fashioned the best round so far in the women’s division, a second-day score of 72. A University of Dayton golfer, Yoder entered Thursday’s final round with a score of 149, good for a nine-shot lead over Green (158). Nobody else was within 19 shots of Yoder.

Final-day action at Northern Kentucky’s marquee amateur golf event concludes with Thursday’s third round of stroke play for the championship and women’s divisions.

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