Winning never gets old

Bob Martin shoots his age (66) to win
his second straight Columbia Senior Golf Championship.
Sunday, August 17, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:47 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

For golfer Bob Martin, winning is nothing new.

Down five strokes after Friday’s opening round, Martin came back to win his second straight overall title at the Columbia Senior Golf Championship on Saturday at A.L. Gustin Golf Course. Martin’s 137 total at the 10th annual tournament tied his winning score from a year ago.

A longtime Columbia golfer, Martin, 66, was captain of the Missouri team in 1959 after playing for Hickman. He won the Columbia Championship in 1965 and the Phil Cotton Invitational in 1974.

Martin shot a final-round 66 to take the tournament from first-round leader Roger Wilson. Wilson, 54, finished at 139 with a 71 on Saturday.

Martin said his score meant something special.

“This is the first time I shot my age and that’s always a significant thing to do,” he said.

Martin said he enjoyed this year’s win more than last year’s because of the competition.

“It was more fun because we were all in it all the way,” he said.

Martin, Wilson and Jerry Mathis took turns leading the tournament Saturday.

Wilson lost his lead when Martin birdied the first two holes, but Wilson battled back on the 15th and 16th holes. Wilson had a one-stroke lead after parring both holes while Martin bogeyed both.

Martin bounced back quickly and regained the lead with a birdie on the 17th and watched Wilson missed a three-foot par putt.

Martin said he was not going to let the pressure get to him.

“I’ve been here before and this is not a new thing,” he said. “I don’t think in terms of I’ve got to do this or that. I tried not to know where they were.”

Holding a one-stroke advantage, Martin stuck his approach shot on the 18th to within three feet, which led to another birdie.

“Ending birdie-birdie like that, I was really fortunate,” Martin said.

Wilson made par on 18 after a near chip in. He said the difference for him between Friday’s round at Lake of the Woods and Saturday at A.L. Gustin was putting.

“My putter was hotter than a two dollar pistol yesterday and I couldn’t get it going today,” he said.

Mathis, 60, won the Intermediate Senior (60 and over) division, finishing at 142 with a final-round 70. He played spectacularly on the front nine, setting a tournament record for A.L. Gustin with a 4-under-par 31 to give him a share of the lead.

Mathis said his score surprised him.

“I’m not one of the better players out here and shooting 4-under-par made me think ‘what am I doing here?’” he said. “I came crashing back to earth on the back.”

Mathis struggled on the back nine shooting a 4-over-par 39 and carding no birdies. Mathis said much of the feel he had on the front was gone on the back.

“I got out of my comfort zone,” he said. “It’s really hard to keep your concentration with the heat, but that’s the same with everybody.”

Ronnie Blumer won the Super-Senior division (70 and over) with a 162 total after a 78 on Saturday.

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