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Durbin wins weather-shortened Houston Senior Amateur

on 14 October 2012.

Two former multiple Greater Houston City Amateur champions played a one-hole playoff Sunday to decide the 2012 City Senior Am after rain and lightning caused the Houston Golf Association to cancel the final round.

Gary Durbin out of Champions Golf Club won the 2012 Greater Houston Senior City Amateur with a birdie on the first playoff hole.Gary Durbin out of Champions Golf Club won the 2012 Greater Houston Senior City Amateur with a birdie on the first playoff hole.Recently turned 55 years old, Gary Durbin won his first senior title with a birdie on the par-5 first hole at Memorial Park Golf Course. After a three-hour weather delay, he hit the fairway on the playoff hole and then laced a 3-wood about 265 yards to the front collar of the green.

Booker, a 57-year-old four-time City Am champ, missed the fairway to the left, and then pushed his second shot into the right rough. Booker’s third shot covered the flag and finished about 12 feet from the cup. Durbin chipped to about eight feet.

After Booker burned the edge with his birdie attempt, Durbin drained his. It was all over in about 15 minutes.

“Mike’s a great player and a great guy,” said Durbin, who won the City Amateur in 1989 and ’91. “I knew it was going to take a birdie. I really thought he was going to make his.”

Durbin, a national sales manager for steel company TMK-IPSCO, and Booker, the principal owner of Financial Synergies Asset Management, Inc., tied after 36 holes at 3-under-par 141. Durbin made five birdies en route to a second-round 68 after shooting 1-over 73 in the first round. Booker led the tournament after the first round with 4-under 68 that included an eagle on the first hole.

“Mike and I have battled out here at Memorial Park for years,” said Durbin, who finished ninth in the City Amateur a week earlier. “Memorial Park has been very kind to me over the years. It really suits my eye.”

Durbin and Booker also finished tied for third in the State Senior Amateur at Miramont Country Club in August.

Booker was trying to add one more title to his impressive list of accomplishments this year. He won the Texas Golf Association’s South Region Senior Amateur at The Club at Falcon Point and set the tournament record in the senior division at the Carlton Woods Invitational with 6-under-par 210. The former University of Houston standout became the first repeat winner of the CWI as well.

A few weeks prior to the Senior City Am, Booker advanced to match play at the U.S. Senior Amateur in New Jersey. He won the City Amateur in 1985, 1990, 2001 and ’02.

“I really wanted to win, but Gary is a great guy and he hit a great second shot on the playoff hole,” Booker said. “I feel really fortunate and lucky to have won the City Am four times. There’s no better feeling than to step up on the first tee and hear your name announced as a four-time winner. That’s really special. I’ve had a lot of highlights this year, but I would have liked to have added one more.”

Hunter Nelson and Tim Carlton tied for third place at 2-under 142. Jeff New and Herb Fisher tied for fifth at 1-under 143. For complete results, click here.

In the Super Senior Division, Wayne Harris shot a final round 72 and posted 2-over 218 for 54 holes. He held off Peter Kirchner by three shots. For complete Super Senior results, click here.