Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kings of the Mountain

By Brandon Tucker
September 21, 2011 11:34 PM ET

LA QUINTA, Calif -- The man from Marathon, Florida outlasted the competition over four days in the California desert.

Joseph Burns carded a final round 87 on the La Quinta Resort Mountain Course to stave off Joe Strong in the Senior Snead flight in the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championships in La Quinta.

Burns, 55, qualified for the event by placing third in the Puerto Rico Championship at Trump International with a third place finish. He came cross-country to take on a field of 75 competitors.

The La Quinta Resort Mountain Course is a tale of two nines: a flat front side followed by a home stretch that bounds up and down along mountainside, creating uneven lies and shots to elevated greens.

Burns, playing in the 20-handicap Snead flight, played damage control down the stretch and managed a par on the 18th to take home the trophy.

His clutch 87 also gave him medalist honors in the final round. Joe Strong finished a close second with a four-round total of 366. The two ran away from the field, with third place, Richard Naef, eleven shots behind.

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