GREENVILLE, S.C. – Rick Cloninger of Fort Mill, S.C., won the Chanticleer Senior Invitational, finishing the 54-hole event with a 1-over 223 on the Chanticleer course at Greenville (S.C.) Country Club.
Cloninger shot a final-round 73 to move from fifth to first on the final day of the tournament. With the victory, which comes in only his second national event of the year, Cloninger move from No. 72 in the Golfweek Senior Amateur rankings into the top 30.
Starting out seven shots behind second-round leader Matt Grandy, Cloninger’s final-round 73 was enough to give him a one-shot victory over Bill Leonard of Dallas, Ga.
Cloninger might be the only player in history to represent three states –Florida, Georgia and South Carolina – in the USGA State Team Matches. He has also competed in the United States Amateur Championship and the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Although Cloninger has the game to turn professional he said, “I’m happy with the way I’ve done it and wouldn’t change it.” He said didn’t much like the idea of giving up a job with a steady paycheck for the gamble of pro-golf.
In the Super Senior Division, Mike Weiner of Kiawah Island, S.C., had a 224 total to best No. 1-ranked Ted Smith by five-shots after Smith put up a three-round total of 229.
The Chanticleer Senior Invitational features many of the nation’s top senior amateur’s in both the 55-64 senior division and the 65-and-up super senior division.