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Las Vegas golfer finally adds state title to amateur resume

Gary Carpendale says he’s playing the best golf of his life at age 62. It’s hard to argue with his assessment.

The Las Vegan won the Nevada Senior Amateur this month, adding his first state title to an impressive amateur resume. He finished at 6-under 210 at Bear’s Best, good for a two-shot victory over Glenn Hogle and Robert Futrell.

“Golf is always about moving on, looking ahead to the next thing,” Carpendale said. “But to get my first state title is pretty cool.”

Carpendale has taken a reverse trajectory in golf, getting better as he’s aged. That’s unlike most players who peak in their 30s or 40s and start to lose a little something as the birthdays pile up.

“I was always a decent player, but was never good enough to win until I reached my 50s,” he said. “It’s kind of a funny thing, but I kept getting better and better.”

When it came to his first state title, Carpendale said consistency was the key. He made 12 birdies, six bogeys and 36 pars over three rounds.

“I played solid, but very rarely had my ‘A’ game over the three days,” he said. “I kept hanging in there, hit a lot of ‘B’ shots. I kept it in the grass and kept whittling away.”

But when the tournament was on the line, Carpendale shined. He birdied two of his final four holes to seal the deal.

Next up for Carpendale is the Rocky Mountain Open this week, one of a few events he has left on his 2021 schedule. Included on that list is the Las Vegas City Senior Championship, an event he’s won seven times.

He won’t be playing in the U.S. Senior Amateur, having fallen one shot shy in the local qualifier. It’s a major disappointment for Carpendale, who has two previous appearances in the event and three in the British Senior Amateur.

Carpendale continues to do this while working full time as a salesman for Georgia-Pacific. He plays once or twice every weekend, and gets up at 5:30 a.m. several days a week before work to practice for an hour or two at Paiute Golf Resort, his new home course.

He said his bosses and his wife, Charlene, have been great about giving him the time to work on his game. His wife also understands the commitment necessary to excel in a sport, having been an Olympic-level gymnast in her youth, he said.

No matter what happens in the future, Carpendale will always carry the title of state champion. And that, he says, is something to cherish.

“It’s really nice that it happened,” he said.

Chip shots

— Matt Dold and RC Orr are headed to the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship after winning a local qualifier at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Nick Obie and Jason Johnstone are first alternates, and Trevor Olkowski and Jack Kozlowski are second alternates. All three teams shot 5-under 67s.

— On the women’s side, Kendall Todd and Abbey Schutte dominated the field, shooting 66 for a six-shot victory. Ali Mulhall and Lilly Denunzio are first alternates, and Samantha Phelan and Lauren Pham second alternates. Both teams shot 72.

— Las Vegas Golf Club will host a two-person scramble Sept. 26. The Hackers Paradise costs $118 for each team, with a 7:45 a.m. shotgun start.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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