Maybe it was the new hip, or the daily routine of practice, but after firing a 77 in the qualifying round, Crawfordsville native Dave Williamson worked his way through the bracket to win the 2020 Indiana Golf Association Senior match play tournament at Purdue’s Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex Ackerman-Allen course last week.
Williamson was seeded No. 12 out of 16 qualifying players, and defeated Doug Meade, Mike Bell, Mike Cline, and Terry Werner to claim the title. He trailed just once in the match against Cline, and hit his best drive of the tournament on No. 18 to help cement the win over Werner.
“We are so lucky,” Williamson said. “Every state has it, but Indiana has a fantastic senior program and tournaments you can play in. To be able to do it when you’re my age and compete like that with people who are some of the tops in the nation, it’s really a lot of fun, and even if I don’t win it’s great to play with these guys and meet them and see some of the skills they have.”
Williamson, age 68, had his left hip replaced at the end of January, but was back on the golf course in just a few weeks.
After having his right hip replaced in 2009, and retiring from teaching six years ago, the former Southmont boys’ basketball and golf coach and current Mountie golf assistant, has dedicated his time to the sport he’s loved his entire life.
“After retirement, the practice time is a lot better,” he said. “As beforehand the teaching, coaching, and working in the summers, the practice time was pretty limited, but now I don’t have an excuse. That practicing has enabled me to keep the game fairly sharp despite losing lots of distance.”
The practice has turned into success.
Williamson won the IGA tournament of champions in 2016, and the Indiana senior amateur in 2018, before last week’s title.
While his driver has helped carry him, Williamson said his iron play of late has elevated his game.
“My driver has been really consistent and hitting a lot of fairways, and probably has been one of my better things,” he said. “but the iron play here just recently, I’ve had to really work at it because I’ve struggled with my irons, the last three weeks it’s definitely gotten better.”
Knowing that he will eventually start to lose even more distance with his shots, Williamson says he’s going to continue to enjoy the ability to compete.
“I appreciate Janie (Williamson’s wife) supporting me and I think of my mentor and coach that taught me and that’s Bill Bays, and I appreciated all that he did for me.”