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UVA men’s coach Bowen Sargent tied for lead in Senior State Am qualifying

By Jerry Ratcliffe


(© Kevin Carden –

Virginia men’s golf coach Bowen Sargent has turned his focus to preparing the Cavaliers for their fall schedule and recruiting for the future, but none of those duties prevented him from turning in a solid round Monday in the VSGA Senior Amateur Championship.

Sargent, who was runner-up to Buck Brittain in this event in 2020, posted a 5-under 66 on his home course to tie for the lead in stroke play qualifying at Birdwood Golf at Boar’s Head Resort. He shared the lead with Martinsville’s Keith Decker, the VSGA’s all-time wins leader (31 career victories).

Second round of stroke play qualifying will be held Tuesday with the low 32 players in the field advancing to match play. The round of 32 will begin Wednesday morning, followed by the round of 16 that afternoon. Quarterfinals and semifinals are set for Thursday, concluded by an 18-hole championship on Friday beginning at 8 a.m.

Fredericksburg’s Jon Hurst sits in third place at 3-under 68, while four players, including Charlottesville’s Neil Davis, linger four shots back at 69. Other locals in the field include Woodberry Forest’s Marc Hogan (73), Charlottesville’s Philip Mahone (74), Crozet’s Wes Campbell (78) and Scottsville’s David Passerell (78).

Sargent said he has played his home course, the completely revamped Davis Love Jr.’s Birdwood, a handful of times, however he won Birdwood’s invitational tournament’s senior division of the Jefferson Cup, a week ago on the layout. In Monday’s round, Sargent battled through the front nine but recorded a bogey-free, 4-under 32 on the back, including a birdie on the par-4 18th.

Meanwhile, Decker, who won the State Senior Am in 2013, 2014 and 2016, scored five birdies in a bogey-free round.

Hurst, who captured the VSGA Senior Stroke Play crown in June, birdied three of Birdwood’s par-5s early on, and finished with 12 consecutive pars.

Birdwood has hosted several VSGA events in its past, but this was the first on the Love redesigned course.


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