Richmond’s Rich Shuler shot a 6-under 66 to win the Senior Open of Virginia by one stroke over fellow Richmonder Steve Serrao on Tuesday at Independence Golf Club.
Schuler, head professional at Stonehenge Golf & Country Club, one shot ahead of Serao on No. 17, made a long birdie putt from behind the green that hit the flagpole and dropped in for a two-shot lead.
“I told myself not to leave it short,” Shuler said of the shot, “because it can easily go back to my legs. I hit it a little too hard and it was really hard, but it was in the center of the pin. I thought he was going to deflect, but he fell. I think it stunned Steve.’
On the par-4 18th, Schuler drove into a fairway bunker and then into the rough off the green. While Serrao was eyeing a six-foot putt for birdie, Shuler hit a three-foot approach. Serrao made his putt and Shuler followed suit to win his second Senior Open and first since 2013.
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Schuler finished the 36-hole event at 10-under 134. Serrao, who plays with Willow Oaks, shot a second-round 70 to finish at 135 after entering the day with a three-shot lead over Schuler.
Scott Shingler (70-66) tied for third at 8-under 136 and John Hurst (70-67) was fourth at 7-under 137. Sean English (73-67) and Frank Ferguson (73-67 ) tied for fifth at 4-under 140.