FLORENCE, SC - Francis Marion graduate and former Patriot golfer Bert Atkinson will play in his second consecutive U.S. Senior Open, next week in Carmel, Ind.
Atkinson, 51, lives in Charleston and is president of O'Connor Inc.
The 72-hole event begins on Thursday, July 30, at the par 72, 7,316-yard Crooked Stick Golf Club course. It is the longest course in U.S. Senior Open history. Television coverage will be on ESPN (Thursday and Friday 1-5 p.m. EDT) and NBC (Saturday and Sunday 3-6 p.m. EDT).
At the 2008 U.S. Senior Open in Colorado Springs, Colo., Atkinson made the cut and finished tied for 52nd with a 296 score, the third lowest score for an amateur at the event.
Atkinson transferred to Francis Marion for his senior year (1978-79). He led the Patriots that season with a 74.0 stroke average and was named an NAIA All-American. He was also named to the NAIA District Six All-District Team and was selected as the Francis Marion team MVP.
He helped lead the Patriots to the District Six team championship and to an eighth-place finish at the NAIA National Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Atkinson placed seventh in the individual standings at the national tournament, seven strokes behind the medalist.
To qualify for his second U.S. Senior Open, Atkinson carded a 64 to win the sectional qualifying event last month at the Florence Country Club.
He was the runner-up at the 1991 U.S. Mid-Amateur where he lost to Jim Stuart 1-up. He advanced to the round of 16 at the 1998 U.S. Amateur, and set a stroke-play medalist record at the 1997 U.S. Mid-Amateur with a 36-hole total of 132. He has been named the South Carolina Player of the Year three times: 1991, 1995, and 1999.