Brady Exber finally won one of the golf tournaments on his bucket list.
The 58-year-old Las Vegan won the British Senior Amateur by four strokes last week at Ganton Golf Club in Ganton, North Yorkshire, England. Exber won despite a final-round 7-over-par 78 on Friday, a round played in rough, windy conditions on the course located on the country’s eastern seaboard.
“It’s right at the top,” Exber, a retired casino executive, said of winning the event. “It’s one of the biggest senior tournaments in the world, and you have players from a lot of different countries competing. To win a tournament of this caliber is very, very special. It’s a nice resume builder.”
Exber received several exemptions with the victory. He’ll be in the field for the Canadian Senior Amateur in West Vancouver, British Columbia, from Aug. 26 to 29. He also will be in the field for the U.S. Senior Amateur from Sept. 13 to 18 in Newport Beach, Calif. And he’ll get to defend his title next year at the British Senior Amateur in Northern Ireland.
Exber, a 2006 inductee into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, has won dozens of tournaments during his long career, but winning the British Senior Amateur had been a longtime goal. He finished tied for sixth in 2011, was fifth in 2012 and missed the cut last year.
“Once you play in it and understand how big it is, you definitely want to win it,” Exber said.
“For me, the key was sticking to my game plan and hitting an iron off the tee rather than using a driver. You didn’t want to get into those deep fairway bunkers, because then you’re looking at double bogey or worse. I was essentially laying up, and if I could get to the green in two on a par 4, I could still make a four.”
Exber led by one shot entering the final round of the 54-hole event. But the winds started to pick up, and the 40 mph gusts played havoc with the players’ club selection. Exber was 1 over for his round through 13 holes, but his lead had increased to seven strokes.
“I made a big mistake at the 13th green,” he said. “I looked over at the scoreboard and saw what my lead was, and instead of continuing to do what I was doing, I lost focus. I started playing defensively, and I didn’t make another par.”
But Exber had built enough of an edge that he could afford a few mistakes down the stretch.
“We’re used to the wind here (in Las Vegas),” Exber said. “But I’ve had to make some adjustments to my game as I get older. I don’t hit it as far. I don’t get the same trajectory I used to. My ball tends to fly a little lower. So I’ve learned how to compensate, and I think it’s helped make me a better player overall.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.