Chip Lutz’s biggest fan finally saw him play in a golf tournament. His 89-year-old mother, Janet, had never been present at the many wins he has compiled during an impressive amateur career – until Thursday in the finals of the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur at Hidden Creek Golf Club.
“I saw him as a youngster playing around at Reading Country Club (in Pennsylvania) but I never saw him play when he was at the University of Florida and never at any tournaments,” said the mother of four, who made the two-hour trip from her home in Reading with her son Putter and his wife Kim. “But this was something I thought I had to do once in my lifetime. This was it. I think I picked the right time to do it.”
She certainly did as Lutz, who had lost in the semifinals of this championship three times, finally won, defeating Tom Brandes, 5 and 3.
Mother and son shared an emotional hug immediately after Lutz closed out the match on the 15th green. “That felt so good,” said Lutz. “She is in good health and we are just blessed. She has been such an inspiration for me. She was 85 when I won my first Seniors Amateur Championship on her birthday (Aug. 5) at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. I called her that day from the porch at the clubhouse and that was very special. I was crying then like I cried today.”
Janet, who watched the entire match from a cart, wasn’t nervous watching her son.
“I was very calm, other than shivering from the cold weather,” she said. “I just loved seeing him play. To me it was just outstanding to see his shots. I was just so in awe of him. I told him afterward it was so well deserved and just the pinnacle of all of his wins.”
Perhaps, they can come back and relive the Senior Amateur victory on a warmer day. Along with the trophy and the other championship spoils, Lutz received an honorary lifetime membership from Hidden Creek owners Roger and Edwina Hansen.
New Jersey native Tom Mackin is a frequent contributor to USGA websites. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.