By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Editor
Trevor Dodds has a history of playoff success.
So heading to the first tee at Quincy County Club with a spot in the U.S. Senior Open at stake, Dodds wasn't about to flinch.
His drive found the middle of the fairway on the 300-yard, par-4 hole and he made par to eliminate Jeff Whitfield after one playoff hole to win Monday's sectional qualifier and a spot in the Senior Open field.
Dodds and Whitfield both shot even-par 70 during the sectional qualifier. Only one player in the 40-golfer field was guaranteed an Open invitation.
"Getting into the Senior Open is amazing," said the 53-year-old Dodds, a former PGA Tour pro who has made one start on the Champions Tour this year. "It's an opportunity to go out there and enhance my career, try to make some money and all sorts of things. It's the whole package."
He didn't mind playing an extra hole to get it done.
"We like it like that," Dodds said. "Actually, we'd like no playoff. But one and done is also good."
It's how Dodds won his only PGA Tour event. In 1998, Dodds beat Scott Verplank in a one-hole playoff to capture the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic.
Much like then, Dodds refused to get rattled Monday.
"I struggled with my game early, but I kept my composure," Dodds said. "As I got into the back nine, I started hitting it pretty nice."
Whitfield did the same thing, posting a 1-under 34 on the back side to match Dodds. Only four golfers broke par on either nine with Jay Delsing firing a 1-under 34 on the front, and Stephen Lotz posting a 2-under 33 on the back.
They finished tied for third.
Six local golfers participated, with only one close to being in the mix at the end of the day.
Greg Spohr carded a 4-over 74 to finish tied for sixth. Tim Eaton, Mark Christensen and Mike Wensing all shot 79, James Millman posted an 81 and Kevin Becker carded an 86.
Home-course knowledge didn't pay off as much as the Quincy golfers may have hoped, but the rest of the field found the layout much to their liking.
"What a place to play," Dodds said. "It's paradise."