Golfing

Michael Moore / Sentinel Staff

Bob Kearney, foreground, was one of two amateur players to qualify for the final day of N.H. Open by finishing in the top 40 this year at Keene Country Club. Kearney is from Houston, Texas, but he summers in the Monadnock Region. He’s at 2-under for the tournament, six shots back.

Bob Kearney made a closing statement in his Round of 32 match against Mark Knecht at the U.S. Senior Amateur golf championship Tuesday at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, N.C., but his effort to advance fell just short.

Kearney, despite a three-birdies-in-a-row charge on the back nine, lost 2-and-1, and was eliminated.

Kearney lives in Houston, Texas, but summers in Harrisville. He earned the No. 36 seed after two days of stroke play to qualify for match play, and won his first round match Monday, 5-4.

The round of 16 was going on Tuesday afternoon.

Another New England player, Frank Vana of Massachusetts, also fell Tuesday morning.

Kearney was four down with seven holes to play when he caught fire and made his run of birdies starting at the 12th hole. Knecht stopped the bleeding with a birdie of his own at 15 to regain a 2-up lead. Then, both players matched pars on the next two holes, giving Knecht, who plays out of Kentucky, the win.

Kearney played collegiately at UConn and in 2015 was ranked the No. 1 senior amateur golfer in the country. He qualified to play in back to back U.S. Senior Amateurs, in 2015 and 2016, and reached match play in 2015, winning a first-round matchup.

He won the Texas Mid-Am in 1998 and the Texas Amateur in 2001. In 2013, he captured the Harvey Penick Senior Invitational. Kearney finished tied for 95th place in the final Golfweek Senior National Rankings of 2014, according to the UConn athletics website.

— Sentinel Staff