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A 65 at 73! Retired golf pro Sam Adams shoots his age — and then some

By David Rogers. September 10, 2019. BOONE, NC — Even at 73 years of age, only a relative few golfers can shoot a round as low as their age. High Country professional Sam Adams did that and then some on Tuesday at Boone Golf Club.

COVER IMAGE: Left to right, Tom Adams, Mark Ricks, Sam Adams, and Austin Adams. Photographic image courtesy of Mark Ricks, edited and processed by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Some might argue that 73-year-old Adams shot his 65 from the regular men’s white tees with a monkey on his back — in the presence of his brothers, Tom and Austin, as well as Appalachian State Athletics benefactor security professional, Mark Ricks. One can only imagine the familial ribbing and good-natured banter back and forth among siblings.

Then again, for any of the Adams family members to play terribly at golf would be something of a surprise. Tom is currently the resident professional at Boone Golf Club. Sam was the club professional at Red Tail Golf Club in Mountain City, TN for many years, but before that competed on the PGA Tour other professional tournaments.

Sam Adams played in 163 PGATour events, making 55 cuts and finishing in the Top 25 in 23 of the events where he made the cut.

Perhaps ironically, the 73-year-old Sam recorded his only victory on the PGA Tour in September of…you guessed it, 1973. He shot a 16-under-par 268 to win the Quad Cities Open to win by three strokes over his nearest competitors, Dwight Nevil and Kermit Zarley.

If you ever get in a sports trivia contest and get the question: Who was the first left-handed American golfer to win on the PGA Tour?…you will stun the competition by answering correctly, Sam Adams.

Sam played collegiately at Appalachian State University. He turned professional in 1969. Counting his Quad Cities victory, he had six top-10 finishes, including a tie for 2nd at the 1972 Canadian Open. His best finish at a major was a tie for 23rd at the 1977 US. Open. When he reached age 50, he played on the Sunbelt Senior Tour.

PGATour.com’s statistical report on Sam Adams shows that he played in 163 events, making 55 cuts and finishing in the the Top 25 in 23 events, including those six Top 10s.

As a financial services and banking executive, Austin Adams has undoubtedly played a few rounds of golf himself.

Ricks is also an Appalachian State alumnus, appointed last year to the school’s Board of Trustees by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. He is the owner of Double Wood Farm, an equestrian sanctuary for retired horses in Bluemont, Virginia. Previously, he was director of global protective operations at Mars, Inc., in the Washington D.C. area. In 2017, Ricks committed $10 million to support the university’s A Mountaineer Impact initiative.

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