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Grady Brame leads Golfweek Senior Division National Championship

Grady Brame leads Golfweek Senior Division National Championship

Grady Brame’s day at Desert Willow Golf Club in Palm Desert, California, was nothing if not tidy. Brame has found the Firecliff course at Desert Willow, site of the Golfweek Senior Division National Championship, is getable, provided a player can put it in the right spots.

“You have some opportunities to make some putts if you can hit the green,” he said.

Brame, 66, did that 16 times on Monday, converting three birdies in the process and taking a one-shot lead on the 83-man field with a 3-under 69.

Desert Willow is a long way from Brame’s Hammond, Louisiana, home, but it hardly looked that way as he reeled off a “low-stress” round all the way across the country. He only missed the green at Nos. 1 and 17 and chipped inside 3 feet on both holes to make up for it. Two of his three birdies came off putts inside 5 feet. Brame felt he drove the ball well on Monday, too, and hit a number of good iron shots, generally leaving himself in places that made it possible for him to score.

“My speed was really good,” Brame said of his performance on greens he called fast enough but not scary fast, “so when I was missing them, for the most part with the exception of three holes, my pars were tap-ins, inside of a foot.”

Scores: Golfweek Senior Division National Championship

When he was able to make a short tester of a par putt at the par-5 18th to remain at 3 under and with the solo lead, it made his lunch taste that much better.

Brame is a well-traveled player. He’ll tee it up about a dozen times each year in senior amateur events, and he keeps throwing his hat in the ring in U.S. Golf Association qualifiers, despite still working in commercial real estate for Sterling Properties, a company he has been with for 42 years.

Brame has played 23 USGA events over the course of his career, noting he had a knack for playing well in the qualifiers for those events. All told, he has played six U.S. Amateurs, 13 U.S. Mid-Amateurs, one U.S. Senior Amateur and three State Team Championships. He continues to play qualifiers for the Mid-Am, Senior Am and Senior Open.

“Still trying to chase the dream,” he said.

In Louisiana golf circles, the name “Grady Brame” is one synonymous with very good golf – doubly so, in fact. Brame’s son Grady Brame Jr., played professionally for more than six years, competing largely on the PGA Tour Canada but also Monday qualifying his way into three Korn Ferry Tour events plus the Sanderson Farms Championship on the PGA…


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