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Missoula golfer Bill Dunn watches his ball roll toward the hole after hitting from a sand trap at Canyon River in the Montana Men's State Amateur on July 16. On Thursday he won the senior tourney.

MISSOULA — Fresh off his winning performance in the senior division of the Montana State Am at Canyon River, Bill Dunn of Missoula will try to repeat the feat this week in the 66th Montana State Senior golf tournament in Butte and Anaconda.

Suspended last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's tournament will be played Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Butte Country Club, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and Old Works.

More than 320 golfers, age 55 and older divided into four age divisions, are entered. Participants are required to be either a Montana resident or member of a Montana golf club.

The super-steady Dunn is considered a top contender along with Brad Grattan of Whitefish, who won the Polson Senior Open in May. Old Works member Rico Carosone is also expected to push for top honors along with Gene Walsh of Whitefish, Joe Cielak of Libby and Tommy Lindell of Kalispell.

The 55-year-old Dunn won the senior division of the State Am in thrilling fashion on July 18 in East Missoula , ousting Dave Eames of Billings on the first playoff hole. Dunn did it with a birdie on the par-4, 349-yard No. 1 hole at Canyon River.

"Dave had about a 30-foot (birdie) putt and almost made it," Dunn recalled of the playoff hole. "I hit a pretty good sand wedge in over a bunker, kind of a tough shot to about six feet. Then I made the putt for birdie.

"Dave kind of played better than me all day but I was able to hang in there and somehow beat him, I'm not sure how."

Play in the State Senior, a tourney sanctioned by the Montana State Senior Golf Association, begins 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with a shotgun start at all three courses. The championship groups will conclude the tournament at the Butte Country Club at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

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