Just months after turning 50, Royak qualified for U.S. Senior Open in his first year of eligibility — carding a 71 in last week’s USGA qualifier at Atlanta National Golf Club.
“The funny thing about it was that I never really thought 71 would be good enough because I finished so early with so many good golfers behind me,” said Royak a New York native that has called Alpharetta home since 1996. “But it started to get hotter and hotter and as the afternoon groups finished nobody was breaking par and  held up.”
Royak’s 71 tied him for second in the 111 player field and locked him into one of three available slots to the 2012 U.S. Senior Open, which will be held July 12-15 at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich.
An active competitor as an amateur in the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA), Royak said that qualifying for the event tops his list of amateur golf accomplishments — which includes two appearances in the U.S. Amateur and three more in the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
“It’s right there at the top especially since I just turned 50,” he said. “As a golfer that age is usually seen as your biggest mulligan because you get your second chance to compete against competition your age.”
“I’ve been able to keep my golf game strong over the last few months and I came out and put the right round together at the right time.”
In recent months Royak has a seventh place finish at the Georgia Mid-Amateur, seventh in the Atlanta Open, and top 10 in the Georgia Senior Open.
As he prepares for his shot to tee it up next to golf legends like Tom Watson, Fred Couples, and Tom Lehman, he said his only goal is to keep swinging well against the best senior golfers in the world.
“I think everybody in my position goes in with the goal of playing their best and making the cut. If I can play as well as I have been I think I have a pretty good shot to do that.”