By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Leuenhagen has a round of a lifetime at Dryden Park
Seventy-six-year-old Ken Leuenhagen gets excited whenever he talks about his latest accomplishment.

The longtime Ceres resident fired a 3-under-par-69 at Modesto's Dryden Park Golf Course on July 7. He topped his previous-best score by five strokes.

"Normally, I'm an 8-10 handicap," Leuenhagen said. "To have a day like that was crazy. Every once in a while, everything clicks. It's a fun feeling. It's something I'll never forget. I'm still bubbling."

Ken had six birdies, nine pars and three bogeys.

He putted just 24 times.

Leuenhagen had a 2-under-par 34 at the midway point.

He carded a 1-under 35 the rest of the way.

Ken tallied birdies on the fifth, eighth, ninth, 10th, 17th and 18th holes.

"I remember every shot," he said.

Four other players witnessed Ken's remarkable round.

He made a 15-foot putt on the final hole.

Leuenhagen won $36 in quarters as part of friendly side bets.

"My pockets were full," he said.

Ken's previous-best score at Dryden Park was a 74. He posted identical rounds in 2010 and 2009.

Leuenhagen suffered a heart attack on the same course in May of 2005. He had triple bypass surgery at Memorial Hospital.

"I thought I pulled a rib," he said. "I got a ride to the club house, went home, took a couple aspirins and it hit me again. My chest was hurting so I laid down and had my wife (Laure) call 911. Four days later, I was ready to go back and play again. I'm serious."

Five months passed before Ken picked up a golf club.

He shot even-par 72 twice at Modesto's Creekside.

He posted a 1-under 71 at the 18-hole Eagle Valley West Golf Course in Carson City, Nevada in 2006.

Leuenhagen graduated from Ceres High School in 1953.

He was inducted into the Bulldogs' Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. Ken was a standout in track and field.

He helped lead Ceres High to its first-ever, first-place finish at the Valley Oak League A-Division Championships at Modesto Junior College. He placed first in four events. He won the 100-yard dash in a school-record time of 10.0 seconds, 440-yard run in a meet-record 51.3 seconds and broad jump at 19 feet, 113/4 inches. He also ran a leg on the winning 880-yard relay team. Leuenhagen, Wendell Keener, Curtis Hopkins and Bill Turner completed the event in a school-record 1 minute, 36.8 seconds.

Ken competed for Modesto JC for one season.

He claimed the 440 title at the Northern California and Big Seven Conference track and field meets. He qualified for the State JC Championships.

Leuenhagen took up golf 40 years ago.

"It's a good sport," Ken said. "I haven't been able to play very much the past 2-3 months because of my right knee."