Dunedin club celebrates its rich historyBy DAVE THEALL
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 22, 2002
Dunedin Country Club celebrated the course's 75th anniversary in grand style last week.
It was a week-long affair under the direction of Diamond Jubilee co-chairs Roy and Dorri Livingstone. The celebration culminated in a $2,500 prize scramble tournament on Saturday followed by a banquet.
The top prize -- $400 each in gift certificates -- went to the 12-under team of Bob Barber, Jack Gibson, Lou Michalik and Tallahassee attorney Sid Matthew, an honorary member of the club.
"It was a great team effort," said Michalik, who plays to a 12 handicap at Dunedin. "Everybody contributed. We even had choices often.
"The only hole we didn't birdie on the back nine was the 176-yard par-3 16th, where no one held the green," he said.
They shot a gross score of 61, winning on a match of cards over the 61 squad comprised of Cal Hatt, Charles Cassara, Russ Niven and Ray Sturgis.
One stroke back in third place was the team of Frank Bay, Charles McDonald, Tom Mahoney and Rick Bowers.
Martin Kavanaugh, an official with the PGA of America, was a special guest at the banquet. He gave a brief address that touched on the history of the course, which opened Jan. 1, 1927.
Scotsman Donald Ross was the architect.
The PGA leased the course, using it as the organization's National Golf Club from 1945-1962 before moving to Florida's east coast. Dunedin played host to 18 PGA Seniors Championships in those years.
According to a brief history of the club prepared for the anniversary by Dunedin official Gus Cooper, legends who have played the layout include Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Jug McSpaden and Gene Sarazen -- winner of the 1954 championship.
Women's Athlete of the Century Babe Zaharias was another celebrity who competed there.
DUNEDIN TOURNEY NOTES: Married couples dominated the net scoring.
It was headed by the winning team of Mary and R.W. Tepel and Pam and Ken Olinick.
Second place went to John and Bernadette Derderian and Ted and Bernie Hillman. Third was Ruth and Don Herting and Arlene and Bob Graham, followed by Roy and Billie Pesavento and Ray and Irene Rosa.
The course record -- 62, from the back (blue) tees -- is owned by Dunedin resident Matt Mitchell, a teaching pro at Countryside Learning Center.
Keith Kurber is the Dunedin club president, and John Falcone is the head pro.
CLEARWATER COUNTRY CLUB: This older club, founded in 1920, will celebrate the grand opening of its new clubhouse Friday and Saturday with a dinner dance and tournament.
Ron Doran serves as club president, and Eric Lettie is the head golf professional.
Brittany Lincicome, 16, of Seminole broke the women's course record of 68 with a 6-under 66 in a high school district match last fall. Mike Lux is the men's defending champion.
PROFESSIONALS: Clearwater's Andy Goodwin had two rounds of 6-under 66 in four rounds of qualifying in the Hooter's Tour Ranking School last month at Black Bear Golf Club in Eustis.
The tour gets underway in late February.
Goodwin's other 18-hole scores were 72 and 70 for a 14-under total of 274, good for second place as only eight qualified.
"I did better than I thought there since I took off playing two years when I caddied for (PGA Tour pro) Bob Heintz," said Goodwin, 22, a former Countryside High School golfer who competed one season at Brevard Community College.
"Last year, I played in 26 Hooters events, missing nine cuts by a single stroke. I decided to go back because I knew last year my problem was just mental mistakes. This year, I'm back with a new attitude."
Goodwin said the best part of his game has been driving and long irons.
"My putting has improved a lot over last year too," he said. "I find the key is to release the putter head to get overspin. That's what I've been working on the most lately."
Palm Harbor's Brett Weeks, a 1991 graduate of Clearwater Central Catholic High School, will return to the Hooters Tour this year.
He won twice last season, earning checks for $20,000 and $22,000. "Winning last year gave me a lot of confidence," said Weeks, who dropped the game for four seasons after high school. "Now I know how to win; I'm even better prepared this year."
Weeks plans to return to the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament this fall. Last year, he qualified through the first stage but missed the second-stage cut.
Jim Smith, director of golf at Missing Links Range, has entered the Feb. 11 Monday qualifier for the Verizon Classic, Feb. 15-17 at TPC of Tampa Bay.
Bob Gilder is the defending champion of the Senior Tour event. Two-time Masters winner Ben Crenshaw, who turned 50 last Friday, is expected in the full field, as well as the colorful Fuzzy Zoeller.
Zoeller has 10 PGA Tour titles, including the 1979 Masters and 1984 U.S. Open. WEST COAST WOMEN: Defending champion Terrell Italiano shot a 2-over 73 to win an association match at her home club, Palma Ceia.
Italiano had three birdies on the back nine in her first 18-hole round in eight months.
"Whatever I was doing, it worked," said Italiano, the 1999 state amateur champion. "I had to scramble a lot and shoot out of the woods."
Italiano, 40, was scheduled to play Monday and Tuesday in the Ocala Ladies Invitational -- a major regional amateur event on the women's circuit. She will defend her WCWGA title in Lakeland in April.
In the Palma Ceia match, Melissa Hu won Flight B with a 78 and Innisbrook teammate Loretta Roush won Flight D with an 83.
HIGH SCHOOL: Canterbury's Ryan Nachit, who was named to the Times 2001 all-county first team, has been accepted to Saint Leo.
However, he is considering several other colleges, including Florida, Carson-Newman, St. Andrews and Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers.
Nachit made the Headmaster's list at Canterbury the past two semesters with averages in excess of 3.50. He shot rounds of even par-72 and 73 in the recent New Year's Invitational at St. Petersburg Country Club.
COMING UP: The Florida State Golf Association has released its 2002 schedule of 18 state championships.
The highlight is the 85th Amateur Championship, the oldest continuous sporting event in Florida. It will be played June 20-23 at Champions Gate Golf Resort in Orlando.
Thirteen regional qualifiers will be held May 24-June 6 to finalize the field.
For an application form or to see the complete schedule, go online to www.fsg.org or call the FSGA, (813) 632-3742.
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