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Cypress team has immediate impact on league

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 5, 2002

With an attitude of "the future is now," the rookie Cypress Run Country Club men's team captured first in the Pinellas Interclub standings with a runner-up performance in the May match.

Cypress Run's squad, consisting of a pro and nine amateurs, ended the race for the championship with one match remaining.

The team has a 121/2-point lead. Ten points go to the winner of each match, down to one for the 10th squad.

"Our members wanted to join the association, in part, because it gives them an opportunity to play other courses," Cypress Run head pro Steve Martin said of the 25-year-old Pinellas Interclub league. "But we also decided, while we were at it, we may as well try to win.

"These guys are gamers; they played well all year. I told them at a team meeting before the May match, that since the match was in our house, we should go out there and win it.

"It's been fun regardless of the outcome, but they were really excited about winning," Martin said. "The men's team win follows the recent win of our women's team in the Suncoast Women's Interclub."

The players on the men's squad, whose handicaps range from 5-20, are Tom Butterworth, Gary Redwine, Dave Baccari, Joe Paolini, Ben Bonarigo, Ralph Wagner, Dennis Williams, Ralph Sgroi and Paul Trinkwon. Led by head pro Steve Bagley, Cove Cay won the May match by shooting plus-4 over its quota. That put the team in the driver's seat for the May/June playoff trophy. The June 13 competition at Countryside is the final match on the 10-month schedule.

In the better-ball format, Cove Cay's John Manthei, with a nine handicap, and Joe Morelli, an eight, put together a 6-under 65 -- best of the day.

Bagley's 79 tied for second best among pros with Josh Johnson, Belleview Biltmore, and Steve Purviance, Crescent Oaks. Brian Richards of East Lake Woodlands won the pro division with a 75.

"The June match will be decisive, with four clubs in contention for the runner-up trophy," association secretary Bob Detlor said.

"It should be interesting with East Lake, Seminole Lake and Innisbrook closely bunched."

Cove Cay will have to hold off Cypress Run, Dunedin and the Vinoy to capture the playoff trophy.

STATE AMATEUR: Tampa's Kevin Mock was the medalist at Bardmoor in a qualifier for the 85th Florida State Amateur Championship, June 20-23 at Champions Gate Resort in Orlando.

Mock recorded even-par 72 to lead the 11 qualifiers.

Others advancing are Tom Wharton, Tampa, 74; Matt Lemma, Trinity, and Mike Barbosa, St. Petersburg, 75; Jason Cranford, Lakeland, Ryan Shears, Tampa, Scott Moore, New Port Richey, and Todd Jeffcoat, Brooksville, 77; and John Grant, Oldsmar, Gerald Richardson, Lakeland, and Lawrence Elliott, Venice, 78.

Lemma and Shears were teammates at East Lake High School. Lemma is a member of the University of South Alabama squad. Shears plays for USF.

Barbosa is a two-time state prep runner-up for St. Stephens in Bradenton. He commuted there while attending nearby David Leadbetter Golf Academy.

Barbosa just completed his freshman year at Georgia Tech (NCAA runner-up), where he redshirted this season. The economics major has a 3.25 GPA. U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN: Jenny Gleason, a two-time Times Player of the Year at Clearwater High, shot 2-over 74 in a qualifier in Charlotte, N.C., advancing to a sectional qualifier today in Shelby, N.C.

Gleason is the No. 1 player on the UNC Greensboro women's team.

NORTH FLORIDA PGA: Jim Smith of Missing Links Range and Jim Slattery, an assistant pro at Belleair, reached the semifinals of the PGA Section Match Play Championship at Windemere.

Smith's opponent, Joe Gutterman, went on to win the finals after a three-hole playoff.

PRO-AM: Palm Harbor father and son John and Dan Stillman, Wentworth members, were on the winning team in the Pettit Pools/Boast Tournament in Las Vegas.

The other members were Al Fusco and Bill Tsamis of Fox Hollow and Devin Dahlgren, an assistant pro at Timber Greens in New Port Richey.

Twenty-five squads competed in the three-day event, which was scored by a quota system.

Dan Stillman was a pitching ace at East Lake High and the University of Central Florida. He spent several years in the Anaheim Angels' farm system. CELEBRITY PLAYERS TOUR: The Dodge Shootout was played at Innisbrook on May 24-25. Former Montreal Canadiens player Pierre LaRouche defended his title, defeating Ex-Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andy Van Slyke on the ninth and final hole in a shootout format on the Copperhead course.

The victory was worth $20,000 of the $150,000 purse.

The tournament was taped and will be shown on the Sunshine Channel in July.

Following LaRouche and Van Slyke were Dan Quinn, Shane Rawley, Ivan Lendl, Chris Sabo, Rick Rhoden, Sherwood Stewart, Dale Tallon and Al Del Greco.

WEST COAST WOMEN: Mary Ehlers of Belleair Country Club won Flight AA in a match at Innisbrook's Island course.

She carded an 84 for a two-stroke margin over Mary Richie of Lake Jovita. Ehlers is the 2002 champion at Belleair and Countryside Country Club.

Mary Kohlbry of Cypress Run won Flight A, 87; Nancy Mag of Innisbrook took Flight C, 88; and Faye Wehner won Flight D, 89.

SENIOR SUPERLATIVE: Dunedin Country Club's Roy Livingstone shot a 4-under 33 on the back nine at his home club.

He made birdies on the 10th, 11th, 14th and 15th holes during a match in the Owls League for senior men. They play from advanced tees measuring about 5,500 yards for 18 holes.

Livingstone's feat wasn't a complete shocker to the 79-year-old World War II combat veteran. The week before, he fired a 79 on the same course.

Livingstone's Army Air Corps B-17 was shot down over Germany during the war. He served as the flight engineer and the upper turret gunner.

Livingstone parachuted to safety, only to be captured by the Germans and imprisoned at Stalag 17. He escaped twice but was recaptured.

Livingstone was elected to the position of state commander of the Florida Ex-Prisoners of War Association on Monday.

June 6, the commemorative date of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-held France in 1944, is an appropriate time to thank a veteran, such as Livingstone, for serving to defend our country and its many freedoms.

U.S. OPEN SECTIONAL: Old Memorial in Tampa was the site of a second-stage and final qualifier Tuesday.

ON TAP: Cypress Run will play host to the James P. Gills Family Branch YMCA Tournament on Monday. The entry fee is $100, and the starting time is 8:30 a.m.

For information, call Mandy Griffith, (727) 467-9622.

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