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King is on his game in CGA Match-Play

By DAVE THEALL
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 11, 2002

A 3-handicap senior division player captured the County Golf Association's annual Match-Play Championship at Seminole Lakes Country Club.

Tampa's John King, who turned 55 earlier this year, defeated Jeff Spath, 45, of Largo 6 and 5 to win the coveted title.

King lost the first hole to a birdie, but promptly made a birdie on No.2 to even the match.

He had Spath 1 down going to the 10th tee, and King took the next four holes to abruptly close out the championship flight. He won No.10 and 13 with birdies, 11 and 12 with pars.

"I put the ball where I wanted to off the tee, and hit some pretty good approach shots," King said. "All in all, I played pretty consistently under pressure. I had my A game.

"Jeff played well, especially considering he's just come back to the game after a layoff," King said. "What helped me was closing out the match before he got to use two strokes on the back nine."

Spath, who has a 6 handicap, was entitled to a stroke on the front nine and two on the back under the format.

CGA NOTES: King played out the 18 holes and posted a 2-under 70, which reduced his handicap index to 2. His lowest has been 0.

King, an independent sales rep, didn't take up the sport until he was 19 and living in Baltimore.

He said playing the CGA schedule is convenient, the cost is reasonable and he has formed some great relationships among the members.

The membership is 900-1,000 seasonally from the greater Tampa area. The association was founded in 1975 by Jimmie and Edie Mann of St.Petersburg. It has been under the direction of Clearwater's Ray and Jane Goodman since 1999.

Peter Galiette of Fort Lauderdale won the First Flight 2 and 1 over Palm Harbor's Tim Wahl. The Second Flight winner was Spring Hill's Larry Forbes, who defeated Bryan Crane of Indian Rocks Beach 2 and 1.

TAMPA BAY CLASSIC: Besides defending champion John Huston of Clearwater, the area will be well represented in the PGA Tour event Sept.19-22 at Innisbrook's Copperhead course.

Greg Kraft, Bob Heintz, Pete Jordan, Woody Austin and Michael Bradley, as well as former Palm Harbor residents Skip Kendall, Bill Glasson and Brian Claar will be in the field. There may be even more as the result of Monday and Wednesday qualifiers.

St.Petersburg's Mike Touhey, a Tarpon Springs Range teaching pro, is among North Florida PGA Section members who will compete in today's qualifier at the Grasslands in Lakeland.

Touhey, 40, a 1980 Clearwater High grad, tried to qualify last year, shooting 3-over 75. He thinks his chances are better since contestants must walk 18 holes.

"Quite a few (club pros) won't do it," Touhey said.

NATIONAL JUNIOR SCENE: Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, 16, has moved from seventh to fifth in the rankings after her second-place performance in last weekend's AJGA 54-hole event in Mobile, Ala.

Lincicome carded a 74-74-70-218 in an elite international field. Her ranking has earned her an invitation to play in the inaugural Junior Solheim Cup, Sept.16-18 in Hopkins, Minn.

Tampa's Mallory Code, 18, is in the U.S. field of 12 for the match with the best from Europe.

PGA WEST CENTRAL CHAPTER: At Belleview Biltmore in a 27-hole pro-pro match, John Falcone of Dunedin Country Club and Clearwater Learning Center's Matt Mitchell won by 2 shots over Greg McClimans and Greg Hiland of Clearwater Executive. Thirty teams competed.

AMATEUR SCRAMBLE: Tom Percival and Bob Donaldson won the annual Danny's Two-Man Scramble a third straight time.

The low-handicap combo, winners in 13 of the past 15 championships at Dunedin Country Club, put on a clinic by firing a 9-under 63 on Innisbrook's Island course.

The highlight of their round was an eagle on the 496-yard par-5 11th. Percival hit a 256-yard approach shot to within 6 feet of the pin, setting up Donaldson for the crucial putt.

WEST COAST WOMEN: Sallie Abraham of Clearwater Country Club tied for first in the AA Flight of the association's recent match at Lake Jovita in Dade City.

Playing from 5,603 yards, Abraham tied (81) with Mary Richie of the host club.

Feather Sound's Lyla Kinsel finished second (82) in Flight A. Nan Habjan of Clearwater Country Club prevailed (90) in Flight B, and the Bayou Club's Jean Krause was a stroke back for a share of second.

LPGA Q-SCHOOL: After her fifth-place finish on the Futures Tour money list, Michele Vinieratos (Pinellas Park High/UF) earned her ticket for the 2003 qualifying finals.

That tournament will be played Oct.8-11 at LPGA International's Legends course in Daytona Beach.

Vinieratos, 34, is a non-exempt member of the 2002 Tour. She made the cut in the recent State Farm Classic by shooting 1-under 143.

St.Peterburg's Marilyn Lovander, assuming she doesn't make the top-90 money list, is expected to be in the field. She's 112th with one remaining event.

Lovander missed qualifying by a stroke for exempt status in last year's finals.

FLORIDA STATE MID-AM: Four Pinellas golfers qualified last week at Fox Hollow to play in next month's state championship.

They are: John Crumm, Clearwater, 71; Chris Covert, Clearwater, 72; Kert Rhodes, Tarpon Springs, 73; and Bill Castleman, Oldsmar, 75.

The championship is scheduled for Oct.3-6 at the Country Club of Ocala.

JUNIOR ASSOCIATION: Huston and Greg McClimans of Clearwater Executive have acquired the Pinellas County Junior Golf Association from Bardmoor head pro Adam Stuck.

"We plan to tie it into the John Huston Golf School," McClimans said. "And we'll be in a good position to accommodate more juniors as we expand the range from 12 to 34 lighted positions."

The PCJGA was founded in 1978. Individuals or groups interested in sponsoring the program should call general manager Rebecca McClimans, 447-5272.

COMING UP: The Innisbrook Two-Man Scramble is scheduled for Friday-Saturday on the Copperhead course.

For information or to register, call Doug Laseter, 789-2755.

The Devil Rays of Hope Charity Classic is set for Monday at the Vinoy. The fundraiser has a full field.

Call Karen Hatcher, 520-1155, for information.

The Greater Largo Chamber of Commerce will have its annual tournament 1 p.m. Sept.20 at East Bay Country Club.

For an entry form, call 584-2321.

The Junior Cougar Tournament will be Sept.22 at the Chi Chi Rodriguez course on McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater.

For information, call John Schroeder, 243-1418.

The Pinellas Men's Interclub, a 10-match series September-June, gets underway at Cypress Run 12:30 p.m. Sept.26.

Call Bob Detlor, 343-0578, for information.

The Chi Chi Rodriguez Ladies League has a few openings for its Monday matches.

For information, call Dolores Lynch, 784-6334.

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