Long birdie on last hole lifts Petrillo to win

Published October 4, 2005

What better way to end a round of golf than with an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole?

That is what Tierra Verde's Mary Ann Petrillo did to win the West Coast Women's Golf Association Tournament on Wednesday at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto.

Coupled with three other birdies, Petrillo put together a 6-over 78 on a challenging 5,311-yard layout that features a scenic but dangerous final seven holes bordering a quarry.

One of her shots on the 16th hole found the depths of the quarry, leading to a triple bogey.

"Black Diamond is one of the harder courses we play on in the area and the state," said Petrillo, a 4-handicap golfer who won the 1999 WCWGA Championship.

"Finishing as I did always makes me happy. I made another long birdie - from 17 feet - in that round, so overall I'm pleased," she said. "I played really well."

In the victory, Petrillo defeated Mulberry's Sisi Hedges , winner of the WCWGA Championship earlier this year at Westin Innisbrook Resort. Hedges finished second in Flight AA with 81.

At the Florida Women's Amateur in July, Hedges placed ninth, 10 strokes ahead of Petrillo in the 54-hole tournament in Bonita Springs.

Petrillo, the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club women's champ, said she is going to practice on her swing plane and putting this fall in preparation for a series of major amateur tourneys that begin in January.

At Black Diamond, Mary Ann Neary of East Lake Woodlands tied for first (87) in Flight A with Jeannie Smith of Lake Jovita. The Vinoy's Cathy Moss topped the Flight B competition with 85.

In Flight C, 91 put three Pinellas players in a deadlock for second. They were Karen Budney of Cypress Run, Lyla Kinsel , Feather Sound; and Jenni Marshall , St.Petersburg Country Club.

The association will have its annual Mother Lassing Tournament at Eaglebrook in Lakeland on Oct.13-14. Sue Riggins of St.Petersburg Country Club captured the title of the 36-hole event in 2000.

COUNTY ASSOCIATION: St.Petersburg's Ernie Muschner , the 2004 CGA titleist, crafted a 3-under 69 to win last week's match at The Legacy at Lakewood Ranch in Bradenton. He birdied No.6 and 7 on the front, then ran another string from 10, 11 and 12 plus one other.

Belleair's Matt Gesner was the runner-up with 73. Bert Strandberg took net honors with 67, using his handicap of 12. John Roberts finished second (70).

Kemp Riechmann took the senior crown with 70, two strokes ahead of Tampa's John King . Wayne Banting was first in net play with 65.

Muschner is expected to enter the CGA Championship, scheduled for Dec.5 and Dec.12. The first round will be played at Fox Hollow and the second at Countryside Country Club.

Clearwater's Frank Saxon , coming off a sterling performance at last month's USGA National Senior Amateur in Georgia, said he may enter.

Muschner and Saxon finished 1-2 in a July CGA match at Mangrove Bay where Muschner shot 1-under 71 to win by a stroke.

For information on the flighted championship, go online to www.countygolf.com

COLLEGES: Danny Allen (Tarpon Springs High School), an Eckerd College senior, opened with a par 72 in last week's Coker (S.C.) College Invitational at Orange County National in Orlando and finished with a round of 76 for 148.

Overall, he tied for 45th in a field of 90 as Eckerd placed ninth among 17 top NCAA Division II programs, including former national champions Florida Southern and Rollins.

Eckerd coach Bill Buttner , the head teaching pro at Airco Golf Club, said Allen has an excellent short game and hits it long - 280 yards - off the tee for a young man of his stature.

The Tritons' next match is the Spartan Invitational, Monday-Oct.11 at Rogers Park in Tampa.

Brittany Jones (East Lake High), a Youngstown State sophomore, finished first for the Penguins in the recent Rocket Fall Classic hosted by the University of Toledo.

The four-time member of the Times all-county first team fired 80-79-78-237 to tie for 25th overall. Jones moved up 10 places after the second round.

Jones travels to Bucknell next week for the Bison Classic.

Laura West (East Lake) is a freshman on the first-year squad at Belmont Abbey in North Carolina. She took fifth for the Crusaders in last month's Anderson (S.C.) Invitational.

SCHEDULE: Friday's Richard Quarterson Memorial Scramble at Crescent Oaks tees off at 1 p.m. Registration starts at noon. For information, call Pam Dingus at Skycrest Christian School, (727) 797-1186.

Wentworth is playing host to the Community Services Foundation's Charity Classic on Friday at 1 p.m. For information, call Jerry Spilatro , (727) 461-0618.

The St.Petersburg City Championship, set for Mangrove Bay on Oct.14-15, is open to non-city residents.

Awards will be presented in men's and women's divisions, seniors (55 plus), super seniors (65 plus) and junior boys and girls.

A short-course junior tournament is scheduled for players 8-14 on the adjoining par-3 Cypress Links course on Oct.15.

Largo Golf Course will have the Ghosts and Goblins Glow in the Dark Tournament on Oct.29 from 6-10 p.m.

It's a walking two-person scramble preceded by dinner for $35 per person. For an entry form, call the pro shop, (727) 518-3024.