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A bogey-free victory for super and his pro

Published August 13, 2006

The strategy for the winning team at Monday's Pro Superintendent was customary; the result was extraordinary.

Fred Curtis, the head pro at Isla Del Sol, was teamed with the course's superintendent, Kevin Sunderman, who plays to an 11.5 handicap index. However, in the format of this 16-year-old scramble, amateurs could use only 25 percent of their handicap.

The team's strategy, said Curtis, was for Sunderman to hit first off the tee and throughout, allowing Curtis the advantage of determining how aggressive or conservative he should be with the team's second shot.

The result was 9-under 63 consisting of nine birdies and nine pars. They started on No. 11, making only two birdies through 18. But they got on a roll on the front with birdies on one through four, then six through eight.

The second- and third-place teams both shot 67. Old Memorial's Marc Carter paired with Trent Inman, and Chris Brandt paired with Nady Neisender of Lake Jovita in Dade City. Twenty clubs participated.

"Kevin played real well," Curtis said. "We only missed one green all day, and we still managed to birdie that hole. Together, we made a lot of putts and overall complemented each other very well. It helps that we are friends to begin with. It means a lot to us to win the beautiful crystal trophy, and it will mean a lot to our members at Isla Del Sol when we get back to the club."

Melissa Lynn, the director of golf at Buckhorn Springs in Valrico, was the only woman in the field. Paired with superintendent Bill Moore, they shot 75.

"It was all very enjoyable," said Lynn, who was playing in the tournament for the first time. "Cypress Run is a beautiful course; plus I made some good friends and contacts there."

In a separate division for amateur sponsors and suppliers, Mark Wheaton and Tarpon Woods member Jim Ahern won with 61. They had 11 birdies and seven pars.

Steve Martin, not the well-known comedian but the head pro at Cypress Run, served as the tournament director and rules arbiter. No one was disqualified.

CGA: St. Petersburg Country Club hosted the league's match Monday. Tim Deleon and Mark Thomas shot 2-under 70 in a better-ball format. E.C. Roark and Bob Niemann won the senior division with 71. And Lou Gatto and Ted Roeding captured net honors by two strokes, shooting 62.

REGIONAL AMATEUR: St. Petersburg's Mike Barbosa, a May graduate of Georgia Tech, traveled to Lewiston, N.Y., for the annual Porter Cup, a major on the summer circuit. He finished 21 strokes off the pace at 291 despite scores of 73-71-74-73. Barbosa did finish a stroke ahead of Buddy Marucci, the U.S. Amateur runnerup to Tiger Woods in 1995 at Newport, R.I.

Barbosa finished 18th at last weekend's Pacific Coast Amateur Championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco with rounds of 76-74-69-73-292. Only 285 won. Earlier this summer he finished sixth at the Dogwood Invitational in Atlanta.

* Mike Natale, who played for Pinellas Park High and Stetson University, recently won the Chicago Amateur a second time. He was the medalist (69) at a Chicago-area qualifier for next month's U.S. Mid Am Championship, set for Flagstaff, Ariz.

JUNIORS: M.J. Maguire of St. Petersburg and Taylor Hancock of Clearwater finished third and fourth, respectively, at the 2006 Kids Teen World Championship in Naples last weekend.

Playing in the age 13 division, Maguire posted rounds of 70-74-69-213 and Hancock was two back with 75-69-71-215. Seminole's Ryan Ashburn, who plays for Northside Christian, won the girls age 14 division, shooting 241 (90-77-74). All three signed up for next weekend's Ryan Wells Memorial Junior Classic at Innisbrook, formerly the Back to School Classic.

Wells, a student/golfer at Tarpon Springs High, died in an auto accident last year.

The early favorites are Zach Sobel, a sophomore at Palm Harbor University who was named the Times 2005 player of the year. Among girls, Largo High teammates Andrea Messer and Evan Jensen are favored to win again. They tied last year.

Don't discount Dakoda Dowd, who will be playing on her home course. She finished third last year at age 12. There's also a middle school division for boys in the 36-hole tournament. The entry fee is $100. Call Doug Laseter at (727) 942-5557.

MORE DOWD: The North Florida-Central Florida Chapter of the PGA America recently name Dowd its amateur of the year. She won the Florida Women's Junior Championship this year and also qualified for the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.

EAST LAKE WOODLANDS: Whitney Wenglasz won the club's girls junior title with a 79. She plays for Northside Christian. Lindsey Weiss, 14, finished second. She'll compete for a place on Berkeley Prep's team.

PRO TOUR: Wink Amerman, an assistant pro at Isla Del Sol, is playing on the Hooters Tour this summer. Amerman is a former state high school champion for Seminole High who played briefly for LSU.

The most recent Pinellas high school state medalist, Brittany Lincicome, also played for the Warhawks. She won the state Class 2A girls' individual title in both her junior and senior years (2002 and 2003) after playing on the boys team during the regular season.

Lincicome is playing in her fourth country in her past four LPGA events. After winning last month's World Match Play Championship in New Jersey, she traveled to Europe for the Evian Masters in France, then to England for the Women's British Open. This weekend she is playing in the Canadian Women's Open in Ontario.

[Last modified August 11, 2006, 09:17:46]

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