Women compete for state senior golf title

By DAVE THEALL, Times Correspondent
Published September 23, 2007

The Florida Women's State Golf Association held its annual Senior Championship on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Palma Ceia Country Club in Tampa.

Chris Epperly of Lady Lake won the gross division with a 237 after scores of 76-80-81, two strokes up on Therese Quinn of Jacksonville.

Catherine Moss of Tierra Verde, a Vinoy member, was the top Pinellas player shooting 80-92-86-268, good for 15th.

Tampa's Sharon Gonsalves used her course knowledge at Palma Ceia, where her husband, Gil, is the head pro, to dominate the net division. A seven-time winner of the West Coast Women's Golf Association Championship, Gonsalves won handily shooting 74-76-79-229 with her handicap of five.

"I've finished second in the net division twice in this tournament, so it was nice to take the net title this time," Gonsalves said. "We were lucky to miss the rain all three days."

Carol Brown of Palm Harbor tied for second 234 with Anne Holloway of Ponte Vedra Beach. Mary Lou Edwards of Palm Harbor tied (238) for sixth. Nancy Barton of Seminole finished 12th in the net division with 246.

More results: FloridaWomensStateGA@BlueGolf.com

JUNIORS: The Florida Junior Tour's second match of the season was last weekend at Summerfield Crossing in Riverview, and several Pinellas boys went low - but not quite low enough.

Nick Buccina, a senior at East Lake, shot 73-72 for 3-over 145 on the par 71 course. That was good for a tie for 11th in the field of 66 as Chris Biuso of Temple Terrace won with 138 (66-72). Biuso was just a stroke up on Joe Byun (69-70) of Lake Mary and Ian McConnell (70-69) of Riverview.

Travis Ralph, 16, of Redington Beach shot 74-72-146, tying for 13th place. He was coming off a big win at last month's Sam Parks Junior Invitational at Belleair Country Club.

In the girls field, Stephanie Kim of Orlando shot 1-under 70 in the first round then went on a tear Sept. 16 with 64, breaking three FJT records. In addition to eight birdies and 24 putts, Kim, 16, was charged with a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball on No. 13.

"I feel like my game is coming around," Kim said. "My game is coming together."

The three records in the girls 16-18 division: low final round and lowest score for 18 and 36 holes.

In an FJT match at Plantation in Venice two weeks ago, Seminole's Ryan Ashburn shot steady rounds of 78-78-156 to tie for fifth with Kristin Swindell. Karen Chung of New Jersey won by a stroke, shooting 76-71-147.

AJGA: Belleair's Evan Jensen, who dominated the girls 16-18 field in the FJT's 2006-07 season, has been invited to a prestigious American Junior Golf Association event next month during Columbus Day weekend in Mexico.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome won several AJGA events en route to success on the LPGA Tour and a place on the U.S. team at the recent Solheim Cup match in Sweden versus the top 12 European women.

COUNTY GOLF: At St. Petersburg Country Club on Monday, Noi Chay shot 1-under 71 to edge Mark Wilkins of Clearwater, who had 74.

The senior division was closer with Bill O'Hara edging Mark Dinkel by a stroke at 76.

Net honors went to Justin Craig with 66 and Bud Chapman of Minnesota in the senior division with 69 with only an 8 handicap that tied Tony Ciccotti and Lou Gatto.

LARGO COURSE: Twelve teams teed it up last week on the par 62 course and 15-under 47 won for the scramble team of Al Skroch of Oldsmar plus Rick Creech, Skip Parminter and Peggy Bingham, all of Largo.