Seminole Lake climbs standings

By Dave Theall, Times Correspondent
Published February 16, 2008

Led by assistant pro Buck Thornberry, Seminole Lake won the Pinellas Men's Interclub match Monday at Countryside to move up to fifth in the standings of the 12-club league after six monthly matches.

In the pro division, Thornberry shot 5-over 77 on a windy day, tying host pro Ivan Perdomo of Countryside. Chris Ettner of the Bayou Club finished third (79), followed by Chuck Easke (81) of Belleview Biltmore.

"It was an extremely windy day for everyone," said Thornberry, whose career best score is 8-under 64, twice at his home course. "Into the wind, it took an extra 2- or 3-club difference, plus the greens were hard and fast. I only managed one birdie all day and had 35 putts overall."

Belleair tied with East Lake Woodlands for second, strengthening its grip on first with 50 points. Belleview Biltmore is third with 44, followed by Innisbrook at 40 and Cypress Run at 35.5.

Jack Mitchell and Larry Brooks of East finished first in two-man team scoring based on better ball, followed by Greg Grocy and Kermit Ramey of Dunedin and Mary Daniel and John Perrin of Belleair.

East Lake Woodlands will host the next match at 12:30 p.m. March 3.

County golf: Mark Wheaton and Juice Ahearn, a dynamic duo who play out of Tarpon Woods, crafted a better-ball 69 at Monday's match at Pasadena for a two-stroke win over Tim deLeon and Mark Thomas of Palm Harbor.

Ron Chittle teamed with Wayne Wiseman for 72 to win the senior division over Bobby Kilgore and Bill O'Hara, 73.

In net scoring, Heinz and Ursula Kraus tied (63) for first with Doug Friend and AJ Finales.

Linda LaVine and Caroline Zimmerman shot 74, tying with Irene Sauve and Linda Pennington in the women's division.

Bill Dischinger had the shot of the day, an ace on the par-3 eighth.

Belleair Country Club: The annual King for a Day Tournament was won by the team of Mincha Lee, Margaret Eldridge, Cathy Peters and Jim Petru. The low net team includedCheri Boudreau, Nancy Richardson, Marianne McLachlan and Jim Snyder.

Hooters Tour: Clearwater's Ryan Gildersleeve, a former All-American at South Alabama, finished fifth (67-71-69-207) at a recent tournament in Orlando.

College Bound:Brienna Heinzler (Palm Harbor University), a blue-chip recruit, will play for Furman University in South Carolina this fall.

A district champion as a sophomore, Heinzler was named to the Times' first team as a junior after leading the Hurricanes to the conference championship and second at districts. She is on the dean's list and honor roll at Palm Harbor.

This past season, she played a limited schedule because of travel commitments.

"I'm looking forward to playing for Furman and majoring in biology there," said Heinzler, who added that she might go on to medical school.

Heinzler's game has been honed while working during the past eight years with Lew Smitherat the Innisbrook Golf Academy, where he is the director of instruction. But she recently switched to teaching pro Matt Mitchell at the Downs Practice Facility on advice from Furman coach Jen Hanna.

"Mr. Smither contributed a lot to my development as a player," she said.

Florida Junior Tour: At Victoria Hills in DeLand, Travis Huston of Palm Harbor, son of PGA Tour veteran John Huston, shot steady rounds of 75-75-150, tying for fourth in the 13-15 age division. Matt Ceravolo from Palm Beach Gardens won with 148 (75-73). He survived a triple bogey on No. 14 by birdieing No. 17 with a 15-footer and No. 18 with a breaking 30-footer.

Aaron Watson of Palm Harbor posted rounds of 78-79-157.

In the girls 13-15 division, Northside Christian's A.J. Newell tied for third, shooting 78-81-159.Cindy Feng, 12, of Orlando won with 151 (70-81) over unrelated Simin Feng, 13, of Orlando, who shot steady rounds of 79-78-157.

The Florida Junior Tour plays 36-hole tournaments, usually weekends, with an entry fee of $95. But a scholarship entry is available to those unable to afford the entry fee. For more information, go to www.floridajuniortour.org.

PODS Championship: There is heightened interest in the 53rd annual Gasparilla Invitational on Friday through Feb. 24 at Palm Ceia in Tampa. The winner will earn a sponsor exemption to the PGA Tour event next month at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club.

Rick Kerper of Safety Harbor, who won the prestigious amateur event in 2004, is again in the field. Kerper won the Innisbrook Amateur title in 2005. Most recently, he tied for second (76-75-151) at a Florida State GA Winter Series match two weeks ago in Brooksville. Mike Morrison of Roswell, Ga., will defend his 2007 Gasparilla title.

Huston and John Dalyhave received sponsor exemptions to the PODS tournament.