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Crown returns to Hillsborough

By DAVE THEALL

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 18, 2001


After three consecutive winners from Pinellas, Terrell Italiano of Palma Ceia Country Club returned the West Coast Women's Golf Association championship to Hillsborough County.

Italiano, 40, who plays to a handicap index of 0.4 and won the 1997 tournament, didn't just win. She ran away with the title at last week's 36-hole tournament at Tampa Palms, winning by 10 strokes with scores of 1-under 71 and a 74 for a 145 total.

Sandy Jones of the host club matched Italiano's 74 the second day after opening with an 81. Debbie Mook Sang of River Hills had been only two behind Italiano after Monday's first round, but fell back to sixth with a second round of 85. Pat Rogers of Tampa Palms finished third with a 156 with Sharon Gonsalves, a seven-time winner of the 57-year-old tournament, fourth at 157.

Italiano said having a substantial lead early in the second round helped her relax and that, in turn, helped her game.

"My putting was great both days," said Italiano, the 1999 Florida Women's Amateur winner. "I didn't sink any real long ones Tuesday, but I saved about four pars with 5-6-foot putts."

Italiano, who doesn't play as much as some of the other top women because she owns and operates a sportswear imprinting company in Tampa, said she needs to work on her short game, specifically chipping.

"My driving was okay in the tournament," she said, "averaging about 250 yards when I used my driver.

"The key to good driving isn't so much the length as the accuracy. I try to stay in line and swing easy to maintain control."

Italiano said it was a great honor to win the tournament since some great golfers from the area have won it in the past and the association has 380 competitive members.

NOTES: Italiano will place in the State Four-Ball Championship starting Saturday at Palm Beach paired with Kim Blasakiewicz of Jacksonville. She then moves on to a qualifier for the State Amateur at Lakeland on May 6.

Mary Critchfield of the Bayou Club won the net title at the WCWGA Championship with rounds of 72-78-150 playing with a handicap of 8. Jackie Currier (151) of Walden Lakes tied for second with Cathy Hunt of Cheval. Lee Goskin of the Bayou Club was fourth at 156.

MEN'S INTERCLUB: Dunedin Country Club won the April 12 meeting of the Pinellas Interclub Association shooting 3-under its quota at Belleview Biltmore.

The win enabled Dunedin to move into a tie with Cove Cay for third place in the 12-club standings behind Seminole Lake and the Renaissance Vinoy.

Ralph Brown and Tony Roberto of the winning team posted the best two-man score of the day, shooting net 13-under 59.

They were followed by Dave DeMarco and Joe Paolini (60) of Lansbrook and Dale Justice and Ray Touchton (61) of Belleview Biltmore.

Jim Slattery of Belleair repeated as the low pro with a round of 1-under 71. He had won the January Interclub pro match at Wentworth.

Dunedin's John Falcone (73) was second pro followed by a 74 tie between Paul Coe of Wentworth and Steve Johnson of Countryside.

The first eight monthly matches sets the field for the May/June championship playoff. East Lake Woodlands is the defending champion.

SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP: The Pinellas-based SGA held its 2001 championship at the Bayou Club on April 9 and Jack Murphy captured first place in the 1-18 handicap field with a net 65. John Kovac of Clearwater was the runner-up.

Angelo Tiseo of South Pasadena shot a net 63 to win the 19-plus division with Don Bronkall of Largo second.

The super 70 title was won by Tom Conte of Oldsmar with a net 71. Nan Sher of St. Petersburg was the ladies champion with a net 61.

The SGA meets next at Wentworth on Monday. Call 791-1499 to enter or for more information.

JUNIOR NEWS: Look for Pinellas Park's Brittany Lincicome to break into the national rankings after her stunning win at last weekend's American Junior Golf Association's 2001 match at Braselton, Ga.

Lincicome, 15, shot a 6-under 65 the second day for a 36-hole total of 141 for a four-stroke margin of victory.

In the process, she defeated runner-up Aree Song Wongluekiet of Bradenton, an AJGA 2000 first-team all-American currently ranked third amateur woman by Golfweek. National rankings are based on points awarded in designated tournaments over the past 52 weeks.

Tarpon Springs High's Danny Allen won a Florida State Junior match earlier this month at the Champions Club in Stuart. He shot rounds of 78 and even-par 72 for a 36-hole total of 150. Hocul Kim of Clearwater was the runner-up with Jason Overton of Palm Harbor four strokes back in seventh.

The newly formed Tampa Bay Junior Golf Association, under the direction of Doug Laseter, will be running a developmental program for aspiring high school golfers starting April 30. For information, call (727) 789-2755. The foundation also has scholarships available for Pinellas public high school students.

The Vincent Reid Foundation, which supports kids with disabilities, is hosting a two-person scramble at Innisbrook's Lost Oaks on May 12.

For an entry form, call (727) 251-8317.

PRO TOURS: Marilyn Lovander of St. Petersburg made the cut at last weekend's LPGA Office Depot tournament at Los Angeles shooting 75-74-75-224, 14 strokes behind winner Annika Sorenstam.

At the Seminole-based Moonlight Tour Championship at Kissimmee, George Bradford shot a 9-under 135 in the two-day tournament winning $10,000. Scott Ford (137) was the runner-up winning $5,000.

For information on the tour, call Mary Magee at (727) 393-8531, or log on to www.moonlightgolf.com.

TAP-INS: Former winner Mike Hudson of New Port Richey shot a 4-over 76 in the final round of the recent Florida Amputee Classic for a 158 total and a tie for third place in the field of 39. Hudson, a Clearwater businessman, plays left-handed with only a left arm.

Doreen Lovett won the annual East Bay Women's title with scores of 90, 90 and 88 under adverse weather conditions. Carolyn Zimmerman finished second.

St. Petersburg's Shane Smith, captain of the Notre Dame women's team, helped the Irish win the 18-college William & Mary Invitational on April 1 with rounds of 74-80-154, second-best on the team.

The County Golf Association meets at East Lake Woodlands South course on Monday at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. For details, call the CGA at (727) 530-7226.

Jack Veghte of Clearwater goes for a fourth Florida State Seniors title at Port Charlotte this week in a 54-hole tournament. Veghte last won in 1999. Joe Cristillo of Crystal River is the defending champion. Spencer Gaylord of St. Petersburg also is in the field.

World Woods in Brooksville will host a U.S. Open local qualifier on May 16 and as will Hunter's Green on May 21. Entries close on April 25. For an entry form, call the FSGA in Tampa at (813) 632-3742. Qualifiers move on to a sectional qualifier at Old Memorial on June 5.

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