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Teen gets hole-in-one even if he doesn't see it

By BRANT JAMES

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 7, 2001


SPRING HILL -- Andrew Coogan was too busy plucking his tee out of the Silverthorn soil last Tuesday to watch the flight of the ball.

It wasn't that he thought his 6-iron shot off of the eighth tee was bad. On the contrary, he thought it was fine; fine as in okay, run-of-the-mill.

It wasn't until his playing partners, family friends Becky and Dale Lindhorst, started screaming that he paid closer attention.

"I thought the ball was behind the hole somewhere," said Coogan, 15. "I had no idea it went in."

But it had, 180 yards away, giving Coogan, a rising junior at Central, his first ace in six years of golfing.

"I had never really thought about (holes-in-one)," Coogan said. "It just happened. It wasn't anything I was going for."

TOP AMATEURS: Todd Jefcoat, a 38-year-old assistant pro at The Dunes Golf Club, will be one of 164 players participating in the 84th Florida State Amateur Championship June 21-24 at World Woods.

Jefcoat said he believes he might be prepared for this, his third amateur, more than any other after playing in a U.S. Open local qualifier at World Woods in May.

He qualified for the amateur by finishing tied for seventh with a 74 at Fox Hollow. The top 15 advanced. Andy Miller won the event with an even-par 71.

"I'm playing real well," Jefcoat said. "I played the last 15 holes (of the Open-qualifier) and played them even.

"I'm playing 10 tournaments, a lot of USGA and FSGA events. So I think I'm ready."

Having the event in Hernando County for the first time is extra incentive, Jefcoat said.

"Finally, we got one at home," he said. "This is where I want to play and play well." Jefcoat's best finish in a state amateur was 18th at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando in 1998.

The field will be halved after two days. St. Cloud's Justin Biggs won the 2000 title by shooting a final-round 66 and overcoming a 10-stroke deficit to win by a stroke at Pine Tree Golf Club in Boynton Beach.

JUNIORS: County players won three titles May 30 in the North Suncoast Junior Golf Association.

Spring Hill's Mario DeAngelis shot 75 to win the boys advanced (15-year-old) event, followed by Coogan of and Daniel Chestnut (79).

Spring Hill's Julian Gonzalez tied with Josh Raines (87) atop the boys advanced-14 leaderboard, and Brooksville's James Futrell fired a nine-hole 52 to win the boys intermediate 13-to-18 event over Jay Franklin (54) and Joseph Costanzo (57).

SEVEN HILLS: Rose Kundrith shot a 31.5 on May 30 to win the Seven Hills Ladies Golf League weekly game in a "Blind 9" format.

Sue Cawood (32.5) was second, followed by Eloise Reich (34), Jane Szeltner (35), Inga Weeks (35.5) and Bev Johnson (35.5).

WELLINGTON: The team of Joe Ferraro, Don Palmer, Gerry Olesen and Jan Zaroski shot a minus-7 on May 31 to win the weekly Wellington and Seven Hills Mixed Golf League.

The team of Don Spencer, Emil Bader, Phil Cohen, George Kraynak (minus-6) and Harry Anderle, Ed Ojay, Chuck Kirst, Mae Rowe (minus-2) were fourth.

AGE TO PERFECTION: Hernando County's Carl Herber shot his age on Monday with a 76 at The Dunes.

SHERMAN HILLS: The team of Jim Curly, Richard Norby, Bill Cate and Cliff Rhin shot 144 on Tuesday to win the Sherman Hills weekly league.

DUNES SCRAMBLE: Vinnie Kaby shot a plus-7 on Monday to win The Dunes' weekly men's scramble, edging Don Richey (plus-5) and Herber and Vince Oliva (plus-4).

James Switala (plus-12) won the B flight, ahead of Frank Bellomo (plus-7), Tim Armstrong (plus 6) and Frank Conklin (plus-4).

ST. JOHN'S TOURNAMENT: Don Lashley, Bill Maxey, Gary Cook and Kirk Campbell shared the title June 2 in the St. John's Episcopal Church Tournament at Rivard Golf and Country Club.

ACES: George Phillips, 69, of San Antonio, used a 7-iron to hit a hole-in-one on the 121-yard seventh hole at Sherman Hills on Monday.

Bill Campbell, 71, of Ridge Manor, used a 7-iron to ace the 130-yard 13th at Sherman Hills on May 23.

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