Vinoy repeats its 1997 feat
By DAVE THEALL
© St. Petersburg Times,
Two titles were on the line last week in the Pinellas Men's Interclub match at Belleair Country Club -- the final monthly showdown of the season.
For the first time since 1997, one club took both titles -- the Championship Trophy based on the clubs qualifying for the final two-match playoff and the coveted Bud Donahue Trophy for the team with the most points. The Vinoy Golf Club won both, as it did in '97.
Kevin Carlson, the Vinoy's first assistant pro, was elated his 10-member team took home both trophies, but he wasn't at all surprised.
"We were ahead or tied for the lead all season," said Carlson, 27, who shot a 5-over 77. "I'm not surprised that we won since our players worked very hard to earn this. They practiced a lot and wanted it. We never had trouble finding members to play. For the nine amateur positions, we had only 13 or 14 different players all season."
The Vinoy's team pairings Thursday included Phil Collins and Marty Matinkovic, Tom Parsley and Dane Zimring, Allen Anderson and Bill Carlisle and Dave Cohen and Ron Salamone.
Carlson's better-ball partner was amateur Jeff Lane, who has an 11 handicap.
"We ham and egged it pretty well," Carlson said. "We just had one bad hole where I had a double bogey and he picked up. That knocked me out of the running for a top-four finish for prize money among the pros."
Those honors were won by Buck Thornbury of Seminole Lake and Countryside Country Club's Steve Johnson, who tied for first at 1-over 73.
Jim Slattery of the host club was third with a 75 and followed by John Falcone of Dunedin Club with a 76.
Low two-man team honors went to Jason Allen and Brian McLane of Wentworth, 60, and a 61 tie between Bill Pritz and Owen Schlaug of Belleair and Lou Giocondo and Pat Meservey of Belleview Biltmore.
Seminole Lake finished second in the final standings for the season. It was followed by Belleair, Cove Cay, Dunedin and Crescent Oaks.
Belleair won the Jim Ainsworth Trophy as the playoff tournament runner-up.
Association president George Proctor of East Lake Woodlands announced during the post-match awards dinner that Wentworth had withdrawn from the 12-club association and would be replaced in September by Cypress Run.
Another significant development was the board of directors decision to change the basis for the championship from the end-of-year playoff to the season-long point standings.
Proctor was re-elected for a second term and will serve with vice president Herb Legrow of Crescent Oaks, secretary-treasurer Bob Detlor of Seminole Lake, and Slattery.
U.S. SENIOR OPEN: Nine Pinellas golfers were scheduled to play in Monday's sectional qualifier in Fort Myers for one of two spots in the June 28-July 1 championship at Salem Country Club, Peabody, Mass.
The field included St. Petersburg's David Graham, Clearwater's Richard Weber, Jim Barber and J. Hollywood Alpert, Palm Harbor's Pat Tiso and Bill Kiley, Safety Harbor's Bill Buckner and Belleair's Jim Smith. Smith, who runs Missing Links Range in Largo, is coming off a big win earlier this month. He beat Frank Reynolds of The Eagles 4 and 2 for the North Florida PGA Senior Match Play Championship at Stonecrest Country Club in Summerfield.
The Fort Myers qualifier was played at Fiddlesticks Country Club's Long Mean Course.
TOURNAMENT RESULTS: Sharon Gonsalves of Palma Ceia shot a 3-over 75 to win the West Coast Women's match at Crescent Oaks on June 4.
Blanche Miles of Belleair tied with Cathy Moss of the Vinoy in Flight B with an 80, and Emilie Burk of Clearwater Country Club won Flight C with an 84.
In last month's season-ending match of the Ladies Suncoast Interclub League, the Westin Innisbrook team captured first place. But on the season, Crescent Oaks came out ahead with 44 points. East Lake Woodlands (321/2) was second. The members of the winning team were Niecie Halfon, Ann Stafford, Mary Anne Spong, Lori Hiller, Carol Madeira, Phyllis Parcells, Lois Butcher and Kay Travis.
Tom Jewell and Ralph Ghioto teamed up to win the annual Kids Klassic two-person scramble at the Chi Chi Rodriguez course on June 1. It was their fourth victory in the fund-raiser for the Chi Chi Youth Foundation.
Nick Klassen of Dunedin tied with Jay Lindner of St. Petersburg at 3-under 69 in the Moonlight.com Tour event at Sherman Hills on May 27. Mike Barbosa of St. Petersburg led the amateurs with a 71. He will play for Georgia Tech in the fall.
In a County Golf Association match on June 4 at Tampa Palms, Ken Palladino paired with Dalan Farren for a better-ball win with a 71. Jack Anthony and Earl Roark carded a 72 to take the senior title on the sixth playoff hole.
JUNIORS: The LPGA Girls Golf League of Largo, led by founder Pam Scott, has formed a boys beginning group.
The program is for boys 6-17 to learn the rules and etiquette while playing the game. The annual cost is $25.
The first event is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Largo Golf Club. It will be played in a beginners and intermediate division.
Scott Bigley is the league's new director and can be reached at 942-6589. To contact Scott, call 786-2918.
Megan Riley, a product of the LPGA Girls Golf League and a 2001 graduate of Largo High School, has been accepted to Florida Southern College where she will compete for a place on the women's golf team.
The Florida Women's Golf Association will stage the State Junior Girls Championship at Lake Buena Vista on June 26-27. For registration information, call director Judy Comella, (863) 815-1646, in Lakeland.
Brittany Lincicome of Pinellas Park has moved into second place in Golfweek's junior rankings.
Aree Song Wongluekiet of Bradenton remains in first. Danny Allen, a 2001 graduate of Tarpon Springs High School, is 41st among boys.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Karen Lesch, a PGA teaching pro since 1987 and East Lake Woodlands' teaching pro, has been invited to be a guest instructor on the Golf Channel's Golf Academy on July 3 at 8 p.m.
Left-handed players may be interested in a Web site designed for their interests. It's http://www.leftyforgolf.com.
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