Petrillo gets different perspective as a caddy
By DAVE THEALL
© St. Petersburg Times,
Does caddying help a golfer's own game?
According to Mary Ann Petrillo, a 3-handicap player from Tierra Verde who has been caddying on the Futures Tour this summer for housemate Jennifer Cully, it does.
"Two keys to successful golf are relaxing and course management," said Petrillo, the 1999 winner of the West Coast Women's Golf Association Championship.
"It's all about course management -- knowing where you want to land the ball -- and relaxing, finding ways to ease the pressure. I try to stay really positive with her.
"There's a lot of pressure on me, too, because she asks me on practically every shot what club to use," Petrillo said. "I feel responsible if it turns out to be the wrong one.
"I've been helpful to her reading the greens, which I find a lot more undulating on those northern courses than those in Florida."
Petrillo said the pro players are more patient and have better routines.
"The key is to find your best routine and stick with it," she said. "The better routine you have the better you hold up under pressure. Applying that to my own game will help."
Another challenge for Petrillo has been carrying a full bag over 18 hilly holes three consecutive days, but it's something she has adjusted to.
The fact Cully, who attended Illinois State University on a golf scholarship, uses a lighter college bag helps.
Cully, 32, is the teaching pro at the Apollo Beach Golf and Sea Club.
She got off to a good start this season by winning the PGA Women's Stroke Play Championship with rounds of 76-69-71, even-par 216. On the Futures Tour, she's made the cut in three of six events, missing last weekend in Avon, Conn., with rounds of 81-80.
Cully's next big tournament is an LPGA Club Professional qualifier.
NOTES: Petrillo tried to take her newfound course management knowledge to last week's Florida Women's Golf Association Championship at Club Eaglebrooke in Lakeland, but playing rustiness was a larger factor.
"I shot rounds of 83 and 82 playing in the second flight," Petrillo said. "My timing was off because I hadn't played in a while. If I played every day, it would be different.
"Timing in golf is everything," she said. "I'm realistic about that. I'll get my timing back."
Ashley Hoagland, a June high school graduate from Palmetto, won the tournament with rounds of 68-70 for a 6-under 138. She was well ahead of veteran standouts Marla Weeks (142) of Oveido and Taffy Brower (146) of Boynton Beach.
Hoagland will play for Wake Forest this fall. She finished ninth in the recent AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions at Innisbrook with a 72-hole score of 296, four behind Mallory Code of Tampa and four ahead of Seminole's Brittany Lincicome. In the women's state championship, there were four award winners from Pinellas.
Christine Martin, a new member at St. Pete Country Club, won the fifth flight with a 157 (81-76). Her second round included three birdies. Heather Hingston of St. Petersburg finished third in that flight with a 166. She's a member of the Florida Southern women's team.
In the sixth flight, Lee Goscin Penny of Largo took third with a 184. Seminole's Nan Habjan, a Clearwater Country Club member, placed third (163) in the net division. Habjan is a former FWSGA president.
MEN'S CLUB PROS: At the Country Club of Ocala last week, Jim Slattery of Belleair Country Club earned a qualifying spot in the annual PGA Club Pro Championship.
Bill Buttner of St. Petersburg Country Club and Jim Smith of Missing Links Range missed the cut by a stroke.
MAJOR AMATEURS: St. Petersburg's Dustin Atkatz, who played at Canterbury School and USF, shot 12-under 276 (66-68-73-69) in the July 12-15 Eastern Amateur in Virginia for fourth place. He carries a plus-1 handicap.
In the Players Amateur in South Carolina, St. Petersburg native Buddy Alexander -- the head coach of the Florida men's team -- shot 5-over 289 (71-70-76-72) to tie for 19th.
Defending Florida State Two-Man Team champions Buddy Lee and Ryan Cockman of St. Petersburg finished tied for 10th (69-69-138) at Howey-In-The-Hills.
Steve Shawler of St. Petersburg and Valrico's John Gunn placed fourth with a 133, four strokes behind winners Jason Conte of Tampa and Randy Pickering of Ponte Vedra Beach.
JUNIOR CLUB: At Clearwater Country Club on Sunday, Brad Hubbard captured the annual junior championship with a final-round par 72 for a 146 total and 3-stroke margin.
Jenny Gleason (74-151) won the women's title by 23 shots.
TAP-INS: In recent Country Golf Association matches, Jason Knight and Tim Deleon teamed to win at St. Petersburg Country Club with a better-ball 70. Ed McCallum and Tom Jewell (73) took the senior title.
At Seminole Lake, Pepper McCraw (72) won the individual championship and John Yaros (77) prevailed among seniors.
At the Bayou Club on July 16, Steve Marcus (77) was a winner. Yaros and Bill Western shared senior honors with an 81.
The hero of the day, however, was member Ron Williams, who ran from his cart and dove into a creek to rescue a 7-year-old boy from drowning.
The Clearwater Phillies made their presence felt in the Equither Charity Tournament earlier this month at Clearwater Country Club.
A scramble team that included Joe Burdette, Dan McDonough and John Timberlake shot 8-under 64 for a victory.
The tourney raised $4,800 for the therapeutic horseback riding program.
COMING UP: The Tampa Bay Junior Golf Foundation will have a back-to-school tournament Aug. 6-7 at Innisbrook's Copperhead course.
It's open to kids in grades 6-12. For an entry form, call 789-2755.
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