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FSGA's Caveny capitalizing on tips from playing partner

By DAVE THEALL

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 29, 2001


An Indian Shores golfer is on a roll and looking ahead to even better rounds.

Paul Caveny, who plays to a 3 handicap with the Florida State Golf Association, carded a 72-73 for a 1-over 145 and third-place tie in the recent State Public Links Championship at Southern Dunes Country Club in Haines City.

Prior to that, he teamed with Jack Hannon of Tampa Palms for a fourth-place finish in the Florida State Four-Ball Championship played on the Blue Monster course at Doral Golf Resort. In a better ball format, they shot 5-under 70-69-139.

Caveny, 36, who's in the wholesale auto business, said the key to his low scores at Southern Dunes was his driving -- long and straight all weekend. Plus, the course was in great shape, he said, and the organizers (FSGA) always put on a first-class tournament.

"I was averaging 285-290 off the tee, and that set me up for 9-iron and wedge shots into the green on the par 4s," Caveny said.

"I only missed two fairways and five greens all weekend. Overall, I was happy with my scores, yet I left an easy five shots out there on that course," he said.

Caveny attributes his recent success to taking a few tips from playing pal Mike O'Malley, such as tempo and hand position.

Caveny came to the area from upstate New York in 1983 to attend the University of South Florida. Although he was a low-handicap player at the time, he worked his way through college rather than go out for the golf team.

His next major challenge will be the State Mid-Amateur qualifier at Palma Ceia on Sept. 12. If Caveny makes the cut, he moves on to the championship, Oct. 4-7 at Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park. Caveny shared his thoughts on the wisdom of 17-year-old Ty Tryon of Orlando turning pro, as Tryon announced he would do on Aug. 20 at the U.S. Amateur.

"I think it's a smart move on his part," Caveny said.

"Pro golf is played on a lot of different levels. This doesn't mean he'll be playing on the PGA Tour right away. Golf's a game where you constantly improve, and he can improve best in that environment."

For his part, Tryon said he thought the best opportunity for him to get better would be competing as a professional.

Tryon, who is a high school junior, made the cut in this year's Honda Classic and B.C. Open.

"If I'm not going to college, I think why not just get experience the next two years and play a few tournaments, make it a learning experience and not put too much pressure on myself?" Tryon told Golfweek magazine.

Tryon has an excellent chance of being in the field at next month's Tampa Bay Classic at Innisbrook's Copperhead course, said tournament director Gerald Goodman.

Other young stars who are excellent prospects include David Gossett, Charles Howell III, Bryce Moulder and Luke Donald.

NOTE: Plantation's Paul Melson won the State Public Links Championship with a 69-70-139, 5 strokes better than runner-up Phil Eich of Atamonte Springs.

JUNIORS: Brittany Lincicome (141) of Seminole and Ted Potter (144) of Silver Springs were the big winners in last weekend's 36-hole Sam Parks Invitational at Belleair Country Club.

Lincicome, 15, was the overall winner, including the girls 16-18 division.

In the 13-15 class, Bradenton's Kyle Roberts (149) won and Lindsey Bergeon took the girls title with a 158 total.

Seminole's Clifton Williams and Largo's Megan Riley eagled the par-5 sixth hole on the West course Saturday.

Tournament director Bill Conway, the director of golf at Belleair, said the event was set up to memorialize Parks, a former member who died four years ago, and to continue to support junior golf. Parks won the 1935 U.S. Open.

MORE JUNIORS: Largo's Troy Sidabras, 13, who played in the tournament, was the overall winner of the Toyota Golf Skills Challenge regional event in Denver in June.

He was first among 960 competitors, mostly adults. Sidabras advances to the national finals, Nov. 2-3 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

CLASSIC KIDS CLINIC: The Suncoast Classic Sports Association and director David Veghte arranged for 30 kids, chosen by the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department, to participate in a free chipping, putting and etiquette clinic at Clearwater Country Club two-weeks ago.

The participating pros from the North Florida PGA Section were Jim Smith, Mike Murrell, Doug Brehme, Ned Hall, Eric Lettie, Derek Simpson, Pat Maser, Jim Barber and Jim Slattery.

TAP-INS: Clearwater's Ryan Gildersleeve missed the 36-hole cut in last week's U.S. Amateur.

Innisbrook's Jay Overton increased his 2001 Senior Tour earnings to $78,152 with his 12th-place tie in the Novell Utah Showdown.

Dick Mast, a Lakewood High School graduate, tied for 45th to boost his earnings to $177,997. The St. Petersburg Junior College grad earned $1,100,814 on the PGA Tour.

Both were Monday qualifiers.

The latest Golfweek/Titleist junior rankings have Tampa's Whitney Code in 12th place, her sister, Mallory, in 17th, and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome 25th.

Whitney is a freshman at the University of Florida.

Dan Stone, who played for St. Petersburg High and was a two-time Gator All-American, won last week's Golden Bear Tour event at Cypress Links.

The victory, worth $25,000, puts him No. 2 on the tour's money list with $65,000. Two weeks ago in a Monday qualifier, he tied for 20th in the Buy.com Tour event in Odessa, Texas.

COMING UP: The second annual Presto Magic Tournament is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 8 at East Bay Country Club in Largo.

The fund-raiser is to help send Seminole's Marc Prestipino back to the PGA Tour Qualifying tournament this fall. He's an assistant pro at Cove Cay and a teaching pro at Gandy Driving Range.

The entry fee of $80 includes a post-tourney awards barbecue dinner. Sponsors are welcome. There are 20 openings in the scramble.

For information or to receive an entry form, call tournament director Brian Coleman, 442-0929.

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