2017-10-12 / Top News

ON THE LINKS

Treasure Coast Senior Tour speaks to cameraderie of players

Jerry Tucker, Mike San Filippo and Mark Mielke were declared co-champions — or should it be tri-champions? — at the Treasure Coast Senior Tour’s 14th annual Tour Championship. How they settled it speaks to the cameraderie of this local mini-tour developed for pros and amateurs 50-and-older, and LPGA members at least 45.

The first idea was to declare that the threat of lightning prevented a playoff, but there was nary a cloud in the sky over Legacy Golf and Tennis Club in Port St. Lucie. Then it became San Filippo’s fault because he had an appointment for a haircut but he was still there, waiting for something to happen.

Keep in mind this is neither the Charles Schwab Cup nor the FedEx Cup. Indeed, the TCST long ago gave up on the idea of creating a direct pipeline to the PGA Tour Champions. So we are not talking about untold riches here. The winner was to earn $400, the runnerup $350, third place $300. There was a $100 bonus for the low 36-hole score regardless of division or flight. Hence, the most any of them could have collected was $500. But by adding the top three places and the bonus pool and dividing it equally three ways, each player was paid $383, or more than second or third place might otherwise have received.

For the record, they tied at six under par 138. TCST co-founder Tucker, of Stuart, a five-time Tour champion, shot 65-73, unable to hold his first round lead on the trip from Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter to Legacy. Defending champion San Filippo, Hobe Sound, had a pair of 69s. Mielke, Jupiter, a newcomer on the local senior circuit, scored 67-71.

Robbie Dew of Palm Beach Gardens, managing general partner at Abacoa GC and the only amateur in the 23-player field, won the ‘B’ flight with 71-70—141.

Roger Kennedy of Stuart, the other TCST co-founder, missed B flight money by two strokes, a far-cry from when he was one of the best players in South Florida. “I don’t know what’s happened to my game,” he says. “I just can’t hit the ball close to the hole anymore.”

Kennedy, former pro-manager at Pompano Beach Municipal GC, won 15 South Florida PGA titles including the Section Championship in 1984, and played one year on the senior tour.

Tucker gets credit for his 47th TCST low pro win, San Filippo his 24th. The latter won the very first TCST tournament, on Feb. 13, 2004, at the Florida Club in Stuart.

Brian Peaper of the Lost Tree Club and Marty Stanovich of Tamarac shared most improved honors, each lowering his scoring average from the 2016 season by 2.5 strokes to 70.5. Dave Cunliffe of Boca Raton earned the sportsmanship award.

This was the 21st and final tournament of the year and No. 209 since the TCST began 14 years. Play will resume in February. For information and entry, go to www.treasurecoastseniortour.com.

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Pete Williams of Juno Beach has upped his title total to 24 since 2009 in Palm Beach County Golf Association play with two victories so far this year. A 767 pilot for United Air Lines, Williams took the Allianz Senior Amateur for the third time, following wins in 2011 and 2015, scoring 138 at the Turtle Creek Club, six ahead of the field; and teamed with Chris Hubman of Palm Beach Gardens for his second victory in the senior division of the Arrigo Alfa Romeo Fiat Classic at Banyan GC. They shot 132, four-ball stroke play, to win by five.

Other recent PBCGA winners:

Senior Amateur — Donnie Blanks, Jupiter, super seniors, 144; and Bill Maronet, North Palm Beach, legends, 161.

Fiat Classic — Scott Turner and Greg Forest, Stuart, open division, 129; Steve Earsley, Hobe Sound, and Robbie Dew, Palm Beach Gardens, super seniors, 136.

Bobby Bryant Memorial, Willoughby GC — Justin Goodhue, Palm Beach Gardens, 142.

Tire Kingdom Stroke Play, BallenIsles CC-East — Charlie Stubbs, Eustis, 138.

Honda Classic Parent-Child @ PGA National-Squire — Bill and Billy Civitella, North Palm Beach, amateur open, 62, scramble; James and Jimmy Key, Palm Beach Gardens, amateur 13-under, 62; Dan and Jack Quinn, Palm Beach Gardens, professional, 73.

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Add the names of Lee Trevino and Raymond Floyd to Jack Nicklaus’ as members of the PGA of America for 50 years. Phil Mickelson recently achieved Quarter Century Club membership (25 years). Other news about members from Palm Beach County:

New Members — Daniel McLellan, John Webster GA at The Breakers, and Nathan Minkwic, Breakers Ocean Course; Austin Molen and Sean Thornberry, PGA of America Headquarters; Kevin Dorsch, John Prince Golf Learning Center; Moe Gola, Jupiter Hills Club; Justin Wood, Polo Club of Boca Raton; and Robert Zender, Boynton Beach, reinstated.

Quarter Century Club — Sean Burke- McDermott, Admiral’s Cove; Tom Cleaver, Lake Worth; Joe DeMino, Gleneagles CC; and Todd Leckrone, Atlantis CC.

Half Century Club — Robert Birch, Royal Palm Beach; and Tim McCoy, Lake Worth.

Certified Professionals — Stephen Limpach, PGA of America Headquarters, general management. ¦

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