Three Teams Win in North Tampa
The Winter Series players experienced winter in Florida at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club during the first Four-Ball Winter Series event of the 2016 season. Despite the brisk and breezy conditions, there were an impressive 14 teams under par after round one. Tampa residents, Brian Keenan and Paul Royak made an eagle, five birdies, and one bogey to lead by three strokes after a six under-par 66 in the 40-54 Age Division. David Garratt, of Saint Augustine and Jerome Brown, of Bradenton worked together to finish second at three under-par 69. Two teams, Gary Blackwell/Clayton Brewer and Jeff Neugebauer/Charles Alexander posted a 70 to tie for third place after Monday’s round.
The 55-64 Age Division saw the most under-par scores after round one with teammates Jerry Rose and Jon Empanger, both from Sarasota, in first place with a six under-par 66. Rose propelled his team to take the lead by three strokes with birdies on holes 15, 16 and 17. Three teams tied for second place at three under-par including: Steve Sponder/Paul Melson, Richard Kerper/Doug LaCrosse, and Rokki Rogan/Bill Barnes. The highlight of the round came from Richard Kerper who had a hole-in-one on the seventh hole! At the completion of round one, two scores of one under-par 71 were tied for first in the 65 and Over Age Division. Stephen Maddox, of Lakeland teamed with Dennis Lipnicky, of Lithia and the duo of Fred Allen, of North Venice and Freeman Allen, of Ripton, Vermont would start round two fighting for a first place win.
Team Keenan and Royak remained in first place in the 40-54 division after a stellar five under-par 67 in the second round, tournament total 133. The two carded three birdies and an eagle on the par four third hole to win by five strokes! The team of Neugebauer and Alexander moved into second place after a round two 68 and tournament total 138. In the 55-64 division, Rose and Empanger followed up their round one 66 with a steady five under-par 67 for a tournament total 133 and a three stroke victory! Two teams, Kerper/LaCrosse and Rogan/Barnes, remained tied for second after posting the same exact scores both rounds of the tournament (69-67—136). Dennis Lipnicky and Stephen Maddox fired a second 71 to take the solo lead (71-71—142), by one stroke, in the 65 and over division. After an improved second round of three under-par 69, Jim Stone and Carey Watson seized second place with a tournament total 143.
The Winter Series is for players 40 years and older, and runs from late November through early March. Players will compete in one of three age divisions (40-54, 55-64 and 65 & Over) based on their age for the final event. A season long points list is kept through the winter earning players exemptions into 2016 FSGA State Championships. The Winter Series travels to Winter Haven February 1-2 for the next individual event being hosted by The Country Club of Winter Haven.