Winter Haven Crowns Three Champs
The Winter Series traveled to Winter Haven, February 1-2, where the players experienced warm temperatures and excellent golf course conditions at The Country Club of Winter Haven, host of the 2016 Senior/Mid-Amateur Championship. Kelly Sellers, Jerry Rose, and Bruce Scamehorn played impressive golf to be crowned victorious in their respective age divisions.
Kelly Sellers (pictured left), of Lakeland posted the low round of the tournament on day one, four under-par 68, to take the early lead in the 40-54 Age Division. Another Lakeland resident, Jimmy Morris finished five strokes behind in second place with a one over-par, 73. Baldonick Fernandez, David Garratt, and Kevin Altenhof will start day two tied for third with a three over-par, 75. In the 55-64 Age Division three under-par rounds finished at the top of the leaderboard. Bob Casamento, of Orlando finished round one in first place with a 69 and was followed closely by Rokki Rogan, of Fort Myers who carded a two under-par 70. Tampa resident, Doug LaCrosse ended day one in third place, only two strokes from first, with a 71. Using home course knowledge to his advantage, Bruce Scamehorn, member of The Country Club of Winter Haven, finished round one in first place in the 65 and over Age Division. He led by two strokes after a one under-par, 71.
Heavy fog rolled in early Tuesday morning causing a 40 minute delayed start to the final round. The short wait had no effect on Sellers and Scamehorn who went wire-to-wire to win their respective division. In the 40-54 Age Division, Sellers remained steady posting a second round even-par, 72 for a seven stroke victory and 140 (-4) tournament total. Kevin Altenhof, of Melbourne jumped from tied for third to second place after a 72 final round, 147 tournament total. Bruce Scamehorn (pictured right) finished the tournament strong with a two under-par, 70, tournament total 141 (-3), and seven stroke victory in the 65 and over Age Division. Jerry Young, from New Port Richey consistently carded two rounds of 74 to climb to a second place finish.
A playoff determined the winner of the 55-64 Age Division after Jerry Rose, John Vaccaro and Dough LaCrosse tied for first place with a tournament total 147. Rose, of Sarasota started the final round six strokes behind but after shooting even par he moved quickly up the leaderboard. LaCrosse was eliminated after the first play-off hole, number ten, after making bogey. Vaccaro and Rose continued with pars on holes 10 and 11 before Rose (pictured left) won with a par on number 12, the third play-off hole. This marks Rose’s second Winter Series win of 2016 after a previous four-ball victory in North Tampa.
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. There are only two Winter Series events remaining in the 2015-2016 season with the next stop being The Evergreen Club in Palm City, February 14-15.