Three Defeat Storm at Mission Inn
Stormy weather rolled through Howey-in-the-Hills during round one causing a four-hour rain delay that tested the patience of the players. Despite the wet conditions, two players in the 65-69 age division tied for the early lead at even par 72. Michael Bell, of Sarasota, and Berger Warner, of Ocala, led by two strokes over defending Champion, Robert Hess. There was a break through the clouds on Wednesday morning at Mission Inn Resort that seemed to help break the tie for first place. Bell, who was playing his first FSGA Championship, carded a second round 76 to slide into first by one stroke. Warner fell just short with a 77 while Robert Lundquist carded the round two low with a 74 to head into the final round in third place.
A birdie jump started the final round for Michael Bell who went on to card three more birdies and finish with an even par 72. A 220 tournament total earned Bell a four-stroke victory in his first FSGA Championship! Bell started the Championship with an even par round and finished with an even par round for his wire-to-wire win. Robert Lundquist, of Sanford, bettered his score each round to finish tied for second place with Berger Warner. Lundquist scored an impressive eagle on the par five 10th hole followed by two more birdies to finish with a 73. Warner shot a final round 75 to tie for second with a 224 tournament total. Three players, Jim Stone, Robert Hess, and William Everett, tied for fourth place with a 229 total.
The storms washed out round one for the 70-74 and 75 and over age divisions. Wednesday started round one of the Championship for the two age divisions. Thomas Austin, of Lake Wales, led the 70-74 division with a one over-par 73 but the leaderboard was tight behind him. Jim Carley and Thomas Jung tied for second two strokes away with Earl Daniell and Fred Gross tied for fourth place with a 76. Past 70-74 division Champion, Jim Pfrogner, stood in the lead after round one with a three over-par 75. Two strokes behind sat Joseph DeVita who was ready to chase the lead in the final round.
Earl Daniell, of Tallahassee, overcame a three stroke deficit to climb into first place in the 70-74 division. Daniell carded two birdies on the front nine and one birdie on the back nine to shoot a final round 74. A 65-69 age division Champion in 2013, Daniell, reigned victorious by one stroke with a 150 total. Thomas Austin struggled to a 78 in round two and finished in second place with a 151 total. In the 75 and over division, Jim Pfrogner, of Sarasota, went wire-to-wire to win by two strokes. Pfrogner finished with a 79 and 154 total. Tampa resident, Phil Leckey, shot four strokes better in round two to move from fifth to second place, 80-76—156.