Williams Leads the 53rd Senior Amateur
Pete Williams will take a three shot lead into the final round of play of the 53rd Senior Amateur Championship at Vero Beach Country Club in Vero Beach. The final round will begin at 8:00 am on Thursday, April 17th.
Pete Williams, of Juno Beach, opened with a three-over par 75, to find himself five shots off the lead entering the day. Williams rode the momentum of his hole-in-one in the first round to fire the low round of the day on Wednesday with a five-under par 67. After making bogey on his first hole, Williams would play the next eight holes in one-under par highlighted by an eagle on the par 5 eighth hole to turn at one-under par 35. Williams stumbled on number 10 by making a rare bogey, but rebounded to birdie five out of his last eight holes to post a two round total of 142. Williams is currently the only player under par for the Championship and has his eyes set on capturing his second individual State Championship.
Michael Cox, of Naples, and Sam Till, of Bonita Springs are currently tied for second place with a 36-hole total of one-over par 145. Gordon Marshall, of Sarasota, had the second biggest move of the day, carding a four-under par 68 to sit tied for fourth place along with first round leader Mike Bodney, of Jacksonville. Both players sit only four shots back after a two round total of two-over par 146. Some big names are still in the mix including the 2007 Champion, Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale, who stands at three-over par after rounds of 72-75 and Past Champion and reigning Senior Player-of-the-Year, Doug LaCrosse, of Tampa, who is currently tied for 12th at four-over par, and only six strokes behind Williams. Sixty-nine players advanced to play the final round posting 156 or better.
Since the number of entries received has always surpassed the capacity of the Championship, a qualifying stage was instituted in 2005. While 60 players earned exempt status through a variety of different means, more than 300 participants attempted to qualify at one of seven sites across the state, as competitors played 18 holes of stroke play hoping to advance to the Championship. Participants must be 55 or older to participate in the Championship. Players who advanced to the Championship compete in 54-holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes.