Senior Match Play Champions Crowned
Pete Williams defeated Jerry Rose to win the 9th Senior Amateur Match Play Championship as Larry Vander Bie defeated Gary Saft to win the Super Senior Division at Black Diamond Ranch, in Lecanto, on June 8-12.
After several lengthy weather delays over the past two days, the number one seed, Pete Williams, of Juno Beach, defeated Jerry Rose, of Sarasota, 2 up, to capture his second State Championship of the 2014 season. Williams who won the Senior Amateur Championship back in April, trailed Rose after the 13th hole, but Williams would birdie the 14th and 15th holes, to grab a 1 up lead with three holes to play. After both players would halve the 16th and 17th holes, Williams would head to the 18th tee with a 1 up lead. An errant tee shot on the 18th hole would prove costly for Rose, as he would fail to get up and down and lose the match 2 up to Williams. Before reaching the finals, Williams would defeat Robert Savard, of Lecanto, 5 and 4, and then defeated Anthony Baccari, of Odessa, 5 and 3 in the round of 16. Williams then defeated John Vaccaro, of Sarasota, 2 up in the Quarterfinals, and would hang on against Buddy Alexander, of Gainesville, in the Semifinals in 23 holes.
In the Super Senior Division, Larry Vander Bie, of Brooksville, defeated Gary Saft, of Fort Myers, 4 and 2, to capture his first State Championship. Vander Bie earned the number one seed after his stroke play rounds of 72-70. En route to capturing the title, Vander Bie defeated Jim McKenzie, of Pensacola, 5 and 4 in the round of 16, and then defeated Ron Green, of Lecanto, 4 and 2 in the Quarterfinals. In the Semifinal match, Vander Bie ousted the 13 seed and current FSGA President, Randy Briggs, of Ocala, 3 and 2.
To be eligible for the Senior Amateur Match Play Championship, participants must be 55 years of age or older for the Senior Division and 65 years of age or older as of June 8, 2014. The Championship consists of 36-holes of stroke play qualifying over the first two days with the lowest 32 players advancing to the match play portion of the event in the Senior Division and the lowest 16 players in the Super Senior Division to determine the champion.