Wang Holds First Round Lead at Open
Charles Wang fired a six-under par 66 to take a two shot lead in the 68th Florida Open Championship at the Bonita Bay Club in Naples. The Championship continues through Sunday, July 20.
At only 17 years of age, Charles Wang (a), of Bradenton, leads the field of 156 players by two strokes heading into the second round of play. Wang, who started off the back nine on the Bay Island Course, opened up with five birdies in his first eight holes. After a slight hiccup on the 1st hole with a double bogey, Wang rebounded nicely making three birdies in a row on holes 2 thru 4. Wang would add one more birdie on his final hole of the day for his round of 66. Professionals: Ryan Hritz, of Clearwater, and Caleb Johnson Jr., of Ocala, sit only two shots back after their four-under par rounds on the Cypress Course. Three players are tied for fourth place at three-under par including: Gerry James, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Tyler Hitchcock, of Orlando, and Stephen Sowards, of Bradenton. Other than Charles Wang, only three amateurs are currently in the top 25. The second round will begin on Saturday morning at 8:00 AM.
The top 156 amateur & professional golfers in the state will play 18 holes each on the Cypress and Bay Island courses on Friday, July 18th and Saturday, July 19th. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 60 and ties. The final 18 holes will be played on the Cypress course on Sunday, July 20th. Before reaching the Championship, over 950 participants attempted to qualify at one of 16 sites across the state.
Started in 1942, The Florida Open Championship has produced past champions that include Willie Turnesa, Bob Murphy, Gary Koch, Bruce Fleisher, John Huston, Dudley Hart, and Bart Bryant. This is the sixth year the Florida State Golf Association will be conducting this great championship.