1999 Senior Amateur Championship

Veghte "Marches" to Claim Third State Senior Title

April 28, 1999

Sarasota, Fla. - Clearwater's Jack Veghte has had a long history of winning state championships. On Wednesday evening, he added another title to his impressive resume.

Veghte won his third Florida State Senior Championship at Sara Bay Country Club in Sarasota. After winning four State Amateurs - one in New York and three in Florida - Veghte could be considered the best golfer in Florida to never turn professional.

Veghte literally marched back from a three-stroke deficit after the eighth hole to win his third title. After riding in a cart for his first-round 77 and his second-round 69, Veghte elected to walk, with his youngest son David acting as his caddie, on his way to a final-round 1-over 73.

"I like to walk to keep rhythm and to keep my concentration," Veghte said. "I also like having a caddie for the moral support."

Veghte needed a lot of moral support after Niceville's Bill Giese jumped out to a quick start. Giese started two strokes behind Veghte and co-second round leader Curt Madson, but fired a 2-under 34 on the front nine to take a three-stroke lead.

The turning point came on the 446-yard, par 4 eleventh hole. Veghte made a winding 18-footer for birdie, while Giese had problems getting up-and-down from one of the many shaved-down chipping areas around the green. He finished with a bogey to let Veghte pull into a tie for the lead.

The shaved-down chipping area came into play again on the final hole. With Veghte leading by one stroke, he hit a cut 4-iron from the trees that landed left of the hole about 15 feet off the green. Instead of chipping, Veghte putted up the slope and left himself a four-foot par putt. When Giese lipped out a 22-footer for a birdie and tie for the lead, Veghte's four-foot putt for a back-nine 35 clinched the title.

"I decided in the practice round to putt from the chipping areas," the 63-year old insurance consultant said. "I didn't feel my chipping was strong enough to get it close."

"1 can't believe I won another," he added. "They're sweeter as you get older."

First-round leader Gunnar Bennett of Surfside finished third with an 8-over 224, with Coral Gables Stuart Iliffe finishing fourth at 9-over 225.

Mt. Dora's Curt Madson finished with an 8-over 80 in his final round to fall to a tie for fifth place with Orlando's Edward Craig, Marco Island's Bill Feehan and Port St. Lucie's Charles Costolo.

In the super senior division (for players over the age of 70), Charles Highley of Fort Lauderdale birdied his final hole to win by one stroke. Delray Beach's Bob Ornitz was runner-up.

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