July 18, 2012

Field Set at Florida Open

Strong Field in for a Tough Test This Weekend

The top 156 Amateur and Professional golfers in the state will compete this week, July 20-22, with hopes of winning The 66th Florida Open Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club and Sara Bay Country Club.

Before reaching the Championship, more than 975 participants attempted to qualify at one of 16 sites across the state. In all, 30 players earned exempt status through a variety of different means. The oldest player in the field is Fred Gibson, of Orlando, who is 64 years young, while the youngest player in the field is Philip Knowles, of Bradenton, who is 15 years old.

In the Championship, participants will play 18 holes each at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club and Sara Bay Country Club on July 20-21. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 60 and ties. The final 18-holes of the Championship will be played at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club on July 22.

The 2012 amateur field features nine past State Champions including the 2012 State Amateur Champion, Chase Seiffert, of Panama City. Seiffert will be joined by the 2010 Florida Open Champion, Ben Vertz, of Coral Springs, and the 2011 Senior Player-of-the-Year Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale. Other past champions include, Ryan Abbate, of Fort Lauderdale, Joe Alfieri, of Lutz, Don Bell, of Port Orange, Tim Hume, of Tampa, Hunter O’Mahony, of Tequesta, and Jon Veneziano, of Mount Dora.
The professional field is highlighted by the Defending Champion, Rod Perry, of Port Orange.  Perry will be joined by the 2011 SFPGA Player-of-the-Year, Alan Morin, of Royal Palm Beach. Morin also finished in second place at the 2011 Florida Open Championship after Perry prevailed in a three hole playoff. Other notable players include, David Damesworth, of Orlando, Richard Terga, of Palm Beach Gardens, and Cary Splane, of Saint Augustine.

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 will be the third year the Florida State Golf Association will be conducting this great championship.

Spectators and media are welcome to watch the state’s best professionals and amateur golfers compete at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club and Sara Bay Country Club.

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