July 20, 2012

Marinell Leads Florida Open

Marinell blisters Sara Bay Country Club as many big names lurk close behind.

Chase Marinell fired a seven-under par 65 to take a one stroke lead in the 66th Florida Open Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club and Sara Bay Country Club in Bradenton/Sarasota. The Championship continues through Sunday, July 22.

Chase Marinell, of Cape Coral, leads the field of 156 players by one stroke heading into the second round of play. Marinell, who started on the back nine at Sara Bay Country Club, posted a three-under par 33 which included one birdie and an eagle on the par five 17th hole. Marinell continued his flawless round on his back nine by making birdies on 1, 3, 6, and 7, for his bogey free round of seven-under par 65. Three players are currently tied for second place after their rounds of six-under par 66, including the 2012 Florida State Amateur Champion, Chase Seiffert, of Panama City, Chris Kaufman, of Coral Springs, and Paul Scaletta, Jupiter.  Ken Martin, of Wellington, stands alone in fifth place after his round of five-under par 67 at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club. The Defending Champion Rod Perry, of Port Orange, is currently tied for 92nd place after a round of four-over par 76 at Sara Bay Country Club.

The top 156 amateur & professional golfers in the state 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. Before reaching the Championship, more than 975 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 will be the third year the Florida State Golf Association will be conducting this great championship.

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