Men's Players of the Year Announced
TAMPA, Fla. - Gabriel Lench, Marc Dull, Pete Williams and Bill Barnes were named the 2018 Florida State Golf Association Men's Players of the Year. Lench was awarded the Amateur Player of the Year honor, while Dull was dubbed the Mid-Amateur Player of the Year. For the seniors, Williams was named the Senior Amateur Player of the Year and Barnes was tabbed the Super-Senior Amateur Player of the Year. The four will be honored at the Annual Dinner on November 16.
Amateur Player of the Year - Gabriel Lench
Only three times in the last 65 years has a player captured both the State Amateur Championship and Florida Open Championship, Gabriel Lench joined that list in 2018
Since capturing the 2014 Amateur Championship, Lench has found much success collegiality but had been struggling in 2018. Facing adversity again at the 101st Amateur Championship. Having held the lead on the back nine on Sunday , Lench found himself one stroke behind after Marc Dull birdied the par-5 17th hole. Lench came up clutch, hitting his approach to 6 feet and executing the putt to force a play-off. Lench would go on to win with a par on the second play-off hole.
One month later, Gabe found himself in familiar territory, but this time did not make it as interesting. Leading by one stroke heading into the final round of the 72nd Florida Open at Innisbrook, Lench never faltered. He kept a clean card on the front nine, while much of the field found trouble. On the back nine, he made his lone bogey on the 12th hole, but carded birdies on the 11th and 15th holes. The birdie on 15th put him two strokes ahead of Joe Alfieri. Lench would go on to win with a two stroke victory.
He ended the summer with a runner-up finish with Chase Ibbotson at the Four-Ball Championship.
Mid-Amateur Player of the Year - Marc Dull
Marc Dull continued his dominance as top Mid-Amateur in Florida
Dull, the 2017 Amateur Player of the Year and Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Champion, picked up 2018 right where he left off. Outside of FSGA play, he won the prestigious Gasparilla Invitational at Palma Ceia, holding off a strong national field. In March, he finished tied for third alongside partner Jeffrey Horn at the Senior/Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Dull was victorious in May at the Mid-Amateur Championship at Coral Creek Club.
In June, Dull jumped out to an early lead at the 101st Amateur Championship, and battled to hold it through the entirety of the tournament. Lench would make a crucial birdie on the 18th to force a play-off with Dull and eventually defeat Marc on the 2nd play-off hole. In USGA Championships, Dull saw success again, advancing to the final match of the US Four-Ball Championship with partner and 2016 Mid-Amateur Champion, Chip Brooke. He also advanced to match play at the US Mid-Amateur Championship.
Most recently, Dull was the Captain of the victorious North Team at the Florida Cup matches and went 3-0.
Senior Amateur Player of the Year - Pete Williams
Pete Williams earned Senior Player of the Year honors for second time with standout 2018
Williams, the 2014 Senior Amateur Player of the Year, earned the honors for a second time. Williams captured two Championships, the Senior Amateur Match Play, in June, defeating defending champion, Owen Joyner in the final. Then in September, the Juno Beach native captured the Senior Four-Ball alongside Don Whittemore.
He finished runner-up at the Mid-Senior Championship, with a closing 63 at Disney’s Palm Course, his most impressive round of 2018, and had a Roundof 16 appearance at the Mid-Amateur Championship. He also finished tied for sixth at the Senior/Mid-Amateur Four-Ball, tied for fourth at the Senior Amateur and tied for T13 at the Florida Senior Open.
Super-Senior Amateur Player of the Year - Bill Barnes
Bill Barnes found success at both Senior & Super-Senior level to earn Super-Senior Player of the Year Honors
Barnes earned Super-Senior Amateur Player of the Year honors by finding success in both the Senior & Super-Senior. He claimed his first FSGA Championship at the Senior Amateur in April, while also finishing tied for third at the Senior Four-Ball Championship. Barnes other top finishes included a tied for fourth finish at the Super-Senior Amateur and a Round of 16 appearance at the Senior Amateur Match Play.
The Bonita Springs native also qualified for the US Senior Amateur Championship and was a member of the South Team for the 2018 Florida Cup .