June 25, 2005

Abbate Continues To Lead Amateur

The Championship concludes with the final round tomorrow, Sunday, June 26.

Ryan Abbate continues to lead the 88th Florida State Amateur Championship after three rounds of play at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach.

With the final 36 holes of the Championship stretched to 7,386 yards on the Lakes course, Abbate, of Fort Lauderdale, shot an even par 72 in the third round to be in front by five strokes. Abbate’s first round score of6-under par 66 and second round 69, gives him a three-round total of 9-under par 207. Abbate goes into the final round looking to win his first Florida State Amateur Championship. Michael Nealy, of Boca Raton, and Ty Harris, of Longwood, share second place with a three-round total of 212. Nealy carded scores of 70-67-75 while Harris shot even par in the third round to move up from third place to tie for second. Harris, the 2002 Amateur Champion, recorded a 74 in the first round and made two eagles in the second round to fire a 66. Kelly Gosse, of Inverness, posted a 73 in the third round to stay in fourth place as Kyle Henderson, of Clermont, and Patrick Olive, from Holiday, are tied for fifth place at 215. Olive’s score of 69 was the low round of the day and allowed him to move from 24th place to tie for fifth. Paul Melson, from Plantation, aced the second hole in his round of even par to be tied at 19th place with six other competitors.  

Before reaching the Championship, more than 780 participants attempted to qualify at one of 13 sites across the state. In the Championship, participants play 18 holes each at the Lakes and Links courses on June 23-24. After 36 holes, 74 players at a two-round total of 151 or better advanced to the final 36 holes of the Championship on the Lakes course on June 25-26. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, Bear Lakes features two championship golf courses, the Lakes and Links. Bear Lakes hosted the Amateur in 1990 as well as the final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School in 2001. Started in 1914, the FSGA State Amateur is the oldest continuous sporting event in the state as well as the largest amateur event in Florida. Past Amateur champions include Bob Murphy, Jerry Pate, Buddy Alexander, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, and Barry Cheesman.  Spectators and media are welcome to watch the state’s best amateur golfers compete at Bear Lakes Country Club. Play begins at 8:00 am on Sunday.

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