July 20, 2006

Warner Wins Senior Match Play on 20th Hole

Berger Warner defeated Bruce Scamehorn making birdie on the 20th hole to capture the inaugural Senior Amateur Match Play Championship.

Berger Warner, 57, of Ocala, faced the 2004 Senior Amateur Stroke Play Champion Bruce Scamehorn, 58, after each won four matches to advance to the finals. In the final match, Scamehorn was 2 up after the first two holes and then Warner went on a run to win the next five holes. Scamehorn birdied holes 9 and 11 to close the gap to 1. Warner won the 12th hole to go 2 up after Scamehorn landed in the hazard. Scamehorn won 13 and sank an eight foot birdie putt on 16 to tie the match. On 17, Scamehorn made a great up and down out of the bunker to halve the hole while Warner made the great up and down on the 18th hole to halve the hole to push the match to extra holes. Both players made par on the 19th hole to continue on. Playing the par 5, 2nd hole, both players hit wedge shots to within 18 feet of the hole to make the green in three. Warner drained his putt for birdie and Scamehorn putted next, lipping out to give Warner the win. “I’m ecstatic and shocked,” said Warner. “Bruce is a true gentleman and I was honored to play him and it’s an even greater honor to beat him.” Warner has been playing in FSGA events since the 1970’s and this is his first State Championship title. “I just wanted to be competitive,” said Warner. “My goal was to get into the Championship flight where in match play anyone can beat anyone.”

In the Super Senior Division, Mike Craven, 66, won the title over Phil Leckey 2 and 1. Craven, of Naples, upset the top seed in the quarters and went on to beat Rennie Law, the 2005 Super Senior Amateur Champion, in the semifinals en route to playing Leckey, 65, of Tampa, in the final match.

It took 19 holes for Harvey Barish, 64, of Hollywood, to win the Senior Division first flight against Doug Ballenger, 55, of Port St. Lucie. William Anthony, 60, of Jacksonville, claimed the Senior Division second flight versus Dave Budney, 59, of Bayonet Point, winning 2 and 1.

To be eligible, players must have reached 55 years of age by July 16, 2006. All players traveling to Cypress Run Golf Club played an 18-hole seeding round and at least one round of match play. After the 18-hole seeding round, the field of 80 (64 Seniors and 16 Super-Seniors) was seeded into a Senior Division Championship flight of 32 players and two additional flights of 16 players. Also, the 16 Super-Seniors were seeded into a Super-Senior Championship flight. Ultimately, there will be a Senior Amateur Match Play Champion and a Super-Senior Amateur Match Play Champion from each Championship flight.

Cypress Run is set among beautifully wooded terrain and is considered one of the best designed and maintained courses in the Tampa Bay area. The fairways are wide, but lined with towering cypress and oak trees. The signature hole is #18, a 433-yard, par 4, featuring a dogleg right fairway and a green that is guarded in front by Hollins Creek.   

For tee-times, pairings, and complete results, please visit www.fsga.org.

Organized in 1913, the Florida State Golf Association is a not-for-profit organization that governs amateur golf in the state of Florida. In addition to conducting 22 championships for amateur golfers in the state, the FSGA is responsible for more than 40 qualifying tournaments for USGA National Championships and the Florida Junior Tour. The FSGA also maintains the USGA Handicap System, performs course ratings throughout Florida and assists in junior programs and scholarships. 

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