April 18, 2001

Defending Champ Stretches Lead at State Senior

A 2-under par 70 puts Joseph Cristillo Jr. ahead by 6 strokes.

Defending champion Joseph Cristillo Jr. of Crystal River stretched his lead to six strokes Wednesday with a 2-under par 70 in windy conditions at Riverwood Golf Club. He is trying to become only the third player in the 34-year history of the Florida State Senior Championship to defend his title.

Cristillo also has a great shot at the lowest 3-day total in the history of the State Senior. If he shoots at least a 78 during his final round, he will break the 214 record total set by Jupiter's Bill King in 1996 and 1998 and Tampa's Dick Goerlich in 1989.

Palm City's Jim Applegate shot a 2-over par 74 to stay in second place at 141, Mt. Dora's Curt Madson shot even par to move into a third-place tie with Sarasota's Ron Clayton (71-71) at 142.

Bill King, who is trying to join Clearwater's Jack Veghte and Ocala's Bo Williams as the only three-time champions of the State Senior, posted a 3-over 75 to drop into a 6th place tie at 144.

New Smyrna Beach's James Brown made the biggest move on Wednesday. After posting a first round 77, Brown shot the low round of the day with a 5-under par 67 to move into a tie for 6th place.

Ocala's Moot Thomas held the lead in the Super Senior Division with a 7-over par 79. He is one stroke ahead of Tampa's Walter Baldwin and Riverwood Golf Club member Hal Knuth.

Eighty-one year old Bob Wallace of Pensacola has shot below his age in both rounds of the championship. He followed his first-round 79 with an 80 on Wednesday to stand in a tie for 6th place.

The field is made up of 156 of the state's top amateurs age 55 and over. The third and final round will be on Thursday with a morning and afternoon wave.

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