CORAL SPRINGS (FL) – Doug Hanzel kept playing partner and long-time friend Jack Hall at bay Sunday to win the 83rd Dixie Amateur senior division at Heron Bay Golf Club.
Hanzel, the reigning U.S. Senior Amateur champion, closed with a one-under par 71 in windy conditions at this ClubLink facility. Hall was two shots back after a final round 73. Defending champion Brady Exber of Las Vegas improved to a 71 and captured third place at 216, one stroke ahead of Fort Lauderdale’s Rick Woulfe, who closed with a 75.
In the super senior division, Pompano Beach resident Bill Dorece had the best round of the day, a 3-under par 69 to defeat New York’s Steve Rose by one shot. Dorece had a 3-round total 216 while Rose shot 73 for second place.
“It was a little windy today,” said Hanzel in a modest understatement. The pin flags were fully extended most of the afternoon as a front was moving through south Florida. “We had a lot of cross winds which made it difficult to judge the distances.”
Hanzel and Hall have played dozens of times back home in Savannah and there is a lot of good natured kidding going on most of the time. But on the 17th hole, things turned more serious as Hall stuck his approach to within 3-feet, putting pressure on his friend who had maintained a 2-shot margin most of the day. But Hanzel gave his friend a “take that” with his approach to within 18 inches. Both made their birdie putts.
Then on the 18th, Hall again hit it stiff after Hanzel was safely on, but he missed the birdie and Hanzel two-putted for the victory.
Woulfe was only two strokes back when he chipped over the 16th green into the water and made a double bogey.
The women’s division 72-hole championship begins Tuesday with Isabelle Lendl back to defend her title. Lendl, the daughter of tennis great Ivan Lendl, came from five-shots back last year to win the title.