WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (May 1, 2005) --Steve Earsley of Stuart and Mike Nealy of Boca Raton overcame a shaky start Sunday (May 1) to win the 24th annual Arrigo Dodge Four-Ball Championship conducted by the Palm Beach County Association.
A 12 under par 60 in the scramble format on the Links course at Bear Lakes Country Club included three eagles and six birdies as Earsley and Nealy finished two groups ahead of the leaders at 196 to win by two strokes.
Martin County teenagers Brett Burton and Greg Forest, the first and second round leaders, tied for second at 198 with Scott Harris of Wellington and Bruce Sands of West Palm Beach on final round scores of 66 and 63.
Earsley and Nealy saved par at the first hole with a chip from behind the green to about a foot short of the hole, the closest they came to bogey all day. At the par-5 second, Earsley pushed his tee shot out of bounds but it bounced off the roof of a house and back into the fairway some 30 yards beyond where it might normally have stopped, Nealy said. They birdied that hole and eagled the three other par 5s, Nos. 6, 11 and 17. Their card had a dozen 3's, and six 4's.
"We both played well today, and really all weekend," Nealy said. "We both probably missed four putts inside five feet in three days. But we have a history of playing well together. We have won the National Senior-Junior Team Championship the last two years at The Dye Preserve in Jupiter.
"But the pressure was really on me in this tournament," he added with a smile. "He's the No. 1 ranked senior in the U.S. If we didn't win, it would be because I dragged him down."
It was Nealy's ninth PBCGA title, the eighth for Earsley.
Burton and Forest had six birdies, Harris and Sands nine. The first two days, Burton, 19, and Forest, 18, shot 64, four-ball stroke play, and 68, alternate shots, to lead by three heading into the final round. "We just weren't as consistent today as we were Friday and Saturday," Forest said. "We just couldn't get anything going."
It's the first year the scramble and four-ball stroke play formats were switched. "We were looking for some more excitement the final round," said PBCGA Executive Director Tommy Belen, "and it looks like we got it."
There were 62 teams in the starting field.
Next on the PBCGA tournament schedule: May 9-10, Senior Better Ball, BallenIsles CC, and May 14-15, Mid-Senior Four-Ball, Abacoa GC. For information and entry, call Belen, 561-625-0400, or go to www.pbcga.org.
Palm Beach County GA
Arrigo Dodge Four-Ball Championship, April 29-May 1, 2005
Bear Lakes CC, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Links course, 6,900 yards, par 72
(First round, four-ball stroke play; second round, alternate shots; third round, scramble).
196 - Steve Earsley, Stuart, and Mike Nealy, Boca Raton, 67-69-60. $1,500 (team).
198 - Scott Harris, Wellington, and Bruce Sands, West Palm Beach, 67-68-63. Brett Burton, Stuart, and Greg Forest, Palm City, 64-68-66. $625.
201 - Artie Scott, Jupiter, and R.J. Nakashian, Palm Beach Gardens, 65-71-65. $450.
202 - Rick Othmer, West Palm Beach, and Brandon Smith, Lake Worth, 68-70-64. Eric Schreiber and John Arrigo, West Palm Beach, 69-67-66. $325.
203 - Dave Roschman, Jupiter, and Steve Gross, West Palm Beach, 66-69-68. $250.
204 - John Pinkham, Tequesta, and Ryan Konkus, Stuart, 71-71-62. Lyle Patton and Guy Kennen, Wellington, 67-72-65. $175.
205 - Jamie Krone, Delray Beach, and John Lipari, Palm Beach Gardens, 71-71-63. $100.
207 - Michael Leighton, Palm Beach Gardens, and Marc Haisfield, West Palm Beach, 70-74-63. David and Robert Currey, Jupiter, 72-69-66. Robert and Brooks Koepka, Lake Worth, 68-69-70. $70.
208 - Tom Fiocchi, Palm Beach Gardens, and Darryl Osler, Boca Raton, 70-71-67. Gary Zentner, Palm Beach, and Darryl Kingman, West Palm Beach, 69-72-67. Jim Patrone and John Cook, Boca Raton, 71-69-68. $55.
209 - Kevin Simpson, West Palm Beach, and Brian McEntee, Wellington, 70-75-64. Steve Ashley, Lake Worth, and Cab Hargrave, West Palm Beach, 71-71-67. George Weston III, Palm Beach, and Tim Hanlon, West Palm Beach, 72-68-69. $40.
210 - Peter Fayerman and Richard Browning, Wellington, 70-72-68. $30.
Money listed awarded in merchandise certificates.