(Photo by Florida State Golf Association)
NAPLES, Fla. — Gordon Marshall, of Sarasota, put together a solid performance of golf during each round en route to capturing his first Florida Senior Amateur Championship. Marshall opened with a strong first round two-under par score of 70 to find himself tied for second place, two shots off the lead, entering the second round.
Day two marked Marshall’s worst round but he managed to post an even par score that boosted him into first place. Over the course of two days, Marshall recorded eight birdies and one eagle giving him momentum for the final round. Entering the final round, first round leader, Buddy Alexander, and Peter Wegmann stood tied for second place one shot behind Marshall.
Marshall, Alexander, and Wegmann stood on the first tee making up the final group on Thursday. Marshall bogeyed the par four, third hole but turned around and made two birdies to finish his first nine holes one-under par. Sneaking up the leaderboard was Owen Joyner, of Bonita Springs, who carded three birdies in his first nine moving ahead of Wegmann who fell behind after two bogies on the front nine. Alexander started the final nine holes on fire with back-to-back birdies on holes nine and ten.
Marshall never let his foot off the accelerator and started a train of birdies on holes 13, 15, 16, and 18. Despite Alexander’s consistent play and two birdies on the back nine he could not catch Marshall and finished six shots behind in second place. Joyner followed closely with a two-under par final nine score to finish tied for third with Rokki Rogan, of Fort Myers. Rogan put on an impressive show on the back nine with three birdies in a row for a final round 72, tournament total 217. Peter Wegmann finished tied for sixth with scores of 70-73-76 -- 219.
Gordon Marshall’s flawless final nine hole score of 32 simply described his tournament play. He was the only player to shoot even par or better for three rounds (70-72-67), which lead him to a tournament total 209 and a victory. 2014 Senior Amateur Champion, Pete Williams, and 2013 Senior Amateur Champion, Doug LaCrosse, finished tied for 10th and 14th respectively. Gordon Marshall was crowned 2015 Senior Amateur Champion, Thursday, April 16th.
Since the number of entries received has always surpassed the capacity of the Championship, a qualifying stage was instituted in 2005. While 50 players earned exempt status through a variety of different means, just about 300 participants attempted to qualify at one of six sites across the state, as competitors played 18 holes of stroke play hoping to advance to the Championship. Participants must be 55 or older to participate in the Championship.
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