WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Sept 10, 2006) -- Deron Zendt of Jupiter earned his first Palm Beach County Golf Association title by winning the 21st annual Palm Beach County Mid-Amateur Championship on the Lakes course at Bear Lakes Country Club.
An assistant golf course superintendent at McArthur Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Zendt, 28, won five matches in three days, climaxed by a 2 and 1 victory over Mike Nealy of Stuart in the finals Sunday (Sept. 10).
It was the second time Nealy has lost in the finals of the Mid-Amateur, bowing to Jamie Krone in 2001 on the adjacent Links course. Nealy won the Palm Beach County Amateur in 1992 and has captured eight other PBCGA titles since 2000.
"I was expecting him to come out and make a bunch of birdies and run right over me," the unheralded Zendt said after the match, "especially after he got the lead. I just tried to stay as steady as possible, hang in there, keep hitting fairways and greens."
Zendt took an early lead with a chip-in birdie at the par-3 second hole, lost the par-5 third to Nealy's birdie and won the par-4 fourth when Nealy hit his drive into the water. Then Nealy birdied the next three holes and appeared to be cruising with a 2-up advantage after seven.
But just as quickly, Nealy's game seemed to fall apart. He three-putted the par-3 eighth from the front fringe, chopped up the par-4 ninth, hit his tee shots into the water at the par-4 10th and par-3 11th, then one hit into the trees right of the 12th fairway.
"I don't know what happened," Nealy said later. "I just started hitting the ball all over the place." A project manager for a construction company in Boca Raton, Nealy, 37, came back by winning the 13th on Zendt's bogey and the 16th with birdie, trailing by one with two to go. But when he bogied the par-5 17th hole from the edge of a fairway bunker, the match was over.
"It wasn't pretty at times," Zendt added. "We were both a little sluggish. Five matches in three days is a lot of golf for guys like us." The Mid-Amateur is for PBCGA members 25 years and older.
For the match, Zendt was two under par, including concessions, hitting 9 of 13 fairways and 13 of 17 greens. Nealy was three over with eight fairways and seven greens in regulation.
Zendt beat George Weston III in 21 holes, equaling the longest match of the weekend, in the first round, then ousted two Bear Lakes members, Eric Schreiber and John Arrigo. Nealy's biggest win may have been a 2 and 1 decision over former champion Rick Othmer in the semifinals. One of five past champions in the 96-player draw, Othmer was the only one to make if through the first day (Sept. 8).
Other flight winners were Ira Saltzman, West Palm Beach, first; Rick Westwood, Wellington, second; Ben Adelberg, Coral Springs, third; and Alan Harper, Palm Beach Gardens, fourth.
Next on the PBCGA tournament schedule: Sept. 16-17, Palm Beach Classic, for non-qualifiers of the County Amateur, at PGA National-Squire; and Sept. 22, Bobby Bryant Memorial Mid-Senior, for PBCGA members 40 and older, at the Turtle Creek Club. For membership information and tournament entry, go to www.pbcga.org.
Results in all flights of the Mid-Amateur with qualifying scores in parenthesis:
Palm Beach County Golf Association
21st annual Mid-Amateur Championship
Bear Lakes CC, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Lakes course, 7,026 yards, par 72, Sept. 8-10, 2006
John Whitehead, West Palm Beach (79), won by default.
John Arrigo, West Palm Beach (75), d. Jamie Krone, Delray Beach (75), 3 and 1.
Toby Athol, Boynton Beach (76), d. Bob Koepka, Lake Worth (73), 3 and 2.
Bob Harris, Palm Beach Gardens (76), d. Scott Harris, Wellington (74), 19 holes.
Robert Sina, Palm Beach Gardens (77), d. Johnny Pak, Wellington (71), 1-up.
Deron Zendt, Jupiter (76), d. George Weston III, Palm Beach (74), 21 holes. Matt Ribakoff, Jupiter (77), d. Danny Germain, Palm Beach Gardens (72), 1-up.
Eric Schreiber, West Palm Beach (76), won by default.
Darryl Osler, Boca Raton (exempt, '05 runnerup), d. Danny Getson, Royal Palm Beach (78), 19 holes.
Craig Watson, Hobe Sound (75), d. Bill Erwin, Palm Beach Gardens (75), 20 holes.
Craig Howell, Lake Worth (73), d. Scott Blaise, Lake Worth (77), 6 and 4.
Rick Othmer, West Palm Beach (74), d. Rick Wentworth, Stuart (76), 4 and 3.
Artie Scott, Tequesta (69), d. Josh Della-Pietra, West Palm Beach (77), 7 and 6.
Robert Lynch, West Palm Beach (75), d. David Dulman, Palm Beach Gardens (74), 3 and 2.
Michael Nealy, Stuart (72), d. Jose Tirado Jr., West Palm Beach (77), 1-up.
Kevin Ach, Boynton Beach (76), d. Bernard McAdoo, Wellington (74), 4 and 2.
Arrigo d. Whitehead, 3 and 2.
B. Harris d. Athol, 19 holes.
Zendt d. Sina, 7 and 5.
Schreiber d. Ribakoff, 1-up.
Watson d. Osler, 2-up.
Othmer d. Howell, 4 and 3.
Lynch d. Scott, 3 and 2.
Nealy d. Ach, 6 and 5.
Arrigo d. B. Harris, 3 and 2.
Zendt d. Schreiber, 2-up.
Othmer d. Watson, 1-up.
Nealy d. Lynch, 4 and 3.
Zendt d. Arrigo, 3 and 2.
Nealy d. Othmer, 2 and 1.
Zendt d. Nealy, 2 and 1.
Harry Cooke, Jensen Beach (81), won by default.
Tom Fiocchi, Palm Beach Gardens (80), d. Tony Dabbs, West Palm Beach (80), 3 and 2.
Al Lefevre, Boca Raton (79), d. Vince Nobile, West Palm Beach (80), 3 and 2.
Tim Koshollek, Wellington (79), d. Peter Colangelo, Atlantis (80), 3 and 2.
Ernie Ojea, Greenacres (81), won by default.
Dann Merrell, West Palm Beach (80), d. Alan LeBorwit, Boca Raton (79), 2-up.
Howard Sapper, Boca Raton (79), d. Tim Hanlon, Palm Beach Gardens (81), 1-up.
Ira Saltzman, West Palm Beach (80), d. Craig Jackson, West Palm Beach (79), 4 and 3.
Fiocchi d. Cooke, 19 holes.
Lefevre d. Koshollek, 3 and 2.
Ojea d. Merrell, 6 and 5.
Saltzman d. Sapper, 3 and 2.
Lefevre d. Fiocchi, 1-up.
Saltzman won by default.
Saltzman d. Lefevre, 1-up.
Jon Weber, Atlantis (81), d. Phil Doherty, Palm Beach Gardens (84), 5 and 4.
Paul Brinkman, Palm Springs (82), d. Brian Ross, Boca Raton (82), 3 and 1.
Greg Poore, West Palm Beach (82), d. Mike Patterson, Hobe Sound (83), 1-up.
John Sanford, Jupiter (83), won by default.
Paul Lyons, Jupiter (81), d. John Kraft, Palm Beach Gardens (81), 1-up.
Brian Coffey, Tequesta (81), d. Jim Bounds, Boynton Beach (82), 19 holes.
Scott Stowell, Royal Palm Beach (84), d. Patrick Love, Lake Worth (81), 1-up.
Rick Westwood, Wellington (83), d. Bryan Walker, Jupiter (82), 7 and 6.
Brinkman d. Weber, 1-up.
Poore won by default.
Lyons d. Coffey, 19 holes.
Westwood d. Stowell, 4 and 3.
Poore d. Brinkman, 2 and 1.
Westwood d. Lyons, 3 and 2.
Westwood d. Poore, 4 and 3.
Ben Adelberg, Coral Springs (84), d. Jay Lee, Palm Beach Gardens (88), 6 and 5.
Jack Mansmann, Boca Raton (86), d. Jim Ammon, West Palm Beach (86), 6 and 5.
Tom McConchie, Jupiter (88), d. Tony Rick, Delray Beach (85), 19 holes.
Jeff Hickman, Jupiter (85), won by default.
James Giacome, West Palm Beach (88), d. John Kilgore, Jupiter (85), 7 and 6.
Jeff Egizio, Hobe Sound (87), won by default.
Andy Randle, Boca Raton (85), d. Shayn Logan, West Palm Beach (88), 6 and 5.
Bill Weible, Palm Beach Gardens (85), d. Ron Allen, Boca Raton (87), 3 and 2.
Adelberg d. Mansman, 6 and 4.
Hickman d. McConchie, 3 and 2.
Egizio d. Giacone, 19 holes.
Weible d. Randle, 3 and 2.
Adelberg d. Hickman, 7 and 5.
Egizio d. Weible, 4 and 3.
Adelberg d. Egizio, 2 and 1.
Dana Pritts, Fort Lauderdale (89), bye.
Joe Ingarra, Palm Beach Gardens (94), won by default.
Scott Delaurier, Lantana (91), d. Jeff Higgins, Tequesta (96), 1-up.
Paul Mack, Boca Raton (95), d. Dustin Lapekas, Stuart (92), 2 and 1.
Mark Detlof, West Palm Beach (89), won by default.
Alan Harper, Palm Beach Gardens (93), d. Michael Meyer, Palm Beach Gardens (95), 19 holes.
Kevin Johnson, Jupiter (90), d. Marty Gonzalez, Palm Beach Gardens (99), 6 and 5.
Gary Harris, West Palm Beach (92), d. Aldo Butera, Boynton Beach (95), 19 holes.
Pritts d. Ingarra, 3 and 1.
Mack d. Delaurier, 2-up.
Harper d. Detlof, 21 holes.
Johnson d. G. Harris, 1-up.
Pritts d. Mack, 3 and 1.
Harper d. Johnson, 1-up.
Harper d. Pritts, 4 and 3.