TAMPA, Florida (Feb. 27, 2016) -- Don't
tell Nicholas Mullhaupt he was facing the top ranked
Mid-Amateur in the world.
He wasn't hearing any of it on Saturday at
Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, a gorgeous track
that's almost the polar opposite of the Tour/Resort
course you see them playing at the Honda Classic
this weekend. With old growth trees dripping with
moss, and a classic layout, Palma Ceia is no
pushover, but it doesn't have a "Bear
Trap." No island green either. Opened for play in
1916, it is Tampa's oldest golf club.
Mullhaupt made his presence known by posting
the tournament's lowest score, a 3-under 67 on the
par-70 layout. The back nine was where the Palm
Desert, California resident really turned it on,
posting 3-under 32 after a 35 on the front.
Mullhaupt waited for the final group to come in.
(36-hole leader Bob Royak of Georgia, Derek
Meinhart of Illinois, and Harvey.)
Harvey -- the defending champ and No. 1 player
in the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Am
Rankings -- was 2 shots clear of him at the
beginning of the day. He put up a 1-under 69 that
was good enough for a tie. And here's the thing --
Harvey had just birdied the 483-yard 18th hole in
regulation to get into the playoff.
Alas, Harvey was out of gas as they went back
to play it again, and Mullhaupt won it with a par after
Harvey, facing a right-to-left wind, pulled his tee
shot out of bounds.
"The O.B. is just five yards off the fairway on No.
18," said Mullhaupt. "He just started his ball a little
too far left."
Mullhaupt credited his accuracy on winning the
"Any time you go 54-holes [at Palma Ceia]
without losing a ball, it's pretty good."
Billy Mitchell of Roswell Georgia had a solid finish,
taking solo third at 6-over 216. Bob Royak, the 36-
hole leader, was right in contention before being
done in by a triple bogey six on the 201-yard par 3
16th hole. He took 4th place at 7-over 217.
Jack Hall, a local legend in Savannah, Georgia, was
the low senior (and T5th overall with Derek
Meinhart), at 8-over 218.