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Butscher has slim Florida Azalea lead after back-to-back 67s
Sean Butscher
Sean Butscher

Consistency has been key for Sean Butscher around the short but quirky Palatka (Fla.) Golf Club. After back-to-back rounds of 3-under 67, the Tallahassee native will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Florida Azalea.

So far, Butscher, a former member of the Austin Peay State men’s golf team, has best managed the Donald Ross layout located just south of Jacksonville. Scores have been low, however, and Maine’s Cole Anderson is right behind Butscher after rounds of 68-67.

Familiar names – and names that top impressive amateur-golf resumes – dot the leaderboard, too. Three players are tied for third at 4-under 136. Jake Carter, Bryce Lewis and Greyson Porter are in that group. Porter is a Florida State junior who won the Orlando International Amateur to end 2018.

Another five shots down the leaderboard, U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Kevin O’Connell gained ground with a second-round 68. O’Connell, coming off starts at the Jones Cup and Gasparilla Invitational, had opened with 3-over 73.

Joe Alfieri, a Lutz, Fla., native who was top 5 at the Gasparilla Invite after holding the first-round lead, is a shot behind O’Connell after rounds of 71-71.

Results: Florida Azalea
1MECole AndersonCamden, ME30068-67-66=201
2TNJet TickleBristol, TN20071-66-68=205
T3GermanyLeon BaderGermany10070-67-69=206
T3SCJake CarterAiken, SC10069-67-70=206
5FLGreyson PorterClearwater, FL10067-69-71=207

View full results for Florida Azalea

ABOUT THE Florida Azalea

The Florida Azalea was started in 1958 as a two-man team tourney. The field has, over the years, boasted players who have gone on to greatness at the professional level. Tommy Aaron, who teamed with Dan Sykes for the 1960 Florida Azalea team title, went on to win the 1973 Masters. And Bob Murphy, winner of back-to-back Florida Azalea titles while playing for the University of Florida golf team in 1965-66, was an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour.

More recently, there is the 1997 champ Ryuji Imada of Japan.

The 220-man Azalea field competes in one of six flights. The first flight is Championship, with a cut after 36-holes. The next five flights are Net.

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