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Zylstra Breezes to Senior Azalea Win

CHARLESTON, SC (October 2, 2009)--Friday was quite a day for Bill Zylstra of Plymouth, Mich. He celebrated his 58th birthday by winning his second Azalea golf title of the year with a final-round 69 at the Country Club of Charleston and then headed south to Kiawah Island where he will be competing in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship that begins today.

Zylstra, the country's No. 2-ranked senior amateur going into this week's Senior Azalea, finished the 54-hole championship with a 7-under-par total of 206, three strokes better than runner-up Bill Palmer of Bluffton. Ron Carter of Monticello, Ind., was third at 72-211.

Spencer Sappington of Alpharetta, Ga., captured the Super Seniors title for players 65 and older, vaulting from the pack with a closing 4-under 67 for a 210 total, four shots better than Tom McLean of Greenville, N.C.

"It's not easy playing with the lead," said Zylstra, who won the Florida Senior Azalea title in Palatka, Fla., earlier this spring.

Zylstra said being in the lead can make a golfer play too conservatively in an effort to avoid mistakes, whereas coming from behind allows him to be more aggressive. "Thank goodness I was hitting it good," he said. "The hardest thing to do is not screw up."

Zylstra made only one bogey Friday, on the par-4 fourth hole. But that came on the heels of a birdie at the par-3 third, and he followed the bogey with a birdie on the par-5 fifth. His only other birdie came on the par-4 16th.

Zylstra praised the membership and staff at the Country Club of Charleston for their hospitality and gave the course high marks for its conditioning. "I don't think I'll have any problems adjusting to the greens (at Kiawah)," he said, referencing the U.S. Mid-Am, where he will be one of the older contestants. "It's like bringing a knife to a gun fight. It's going to be fun, but I have no expectations."

--Gus Sylvan of Columbia scored a hole-in-one on the Country Club of Charleston's signature, par-3 11th hole, and it helped Sylvan to the best round of the day in the regular division, a 3-under-par 68, and a tie for ninth in the tournament at 216. Sylvan used a 5-iron to record the ace on the hole, which was playing 183 yards. His playing partners were Gary Strickfaden and defending champion Steve Johnson.

SENIOR DIVISION

Bill Zylstra, Mich. 71-66-69--206
Bill Palmer, Bluffton 67-72-70--209
Ron Carter, Ind. 71-68-72--211
Jerry Hudgins, Houston 71-70-71--212
Pete Allen, Southport, N.C. 71-73-69--213
Phil Pavoni, Macon, Ga. 71-71-71--213
Frank Ford III, Charleston 72-72-71--215
Ray Womack, Burlington, N.C. 71-68-76--215
Steve Johnson, Wis. 72-75-69--216
Gus Sylvan, Columbia 75-73-68--216
Dan Alpha, Texas 69-75-72--216
Randy Sonnier, Texas 71-72-73--216
A.B. Sisco, Pensacola, Fla. 74-70-72--216
Ron Carpenter, Creedmoor, N.C. 70-71-75--216
Corky Nelson, Dallas 71-74-72--217
Jerry Greenbaum, Atlanta 69-73-75--217
Frank Wrenn, Greenville 70-70-77--217
Kim Mansfield, High Pt., N.C. 73-72-73--218
Gary Kirwan, Texas 74-72-72--218
Bob Varn, Orangeburg 73-76-70--219
Gary Strickfaden, Pinehurst, N.C. 75-73-71--219
Fred Peel, Chipley, Fla. 70-75-74--219
Jim Smith, N.Y. 74-76-70--220
Jim Rollefson, Wis. 74-72-74--220
John Dennis, Greenville 72-75-73--220
Thomas Ford, Wadmalaw 74-71-75--220
Greg Scurlock, Augusta 74-70-76--220

SUPER SENIOR (65 and older)

S. Sappington, Alpharetta, Ga. 72-71-67--210
Tom McLean, G'ville, N.C. 70-72-72--214
Steve Pachol, Columbia 73-71-71--215
Ed Craig, Orlando 69-72-74--215
Don Wood, Louisville, Ky. 72-73-71--216
Charles McClaskey, Md. 72-67-77--216
Rich Anderson, Minn. 71-77-70--218
Bob Hullender, San Antonio 75-70-73--218
Skip Snow, Dayton, Ohio 73-73-72--218
Walt Martin, Oakton, Va. 74-74-73--221
Buddy Brooks, Cheraw 74-73-74--221
ABOUT THE Senior Azalea Invitational

54 hole stroke play on a 1925 Seth Raynor design.

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