ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Jan. 7, 2011) -- University of California golfer Brandon Hagy took the 36-hole lead at the New Year's Invitational on Friday, posting his second straight round in the 60's, a 4-under 68.
Hagy, an active member of amateurgolf.com who won the 2009 Christmas Classic in Monterey, is a 7-under par with one round to play, one ahead of Charlie Bull. Another stroke back is the very accomplished Arnond Vongvanij. The final round should be a shootout.
Michael Barbosa -- a former Georgia Tech player who resides nearby and was leading the overall tournament as well as the Mid-Am field -- posted a 73 and is tied for fourth overall and now just two in front of Billy Williamson (another amateurgolf.com member) who posted a solid 70 on Friday to make a move.
Stewart Sierra leads the Senior Division by two over Ian Clarke.
* *To view leading scores from Championship, Mid-Am, and Senior Divisions, click on the results link at the bottom of this page. * *
ABOUT THE NEW YEAR'S INVITATIONAL:
The New Year's Invitational has been held every year since 1927. It is the oldest continuously-running invitational tournament in the Southeast and one of the oldest in the country. Originally it was one of a number of tournaments held in the winter months at clubs around the area. The other events, in fact several of the other clubs, are long departed.
The tournament was a match play event from its inception until 1956. The first winner was Clearwater resident A.T. Cooper. The 1928 winner, Johnny Revolta, was a combination course ranger - locker room attendant at Lakwood Country Club at the time he won. Later, Revolta became a very successful professional, winning the PGA Championship in 1935 and establishing quite a reputation as as short game instructor. In 1938 he celebrated his return to St. Petersburg and Lakewood with a win at the St. Pete Open, a regular stop on the fledgling PGA tour.
Bob Goalby was the first winner after the change to stroke play. He went on to a lengthy PGA career which included a 1968 Masters green jacket. Between 1972 and 1991, Buddy Alexander, son of our longtime pro Skip Alexander, won 6 titles, the most wins for any player since the World War II era.
During the past two decades the championship has been dominated by collegiate players including winner Ryuji Imada in 1996, Jeff Klauk in 2000 (with a tournament record 21-under par 267), J.B. Holmes in 2003, Brandt Snedeker in 2004 and Jeff Overton in 2005.
The top-ranked amateur in the world by Golfweek/amateurgolf.com
-- Peter Uihlein -- won the event in 2009 but is not in the field this year. (He's practicing with other potential Walker Cup hopefuls at nearby Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa.)