Carley wins 50th annual Florida Senior

BRADENTON, Fla. (April 13, 2011) -- Jim Carley, of Ormond Beach, at 65 years young, outlasted the field of 144 players to win the 50th Senior Amateur Championship. Carley recorded a first round five-under par 67 in near perfect conditions to have a one stroke advantage. Carley’s opening round of 67 included seven birdies, with four in a row from holes 12-15, and just two bogies, to lead by one stroke. Carley stated, “I was trying to shoot my age for the first time, but my two three putts held me back.” Jim’s second round of three-under par 69 included four birdies, and just one bogey, to share the lead at eight-under par 136 heading into the final round.

In the final round Carley came out firing with birdies on three, four and six, but bogeyed seven and nine to turn at one-under par 35. On the back nine he would birdie number 11 to extend his lead to three shots. Coming down the stretch on the difficult finishing holes Carley would bogey number 16 and par 17 to hold a two stroke lead heading into the final hole. Carley two putted for bogey on 18 after missing the green to secure his first State Championship. Carley stated, “The highlight of this Championship was playing with the four great guys I was paired with, they were true gentleman." “I felt like an underdog out there today playing with Tim Miller and Robert Hess, they are true Champions, and I am truly honored to win this Championship.”

Gordon Marshall, from Sarasota, and Tim Miller, of Venice, finished tied for second place with a tournament total of six-under par 210. Marshall’s final round was the low round of the Championship, carding a bogey free six-under par 66. Miller the overnight co-leader and the 2008 Champion, posted round of 68-68-74. The Defending Champion, Bill Zylstra, of Ocklawaha, finished tied for fifth place after rounds of 71-69-75, for a tournament total of one-under par 215.

Since the number of entries received has always surpassed the capacity of the Championship, a qualifying stage was instituted in 2005. While 54 players earned exempt status through a variety of different means, more than 300 participants attempted to qualify at one of seven sites across the state, as competitors played 18 holes of stroke play hoping to advance to the Championship. Participants must be 55 or older to participate in the Championship. Players who advanced to the Championship compete in 54 holes of stroke play with a cut after 36 holes.

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