Palm Beach Jr./Sr.: Wilson/Rifkin rally to win
JUPITER, Fla. (Oct. 21, 2012) -- The 18th hole was decisive Sunday as Scott Wilson of Palm Beach Gardens and Marty Rifkin of Jupiter fought back to win the 17th annual Abacoa/Junior-Senior Championship at Abacoa Golf Club.

Anders Johncke and Jimmy Key of Palm Beach Gardens, playing one group ahead of the leaders, had just finished with 131 on a final round four-ball stroke play score of 64, each counting four birdies.

This forced Wilson and Rifkin, the first round leaders, to birdie the par-4 18th to pull even. Wilson did, on a 60-foot putt, his only birdie of the day, for 66. They had opened Saturday with a modified alternate shots score of 65.

Then the two teams went back to the 18th tee to start the playoff. In order, Johncke pushed his second shot into the water right of the green, Rifkin hit 5-iron eight feet behind the hole and Key’s approach landed in a bunker left of the green. Key blasted out to within two feet, Wilson two-putted for par and Rifkin sank his birdie putt for the win.

Rifkin made the team’s five other birdies. “I should make a few from the short tees,” he said, “but Scott made some good par putts when I was in trouble.”

The seniors, 50 years and older, played the course nearly 400 yards shorter than the younger players.

It was Wilson’s fifth Palm Beach County Golf Association victory, his third this year, and the second county title for Rifkin. In April, after Wilson won the International, a Stableford points event at Eastpointe, he paired with former Rollins College teammate Michael Blum to capture the Four-Ball while Rifkin and Key simultaneously topped the Senior Four- Ball, both on the same day at Bear Lakes.

“I’ve been able to find some good partners,” Wilson said. He won two PBCGA tournaments in 2011 and is the reigning club champion at Bear Lakes.

The PBCGA season is winding down. The Tour Championship is scheduled Nov. 2-3 at Bear Lakes. Invitations will be extended this week to the top 30 junior players and 15 seniors, based on season-long points lists. The Sam Smidt Cup, a match against area club professionals, is tentative slated for December, date and site to be determined.

ABOUT THE Palm Beach Junior-Senior

The first round will be Modified Alternate Shot and the second round will be Better Ball. Open to all PBCGA members. Two Man Teams will consist of 1 senior player (50 or older) and one junior player (49 or younger). Flights will be determined by first round scores.

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