Palm Beach Tour Championship: Key, Powell take titles
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2012) -- Teenager Austin Powell of Jupiter and Jimmy Key of Palm Beach Gardens were the flight winners Saturday on the Links course at Bear Lakes Country Club in the third annual Tour Championship conducted by the Palm Beach County Golf Association.

Powell, 19, a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, won the regular division for players 49 and younger with 67-72—139, edging Michael Kartrude of Royal Palm Beach, who shot 71-69—140. It was Powell’s third start and third victory in PBCGA tournaments this year.

Key, 51, a former major league pitcher, shot 73-71—144 to win the senior division by two strokes. Pete Williams of Juno Beach, the two-time defending champion and tied with Key after the first round, and Tim Cox of Palm Beach Gardens tied for second at 146. Key was 186-117 in 15 seasons with Toronto, Baltimore and the Yankees when he retired in 1998.

Additionally, Kartrude and Key topped the Bankrate Cup and Braman Cup point standings, respectively, as the Tour Championship was the final event of the year. Points are awarded based on performances in PBCGA competitions during the year and should boost their chances in the Player of the Year voting later this month.

There were 19 players in the regular division and 13 seniors.

Powell said he came home a week ago (Oct. 28) to escape Hurricane Sandy and would return to college Sunday (Nov. 4). Earlier this season he won the Palm Beach County Amateur Championship and a one-day Stableford points event. Winning Saturday “is a nice way to finish the year and help me build confidence for next year,” he said. Powell had eight birdies Friday, four Saturday.

Key, playing his second year of senior golf, had one other victory this year, the Senior Four-Ball with Marty Rifkin in April on the Links. “I made a lot of good 5-6 footers for pars this week and that made a big difference,” Key said. In 36 holes, he had five birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey at the par-4 ninth hole the first round.

Kartrude, 23, a senior at Palm Beach State College, did not win a PBCGA tournament this year but had a number of top-5 finishes. He had a big chance Saturday, standing at six under par before making double bogey at the par-3 16th and bogey at the par-5 17th, then finished with his sixth birdie of the day at 18. “This is nice but I really wanted to win the tournament,” he said after being presented the Bankrate Cup. “I played well all year, I just didn’t win.”

The PBCGA season ends with the 19th annual Sam Smidt Cup matches Nov. 30 at The Fox Club in Palm Beach. Southeast Chapter pros have won nine times, the PBCGA eight and one match was halved.

ABOUT THE Palm Beach Tour Championship

36 hole stroke play championship with open, senior and super senior divisions. Entry based on performance in PBCGA events throughout the year. The field will be comprised of the top 15 Open players, the top 12 Senior players and the top 9 Super Senior players.

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