FORT MEYERS, FL (January 9, 2017) -- In 2016 Mike Occi knocked on the door a number of times but he couldn't break into the win column. Occi finished tied for second at the Kingsway Senior Invitational and third at this very event, the Gateway Senior Invitational. Overall Occi earned six top-10 AmateurGolf.com Ranking event finishes but he couldn't pick up a win.
Now with one round remaining at the 2017 Gateway Senior Invitational Occi has a chance to break into the AmateurGolf.com Ranking win column for the first time since 2015. Entering the second round at Gateway Golf & Country Club Occi, from Columbia, MD, trailed by four-strokes but a day two 4-under 68 moved him to the top of leaderboard at even-par. Occi's 68 was the round of the tournament.
First round leader and defending champion Sam Till Jr. (Fort Wayne, IN) was 2-under after the first day before shooting a 4-over 74 that dropped him to 2-over and second place.
After Till Jr. comes some separation as we find third place Steve Groom (Raytown, MO) six shots behind at 6-over. Allen Barber (Yorktown, VA), Robert Polk (Bonita Springs, FL), Owen Joyner (Bonita Springs, FL) and Jim Starnes (Ft. Myers, FL) are tied for fourth at 7-over.
In the Super Senior Division Bill Everett (Hebron, NH) has taken over the lead. Everett is 4-over and ahead of three others by a shot. The second place 4-over trio is comprised of Tom Elfers (Estero, FL), George Washburn (Frederick, MD) and John McCreary (Lehigh Acres, FL).
Edward Craig (Orlando, FL) will carry a one-stroke advantage into the final round of the Legends Division. With rounds of 77-76 Craig sits at 9-over.
Jeff Belfore (Naples, FL) and Bill McDonald (Topeka, KS) are both 10-over and sharing second. McDonald had an impressive turn around in the second round, shooting an even-par 72 one day after posting an 82.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Defending champion Sam Till Jr. has picked up where he left off at the Gateway Senior Invitational. The 2016 champion from Fort Wayne, IN opened the 54-hole tournament at Gateway Golf & Country Club with a 2-under 70 to take a three-stroke lead after the first round.
Till entered play this week just days removed from a T3 showing at the Old Corkscrew Senior.
Robert Polk (Bonita Springs, FL) shot a 1-over 73 and is in second place, Mike Occi (Columbia, MD) and Owen Joyner (Bonita Springs, FL) are tied for third following 2-over 74's while Allen Barber (Yorktown, VA) and Herb Fisher (Woodlands, TX) after 3-over 75's are sharing fifth.
In the Super Senior Division is it is Jim Kamis (Marietta, GA) holding a one-stroke lead over the duo of George Washburn (Frederick, MD) and Rick Bauch (Naples, FL). Kamis began his tournament with a even-par 72.
The pace setter in the Legends Division is currently GM Bingman (Medina, OH) who shot a 3-over 75 on Sunday. With a 5-over 77 Edward Craig (Orlando, FL) is currently in second place.
ABOUT THE Gateway Senior Invitational
Second tournament of the major senior amateur
season. 54-hole stroke play tournament with Senior
(ages 55+), super senior (65+), legends (70+) and
super legends (75+) divisions.
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