Gasparilla Invitational: 3 Way Tie with 18 Holes to Go
Expect a shootout in the final round at Palma Ceia (Gasparilla photo)
Expect a shootout in the final round at Palma Ceia (Gasparilla photo)

TAMPA, FL (February 23, 2018) - The leaderboard compressed during round two of the Gasparilla Invitational, as the leaders were unable to separate themselves, setting up a race to the finish at Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club.

Darin Goldstein (New York, NY) entered the day with a one-shot lead after an bogey-free 5-under 65 in round one. Friday's round was more turbulent, with 3 birdies and an eagle offset by three bogeys and a double. He started with a double on 1 and a bogey on 2 to lose his lead, but eagled the 3rd to settle himself, and traded birdies and bogeys the rest of the way en route to a 1-over 71. At 4-under 136, Goldstein is still in the top spot but he now has company.

Related: Flawless Darin Goldstein leads Gasparilla Invitational

Playing with Goldstein, it was Phil Caravia (St. Louis, MO) who grabbed the lead early on day two, going three under over his first five holes, but he gave them all back in the middle of his round and had to settle for a solid 70 that leaves him tied with Goldstein.

The third co-leader is Mike Finster (St. Petersburg, FL), who birdied two of his final three holes for a 4-under 66.

The only player to break par over the first two rounds is the 2017 Florida Mid-Amateur Stroke Play champion Marc Dull, who sits at 3-under 137 after rounds of 69-68. He is tied with Joe Alfieri (Lutz, FL) and Derek Busby (Ruston, LA) who had the low round of the tournament so far, a 6-under 64 that featured 8 birdies.

Doug Hanzel (Savannah, GA) will have a chance for the double--a win in the both the Championship and Senior divisions. The 2017 AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of the Year turned in an even-par 70 despite two sixes on the card, and is at 2-under 138 and just two shots back of the overall lead. With defending senior champion Bob Royak (Alpharetta, GA) slipping with a 74 Friday, Hanzel has a five-shot lead in the senior competition, with Peter Detemple (Lexington Park, MD) and Gene Elliott (W. Des Moines, IA) six back.

Reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Matt Parziale (Brockton, MA) shot an up-and-down round of 70 to remain at 1 under for 36 holes and three shots behind the leaders. Parziale had five birdies and five bogeys on the day.

Nick Mullhaupt (Indian Wells, CA) saw his chances of a third straight Gasparilla win dim on Friday. Mullhaupt shot a 2-over 72 to fall to 3 over for the tournament, seven shots back and in tied 24th place.

Results: Gasparilla Invitational
1FLMarc DullWinter Haven, FL30069-68-66=203
2FLMike FinsterSt. Petersburg, FL20070-66-69=205
3NYDarin GoldsteinNew York, NY10065-71-70=206
5LADerek BusbyRuston, LA10073-64-72=209
4FLJoe AlfieriLutz, FL10070-67-70=207

View full results for Gasparilla Invitational

ABOUT THE Gasparilla Invitational

54-hole individual stroke play championship with a cut after 36 holes to the low 60 and ties. Good mix of Florida players and national competitors looking for an early season tune up. Played on a traditional, tree lined golf course that isn't very long but has small, undulating greens.

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