57th Florida Senior Amateur: Barnes wins in Playoff
Bill Barnes won his first FSGA championship (FSGA photo)
Bill Barnes won his first FSGA championship (FSGA photo)

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (April 12, 2018) - Mayacoo Lakes Country Club was a perfect test for 139 top senior golfers to compete in the 57th Senior Amateur Championship. After 36 holes of stroke play and a cut made at 158 (+16) or better the Champion would be determined by a sudden death playoff.

The final round began with Bill Barnes, of Bonita Springs, leading by five strokes at 140 for the tournament. Barnes held onto his lead throughout the front nine, remaining two under-par at the turn, while several players started to move up the leaderboard. One of those players was Temple Terrace resident, Don Whittemore, who posted four birdies on his front nine making it his best round of the Championship.

The final nine holes served as a challenge for Barnes especially the final hole. On the par four 18th hole, Barnes laid up short of the water only to dump his third shot in the water and make an eight-foot putt for double-bogey for a final round 75 and 215 (+2) total. Within his same group, Barnes watched Whittemore come from behind with an impressive low final round of 68 (-3). Whittemore started the day seven strokes back, tied for third place, and ended the day tied for first place with Barnes.

Barnes and Whittemore went head to head in a sudden death playoff to determine who would hoist the trophy. Whittemore, who won his last FSGA Championship in 2012, was ready to end his drought while Barnes was fighting to win his first FSGA Championship.

The playoff was short lived as Barnes sealed his victory with a two–putt par on the first play-off hole, number 18. Whittemore missed his shot into the green left, putted through the green rolling to 20 feet on the fringe, and missed his par.

Barnes not only earned his first win but he is now exempt into the next ten Senior Amateur Championships, the next two Florida Senior Open Championships, as well as the 101st Amateur Championship and the 2018 Mid-Amateur Championship being played in May. David Anthony claimed solo third place, four strokes behind, with a final round 74 and 219 total. 2013 Senior Champion, Doug LaCrosse, 2014 Senior Champion, Pete Williams, Michael Mercier, and Richard Kerper tied for fourth place at 221 (+8).

Since the number of entries received has always surpassed the capacity of the Championship, a qualifying stage was instituted in 2005. While 61 players earned exempt status through a variety of different means, nearly 300 participants attempted to qualify at one of six 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.

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ABOUT THE Florida Senior Amateur

The Senior Championship is for those individuals over the age of 55. 54 holes of stroke play, with a cut to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes. Must be an FSGA member.

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