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Deraney moves into Gasparilla Amateur lead
Joseph Deraney (AGC photo)
Joseph Deraney (AGC photo)

Joseph Deraney took over the lead at the Gasparilla Invitational on Friday with a second-round 66 at Palma Ceia Golf Club in Tampa, Fla. Key in that lead change were the two birdies with which Deraney, a mid-amateur from Belden, Miss., ended his day.

Deraney opened with a 5-under 65 that left him two shots off the lead. But in the second round, he was able to leapfrog Joe Alfieri, a Lutz, Fla., resident, for the lead. Alfieri had opened with 63, but came back with an even-par 70.

After a 2018 in which Deraney, 35, won three major titles (the Canadian Mid-Amateur, Timuquana Cup and Carlton Woods Invitaitonal), this year is shaping up to be successful, too. Earlier this month, Deraney finished T-15 at the Jones Cup, which was the best finish among the Mid-Amateurs in the field.

At the end of 2018, Deraney told AmateurGolf.com that he has a goal to win each of the major mid-amateur events he’s frequenting, and as Deraney reasons, the odds are good if he continues to tee it up in those events each year. He’s always looking to add new tournaments around his family’s schedule (Deraney is a devoted dad to three children).

“If I give myself 10 shots at each tournament, maybe I can grab one victory at each place,” he said.

Two players are tied for third behind Alfieri at 5 under, and those players include Scott Turner of Stuart, Fla., and Derek Busby of Ruston, La. Reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Kevin O’Connell is solo fifth at 4 under.

Bob Royak leads the senior division after a second-round 67 got him to 3 under for the tournament. He is the only player in that division under par.

Results: Gasparilla Invitational
1FLMike FinsterSt. Petersburg, FL40070-68-64=202
T2LADerek BusbyRuston, LA30068-67-70=205
T2MSJoseph DeraneyBelden, MS30065-66-74=205
T4FLKevin O'ConnellJacksonville, FL20068-68-71=207
T4FLJoe AlfieriLutz, FL20063-70-74=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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