University of North Florida commit Nick Gabrelcik (Trinity, Fla.) slept on the lead for three days in a three-day tournament, the result of a rained out third round that gave him an extra day to prepare for attempting to win his first big amateur tournament.
He left no doubt that the tournament was his to win, as he turned a one-shot lead into a seven-shot romp at the New Year's Invitational at St. Petersburg Country Club.
Gabrelcik shot the low round of the day -- his second 67 in three rounds -- to pull away from the field and finish 54 holes at 11 under par. Cornell University junior Charlie Dubiel (Juno Beach, Fla.) was the runner-up at 4 under after a closing 72.
There was a five-way tie for third, including three mid-amateurs who went on to play off for the Mid-Amateur title. Troy Vanucci (Marlton, N.J.), who started the day one behind Gabrelcik but faded with a 74, got redemption in the playoff by beating Devin Hernandez and Joe Alfieri.
The Senior championship was determined after the rained-out third round, with Don Whittemore coming out on top by three shots.
DAY TWO RECAP
University of North Florida commit Nick Gabrelcik shot a 1-under 71 to get to 6 under and lead the New Year's Invitational by one shot over mid-amateur Troy Vanucci (Marlton, N.J.) at St. Petersburg (Fla.) Country Club.
Cornell University junior Charlie Dubiel (Juno Beach, Fla.) shot a 69 to pull into a third-place tie with another mid-am, Joe Alfieri (Lutz, Fa.), at 4 under par.
Three players are tied for fifth at 3 under, including Canadian Yuqi Liu (Thornhill, Ontario), who had the low round of the day with a 66.
Don Whittemore continues to lead the senior division, extending his lead to three after a second-round 70 that took him to even par for the tournament.
DAY ONE RECAP
Nick Gabrelcik shot a 5-under 67 to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the New Year's Invitational at St. Petersburg (Fla.) Country Club.
Gabrelcik, a University of North Florida commit, was the Florida State Golf Association’s Junior Player of the Year in 2019 and continued his good play into the start of 2020 at the traditional first-on-the-calendar (as the tournament's name would suggest) event.
University of Illinois junior Brendan O'Reilly and mid-amateur Troy Vanucci (Marlton, N.J.) each shot 69 to sit in a tie for second in the 72-hole event.
Vanucci leads the mid-amateur division by one shot over Miles McConell and by two over Joe Alfieri.
Stuart Sierra leads the senior division by one shot over Don Whittemore after an opening 73.
ABOUT THE New Year's Invitational
Historic invitational golf tournament that
on the Lakewood golf course in 1927. This
amateur invitational tournament -- which
top Florida amateurs and a strong group of out-of-
state players as well --
unbroken, each year although the club
later changed to St. Petersburg Country
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