Abbate and Veneziano hold on to win the International Four-Ball
Pat Tallent
Pat Tallent

PALM CITY, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2012) -- Two teams that never made bogey until late in the final round were the winners Sunday in their respective divisions of the International Four-Ball golf tournament at The Fox Club.

In the mid-amateur division for players 25-54 being contested for the 56th time, Ryan Abbate of Fort Lauderdale and Jon Veneziano of Mount Dora won by just a shot despite a 13 under par 58 on Saturday. They closed with 70 for 195 with bogeys at the ninth and 11th holes and a double bogey at the par-3 15th.

That was largely due to the finish by their playing partners, baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt and Gary Nicklaus, a member of golf’s first family, both from Jupiter. At the par-5 18th, Schmidt made seven and Nicklaus had six. They closed on 68-196.

In the 21st senior division competition, 55- older, Rick Woulfe of Fort Lauderdale and Pat Tallent of Vienna, Va., played 48 holes before finishing with bogeys at the 13th and 17th holes. They had four birdies for 69-198, winning by two.

Rick Woulfe
Senior Champion
“I’ve played here a lot over the years but I’ve never played in this wind,” 20-25 miles per hour out of the south-southwest, Woulfe said. “The wind this time of year is usually north- northeast. As a result, our play was very erratic.”

“We battled a tough wind,” acknowledged Abbate, winner of the Florida State Amateur in 2005 at Bear Lakes in West Palm Beach. “We just had to grind it out. Plus, it was hard to come back mentally from a round like we had Saturday. We were both there on every hole,” in the better ball format. “ Today, we both hit the ball well but did not get the same results.”

The 58, which pulled them from two behind Friday to a lead of three heading into the final round, included eagles at the par-5 eighth and 18th holes and nine birdies.

In the senior division, the runnersup, West and Boles won the title in 2004, while Lutz and Lange, who were third, were the two-time defending champions.

It was the first time the players on either winning team had paired up in competition.

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ABOUT THE International Four-Ball

Started in 1957, the International Four-Ball is one of the most prestigious amateur events in the country. The Championship includes Mid-Amateur (ages 25-54), Senior (ages 55-64) and Legends (ages 65 and up) Divisions. All divisions compete in a Four- Ball Stroke Play format which is contested over 3 days and 54 holes. This prestigious event has a rich history, with past champions such as Jack Nicklaus, Deane Beman, Dick Siderowf, Vinnie Giles, Jim Holtgrieve and Downing Gray.

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