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Bleakley, Mitchell top fields at Connell tourney

Crystal River's Bob Bleakley and Floral City's Laura Mitchell claimed victories Sunday in the fourth annual Louis Connell Memorial Tournament at Connell Lake Golf and Country Club in Inverness. Bleakley won the men's tournament with rounds of 71 and 67 for a 138 total in the two-day event. He finished four shots ahead of runner-up Ronnie Tumlin of Palatka in gross competition.

Kelly Brady of Crystal River had a 137 for low net. Bo Williams of Ocala and Steve Buhler of Palatka tied for second low net at 139.

Mitchell, who graduated from Citrus High last spring, carded rounds of 88 and 82 for a 26-over-par 170 total, and a four-shot win over Inverness' Leslie McCue. McCue won the women's tournament in each of the first three years.

"I putted awesome both days," said Mitchell, who works in the pro shop at Seville Golf and Country Club. "I had just two three-putt greens, and it was No. 11 both days."

It was the first gross win for Mitchell, who has taken net titles in previous tournaments.

Henderson cashing in: Nancy Henderson, teaching pro at Quail Ridge Golf and Country Club, has played in two tournaments recently and cashed in both times.

In her latest outing, Henderson finished fourth and won $710 on the Central Florida Challenge Tour, a women's mini-tour event, at Windermere Golf and Country Club near Orlando. She had rounds of 73 and 74 for a 3-over-par 147 total in the tournament Feb. 13-14.

Henderson collected $200 for a second-place finish in the Black Diamond Women's Pro-am on Feb. 3. She posted a 77 then, which was two shots off the pace set by winner Sue Fulton.

Valentine event: A total of 16 teams played Saturday in the Quail Ridge Couples Valentine Tournament.

Brian and Ruth Paukstys were low gross winners with a 69. John Patrick and Dorothy Rubritz were second at 71, followed by Frank Scolaro and Gerry Parnell in third place also with a 71.

Walt and Marge Weeks took low net honors with a 58. John and Barbara Bray came in second at 60, and Al and Fay Hinz took third at 62.

Oak Hill Hospital outing: Quail Ridge will be the site of the sixth annual Oak Hill Hospital golf outing Saturday. A total of 72 players are expected to participate.

"This is largely a public-relations event for the people working at the hospital," said tournament director Harry Henwood. "It's a time when we get together and the administration shows up, too.

"We're doing a lot of construction and three of the construction gangs will have foursomes there."

The event is a four-person scramble.

Brooksville, Rolling Hills share lead: Brooksville and Rolling Hills share the lead two-thirds of the way through the season of the Central Florida Men's Golf Association. Both clubs have 5-1 records.

Brooksville knocked Sugarmill Woods out of what was a three-way tie by virtue of its 63-33 win Feb. 4. Rolling Hills kept pace by defeating Spring Hill 46.5-25.5.

In other matches of Feb. 4: Rainbow Springs downed Seven Rivers 52.5-31.5, Ocala Municipal topped Inverness 50.5-33.5, and Whispering Oaks slipped past Citrus Springs 40-38.

Whispering Oaks holds down third place at 4.5-1.5 in the association standings. Sugarmill Woods and Rainbow Springs are tied for fourth place at 4-2.

Ocala Municipal (2.5-3.5) is sixth, while Inverness and Citrus Springs are tied for seventh at 2-4. Bringing up the rear are Seven Rivers (1-5) and Spring Hill (0-6).

The next round of matches scheduled for March 4 include: Inverness at Rolling Hills, Citrus Springs at Rainbow Springs, Brooksville at Whispering Oaks, Sugarmill Woods at Ocala Municipal, and Seven Rivers at Spring Hill.

Benefit at Timber Pines: Eight professionals from the Suncoast will gather April 22-23 at Timber Pines Golf Club for the club's eighth annual golfathon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation.

"We'll start at 10 that Sunday morning and go until 11 or 12 that night," Timber Pines head pro Don Bliss said. "We'll pick it up at 7 Monday morning and finish the 24 hours.

"Our two objectives are to raise more money than last year, and finish without hurting ourselves."

Bliss said $23,176 was raised last year in the golfathon.

Participants scheduled to join Bliss include Jim Cocchi of Glen Lakes, Tim Eckstein from Black Diamond, M.G. Orender of Cypress Creek, Rick Bell from Ironwood, Rick Holt and Bruce Chaleff of Seminole Lakes, and Zephyrhills' Terry Roehrig.

Spectators will be welcome during daylight hours.

"This will be the third golfathon for me, and I absolutely enjoy it," Eckstein said. "We'll use regular golf balls and the (Timber Pines) members go around and light up the holes and greens.

"I hope we can raise about $30,000."

Tournaments: A few openings remain for the seventh annual Dunnellon Kiwanis Golf Tournament scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Rainbow Springs Golf and Country Club.

It's a two-man, best-ball tournament and will be flighted after the first round. Entry fee is $60 per person and proceeds will go to the Kiwanis Scholarship Fund at Dunnellon High School.

For more information, contact tournament director Jim Slagle at (904) 489-2826.

March 1 is the deadline to enter the 10th annual Saladino Memorial Golf Tournament at Quail Hollow. The tournament, a four-man scramble with dinner afterward, is scheduled for March 11 and has a 1 p.m. shotgun start.

Entry fee is $35 per person.

For more information, call Tammy Davis at (813) 973-1771.

Quail Hollow Golf Course will be the site for the North Tampa Chamber of Commerce tournament March 23. It's a scramble that has a 1 p.m. shotgun start.

For more information, call tournament chairman Rick Musselman at (813) 960-8496.