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Fox Hollow's Ames, Roe craft a 63

Eight birdies and 10 pars enabled perennial partners Marshall Ames and Tommy Roe of Fox Hollow in southwest Pasco to win the Florida State Golf Association four-ball regional qualifier at the TPC at Tampa Bay last Monday.

Their score of 63 advances them to the 36-hole state championship at World Woods near Brooksville on Saturday and Sunday. Last year they finished second with scores of 70 and 65.

"We're in no way going to be the favorites," said Ames, 37, a member at Feather Sound in Pinellas County. "We are going up there to have some fun. It's a great course that suits my game. But maybe we'll play as well as we have in recent team championships with the County Golf Association, which we've won three times."

Roe, 51, with a 3 handicap, contributed two of the birdies.

Ames sank putts of 10-40 feet on holes No. 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 18 for his birdies. He hit a 2-wood 240 yards into the par-5 12th hole, then two-putted for one birdie, and closed out 18 with a 40-footer over a ridge.

"At that point it was a fitting conclusion to the round," said Ames, who carries a 1 handicap. "Tommy played steady all day. He teed off first and kept it in play, thereby keeping the pressure off me.

"What also has helped my game is going back to a standard steel-shafted driver. I was using a 44{-inch graphite driver and I found that, at my height of 5-8, it was too inconsistent. What I gained in extra yardage was more than offset by inaccuracy."

Joe Barbato of Tampa and Randy Lentz of Sarasota were runners-up with a 64. Kevin Dyer and Jake Kevorkian, both of Clearwater, finished third with 65, one stroke ahead of Chris Maxson and Jerry Huston of Palm Harbor. Huston is the father of PGA Tour pro John Huston. Scores up to 73 qualified for the championship at World Woods.

ELECTION: Gregg Gagliardi, director of golf at Lansbrook, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the PGA West Central Chapter. He also is working with the Lung Association in the development of a Lansbrook charity book.

COUNTY GOLF ASSOCIATION: In a County Golf Association match at Fox Hollow on June 24, Ray Goodman, 39, of Clearwater shot a sterling 7-under-par 64 from the blue tees to finish first and set a course record.

Fox Hollow is the site of the CGA individual stroke play championship July 26-27. Frank Saxon of Clearwater is the defending champion, with Largo's John Jennings defending the senior title.

NEW TOUR: Getting paid $500 to show up at a golf tournament is rather unusual, but that's what players can look forward to as the No-Exemptions Tour (aka NEXT!) is launched in Florida by Frank and Mary Magee.

The Magees already operate the highly successful Moonlight Professional Golf Tour. Their newest venture will have its inaugural event on the Pine Barrens course at World Woods in Hernando County Oct. 15-16, and they hope to have a "major" tournament monthly come 1998.

"Moonlight serves the developing player and is growing nicely," Frank Magee said. "We had over 3,350 rounds played last year, and with over 1,800 rounds completed in the first quarter this year are on target for over 6,000 rounds in 1996.

"NEXT will bring real major league professional golf to Florida on a consistent basis, with qualifying sites around the country feeding Florida with talent for large-purse competition. The format is similar to the USGA's Senior Open qualifying scheme with single-stage format."

Qualified golfers will be paid $500 in advance to come to Florida, where NEXT purses will be guaranteed to be $840 times the number of players. Players not living close to qualifying sites, once the 20-30 sites are announced, can contact the Magees at (813) 392-5175 and a site will be arranged that is convenient. One in seven golfers will qualify under the format.

The qualifying entry fee is $300, which is comparable to other major tours, Magee said. Golfers may attempt to qualify as many times as they wish for the "majors." Orlando, Tampa and Miami likely will be qualifying sites in the state.

"We're cautiously optimistic that the concept will be tremendously successful simply because there's such a strong need out there," Magee said.