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Saltmarsh and Twiner repeat as junior champs

Published Sep. 29, 2005

The two Citrus County standouts win the Tournament of Champions and the overall titles in the North Suncoast Junior Golf Association.

The North Suncoast Junior Golf Association concluded its 1999 season last weekend with its annual two-day Tournament of Champions at World Woods.

To the surprise of few, Citrus County residents Chris Saltmarsh and Rebecca Twiner again dominated in the Advanced divisions, clinching both the tournament and overall titles for the second straight year.

Twiner, an incoming senior at Crystal River who has won the last two high school district and conference titles, never trailed during her two rounds on the Rolling Oaks course. She fired a first-day 77, then bettered that by three strokes on the final day for a 151 total, four strokes better than Courtney Burdick of Indian Rocks Beach. The win was Twiner's fifth of the season, which easily clinched a second overall championship.

"It was very hot, but I just tried to stay focused as much as I could," said Twiner, who posted a 76 Wednesday at Scotland Yards Golf Club in Dade City for her fifth victory of the year in the North Florida PGA's West Central Chapter Junior Golf Association. "I only had a three-stroke lead after the first day, which I could lose in one hole. I think I've been better this year. My instructor (World Wood's Scott Wycoff) told me that I only shot in 80s once this year. Last year I only shot in the 70s once or twice."

Saltmarsh, who graduated after leading Citrus High to its second consecutive district title and who plans to attend Central Florida Community College in the fall, also held a three-stroke advantage after a first-day 77, but buried his competition on Sunday with a spectacular 70 that included three birdies on the back nine.

Saltmarsh attempted to qualify for the U.S. Amateur on July 26 at the Legacy Club in Longwood. He didn't make the final cut, but said he gleaned much from the experience and that it came in handy over the weekend.

"My goal (at the U.S. Amateur qualifying) was to make the first cut and play on the second day, and I did," said Saltmarsh, who posted rounds of 76 and 83 at the event. "I wanted to qualify, but mostly I was just playing for the experience. I was really just trying to get birdies and try some new things. It worked, because I used a lot of what I learned (on Sunday)."

Other local champions included D.J. Wheat of Citrus Springs, who won the age 13 Advanced Division with a 79-83_162; Nicholas Kane of Lecanto, winner of the 10-11 Advanced Division (nine-hole play) with a 37-36_73; and Ian Morrill of Inverness, who won the 13-18 Intermediate Division (nine-hole play) with 34-39_73.

LANGLEY MACHINERY PRO-AM: The team led by Citrus Hills pro Dan Sayadoff and including D. Torrogrosser, Bob Crowley and Chris Nast won the Langley Machinery Pro-Am with a score of 126 Friday at Inverness Golf and Country Club.

The team led by Southern Woods head pro Rick Kelso and including Brent Johnson, Skip Richardson and Dave McKean finished second at 129 and were followed by the group of Ross Neilson (Stonecrest Country Club pro), Jerry Shaw, Bill Shaw and Bill Johns (129).

Kelso claimed low-pro honors with a 70. Neilson and Sayadoff tied for second at 73, Pine Ridge's Tom Bevis took fourth with a 74, and Inverness Golf and Country Club head pro John Kelly shot 76.