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South Pasadena squad captures father/son win

The McCarthys of South Pasadena, Vaughn, 58, and Kyle, 22, etched their names onto the new trophy in the Father/Son Team Championship of Tampa Bay.

The 36-hole tournament was played last week at Tarpon Woods Country Club in East Lake.

In the first round, a scramble format, the McCarthys jumped out to an early lead with 5-under 31 on the front nine. They birdied No. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9, then added to their advantage with birdies on 10, 13 and 16. With no bogeys, that left them with an 8-under 64.

The formula was simple, said Vaughn, who plays out of Pasadena Yacht and Country Club.

"I drove first and kept the ball in play," McCarthy said. "That allowed Kyle to bomb away knowing I was safely in play. Some of his drives went 300 yards, giving us better opportunities to go for the pin."

The McCarthys carded 1-over 73 the second day in an alternate-shot format for a 137 total and 2-stroke margin over Joe and Dennis Williams of Tarpon Springs. Chris and Ken Fawcett of the host club finished third at 145.

The highlight of the McCarthys' second round was Vaughn sinking a 40-foot putt for birdie on the 175-yard par-3 fourth hole.

Vaughn, an architect who also coaches prep golf at Canterbury School, said he wasn't surprised by his team's opening-round score. At Pasadena, he said he and his son crafted a winning 12-under 60 a few years ago.

"Kyle plays to a 2-plus handicap, has won the club championship four times and the (St. Petersburg) city championship in October," Vaughn said. "He qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship at Winged Foot (N.Y.) last year and is playing great. He may turn pro this year."

Host pro Greg McClimans joined his 14-year-old son, Gregory, to win the pro division with a two-round 142. Tampa's Mick McClimans, Greg's brother, teamed with Tyson for the net title with a 128, the same score posted by William and Taylor Hancock of Clearwater and George and Chris Lufkin of Palm Harbor.

To break the tie, scores on the No. 1-handicapped hole, the par-5 third, were compared. The McClimans' par prevailed.

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP: Defending champion Juice Ahern defeated Jerre Pease on the 18th green, 1-up, in a semifinal for the Tarpon Wood title Sunday.

NEW YEAR'S INVITATIONAL: The 79th annual classic, first played at Lakewood Country Club in 1927, resumes Thursday at renamed St. Petersburg Country Club.

Tournament director Richard Hope will have a full field of 128 players. The championship flight will be the low 50 competitors and ties after 36 holes. The senior championship will be comprised of the low eight men 55-and-over after 36.

Last year's winner, Brandt Snedeker, a 2004 All-American at Vanderbilt, won't defend since he's playing on the Nationwide Tour. However, the 2003 winner, John Holmes of the University of Kentucky, is in the fold.

Among the other top players are:

+ Luke List. The Vanderbilt sophomore finished third last year and was runner-up in the 2004 U.S. Amateur, including a Round-3 win over Holmes. List's high finish earned him an invitation to April's Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga.

+ Jeff Overton. The senior at Indiana was a semifinalist in last year's U.S. Amateur.

+ St. Petersburg's Mike Barbosa. The Georgia Tech junior won the Cardinal Amateur in Greensboro, N.C., last summer.

Other college standouts include Palm Harbor's Jason Elliott (USF) and Florida's Duke Butler IV.

The top seniors include defending champion Don Lucas of Tampa, Mike Walters, Doug Root, Phil Leckey and Christopher James, who's coming in from Idaho.

TRANSITION: Bill Conway, director of golf at Belleair Country Club, has stepped down after 42 years. Jim Slattery, the club's head pro, took over on Jan. 1.