Bogeys on two of the first five holes in last Sunday'sfinal round of the Skip Alexander City Championship weren't what first-round leader Andy Boggini was looking for. But the narrowing gap with his closest pursuers didn't rattle him either.
Boggini, 38, settled down, making an eagle and two birdies on the next four holes at Mangrove Bay to make the turn in 2-under 34 and go on to win by five strokes over runnerup Dave Girouex. Though Girouex didn't qualify to play in the final foursome, his second-round 70 on Sunday, the best score of the day in the championship division, elevated him to the silver-medal position.
Boggini, a developer who moved here from Framingham, Mass., in April, was playing Mangrove Bay for the first time. A member at St. Petersburg Country Club, Boggini said he never lost his focus or got rattled.
"I know Frank (Saxon) closed the gap on me during that early stretch but I never pay much attention to what others are doing," Boggini said. "I just try to focus on my own game. ... I'm thrilled to have won and look forward to playing in other top-notch amateur tournaments in the area."
The shots of the day for Boggini on Sunday were his approach shot on the 506-yard par-5 sixth and his followup eagle putt from about 20 feet. Saxon, the defending County Golf Association champion, played steady throughout with scores of 72-73 but couldn't register enough birdies to make a serious challenge.
Saxon, 57, could have played in the senior division (55 and over) but elected to play with stiffer competition. He and Ernie Muschner (72-73) tied for third at 145. One of those top players included John Valenty, 16, a junior at St. Petersburg Catholic High. Valenty earned a spot in the final foursome with his opening round of 1-under 71. His final-round 78 dropped him to a tie for 11th at 149 with Scott Eicher and Terry Firsdon.
SENIOR DIVISION: Twenty years ago Spencer Gaylord, a fixture on area leaderboards, won the City Am Championship. This year, at age 66, he could have entered the super senior division for those 65 and over. Gaylord chose the stiffer competition and narrowly won over New Year's Invitational champion Doug Root, 143 to 144. There were 42 entries in the senior division and only 16 ages 65 and over.
OTHER WINNERS: Bob Oblinger followed his opening-round 74 with 75 to capture the super senior division with 149. And, in a field of nine women, Missy Pederson shot par 72 on Sunday to go with her opening round of 74, winning with 146. Mary Ann Petrillo posted 71 the second day but that couldn't offset her first round of 80.
CGA: Kevin Andress and Decker Todd complemented each other in a better-ball match at River Wilderness on Monday, shooting 6-under 66. Belleair's JR Robertson and Jim Hunter captured the senior title with 72. And net honors were won by Bill Maxfield and Wayne Banting (64) over the team of Paul Champigney and Fred Hanks.