Steady play made the day for West Coast Women's champion Pat Rogers of Tampa Palms in Friday's final round at Lake Jovita in Dade City.
After opening with 1-over 73 on Thursday, Rogers found herself in an enviable position with a six-stroke lead over co-runnerups Leslie Roberts of the Bayou Club and Jeanne Rothe of TPC Prestancia in Sarasota.
But knowing that large leads can evaporate quickly over 18 holes, Rogers set out to play steady and commit to damage control.
"I knew they (closest competitors) had a lot to make up so I tried to keep it in the fairway and just go for the greens," said Rogers, whose best previous finish in the annual event held since 1940 was third place. "I could handle a bogey here and there but not any big numbers if I wanted to stay in the lead."
Rogers did just that, throwing in two birdies on par-5 holes, the same number she had Thursday when she got off to a strong start.
"I've been working on my game a lot this year, taking lessons and playing more often than weekly since I retired from my corporate job in Tampa," Rogers said. "I came into the tournament hoping to capitalize on my increased focus on the game. My course management enabled me to win it."
Rothe took second, shooting 80 for 159 followed by Roberts (166) and Trish Boyington (169) of Tara in Bradenton. Vickie Stafford of Cypress Run stepped down as president of the association and Pat Bethune of Hunter's Green was elected. Stafford announced the Bayou Club would host the 2008 championship.
CGA: It's not often that a senior division player in the county association outscores the regular division winner when they are playing from the same tees. But that's what happened last week at Seminole Lake Country Club when J.R. Robertson, 55, of Safety Harbor shot 3-over 75 for the best score of the day from the white tees. The day's second-best score, 78, was posted by John King of Tampa.
"Anytime you beat John King you've done something," said Robertson, referring to a former winner of the CGA's senior championship. "I only had one birdie in the round but lots of pars."
Robertson said he has been playing golf for 53 years, starting at age 2, the same as Tiger Woods.
"My father got me started early," said Robertson, who went on to fame, but not fortune, playing college football for the University of Tennessee. "I enjoy the CGA program a lot."
Jim Robinson of Seminole won (79) the regular division. Kurt Demarr was the net winner with 63 with William Gill taking that division among seniors with 65.
In Monday's better-ball match at East Lake Woodlands, Tim Deleon and Juice Ahern won with 67, one stroke better than the senior team of Tony Spada and Raymond Ludwin. There was a tie for net honors between Pat Connolly and John Reynonds (63) and the team of Dave Scott with Bill Fulford.
DUNEDIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The Electrical Construction and Communications Company's scramble team of Bob Schaeffer, Wayne Bibelhauser, Dave Fox and Gary Newsome won at Dunedin Country Club with 9-under par. Dave Carson led his pest control company to second place, 4 under, with teammates Jack Carson, Dunedin mayor Bob Hackworth and city commissioner Dave Eggers.
Don Pedretty of Dunedin aced the 152-yard No. 6 hole. And club president Warren Wiley used his practice putting green knowledge to win a contest among 50 players by sinking the twisting 27-footer.
COMING UP: Belleview Biltmore hosts the April match of the Pinellas Men's Interclub Association on Monday at 1 p.m. After seven matches, Countryside clings to the lead with 49.5 points ahead of Seminole Lake (45.5) and third-place Cove Cay, 44. ...On May 5, the Dunedin Invitational will be held at Dunedin Country Club. For details, call the pro shop at 733-7836 or Wayne Campbell at 733-4007.