Florida Hickory Golfers acquitted themselves admirably at the Inaugural Florida State Hickory Open on May 24 and 25, by notching wins in three or four divisions. The event was held in the prestigious (and Donald Ross-designed) Sara Bay Country Club in Sarasota on May 24 and May 25. FHG winners included Will Peterson who clinched the Open championship with impressive scores of 72 / 79, besting FSGA President Kevin Hammer by just one stroke. The Winter Park duo of Rich Grula and Natalie Wells took top honors in the mens and ladies Stableford divisions, with Natalie capturing her victory by one stroke with a net eagle on the final hole. Rounding out the tournament winners was Bailey Wiegandt of Louisville, Ky., who won the Women’s Open division.
On the professional side, first-time hickory striker James Leadbetter lead the way while FHG fellows Jeremy Moe and Tom McCrary finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. FHG’s Alice Brown was the top female pro. More strong finishes came from “Hickory” Bill Geisler, who played as an amateur in the Open division and tied McCrary, and Charles “Mike” Johnson who, in his first hickory tournament, registered an impressive Runner Up finish in the Men’s Stableford division by staying ahead of surging late finishes from Michael Shiff and Gary Cole.
Click here for complete coverage of the Florida Hickory Open on the FSGA website.
Big thanks to the Florida State Golf Association for conducting a fantastic tournament at Sara Bay Country Club and for all their support of hickory golf in the state of Florida. The Florida Hickory Golfers are lucky to have a such a supportive state organization, the first in the nation to include hickory golf in their extensive schedule of golf events each year.