Preparations for the final round of the Winter Park Amateur Championship got underway well before sunrise Sunday morning. The hardworking crew at the Winter Park Country Club revved up the equipment before five AM, completely ignoring the fact that the weather forecast called for more than an 80% chance of rain.
The hard work paid off, when the course handled morning drizzles and off and on heavy downpours to make the completion of the tournament possible.
The sun itself, chose not to make an appearance for much of the morning, and delays began immediately for the previously scheduled seven AM start.
An anxious field with Divisions spanning from junior girls/boys, ladies, and men all waited patiently, as golfers are prone to do. Their patience also paid off, and those who had not previously withdrawn, were each able to complete their respective rounds.
By mid-afternoon Sunday, winners from each of the four divisions were decided.
Junior Girls Champion Dina Rami fired a final round 45, winning her Division by nine shots over the closest competitor. With her 18-over two day total gross of 88, Rami would have finished 31st in the Men’s Division. That’s better than eight of the 39 men who completed the tournaments required 18-holes.
Junior Boys Champion, Alexander Hall, tied his Saturday one-under 34, finishing his 18-holes in two-under (68). Hall was one of only six competitors in the entire field to shoot under par for the tournament.
Women’s Champion, Bella Dovhey, bettered her division by 14 shots with a remarkably consistent score of even par (35) to finish with a two day total of even par, 70.
Even more remarkable, is the fact that Bella Dovhey is just ten years old, an age more likely suited for the Junior Girls Division. As a member of the Women’s Division, Dovhey was required to use a set of tees that are set farther back than anyone else in the Junior Divisions. Dovhey’s score of 70 would have been good enough for a 6th place finish in the Men’s Division.
Men’s Champion, Steve Davey, used a 1-under par final round 34 to combine with Saturday’s 4-under 31, for a two day total of 65. Davey edged Wil Torres’ two day total of 66 by a single shot. The tournament was decided on the 18th and final green of the entire championship, where Torres’ birdie putt that would have forced a playoff with Davey, slid by the cup from just a few feet away.
Rounding out the top five of the Men’s Division, and also representing the only other players to complete the tournament under par, was Reed Berry (67), Lou LeTellier IV (67), and Charlie Fitzgerald (69).
As the tournament’s main beneficiary, The First Tee of Central Florida was well represented among players, score keepers, spectators and volunteers throughout the weekend. Proceeds raised were donated back to the organization during the closing ceremonies.
Executive Director of The First Tee of Central Florida, Tom Lawrence, also detailed some of the tremendous opportunities facing some the programs recent graduates. A terrific ending to a job well done by all involved throughout the entire weekend.
The third annual Winter Park Amateur Golf Championship will take place again in 2019.