Two players with area ties are competing in this week’s United States Open.
IMG Academy alumnus Emiliano Grillo, has never played in the Open before. The Bradenton resident and Argentina native played in his first Masters this year after jumping from the Web.com Tour to the PGA Tour in 2015. He won his PGA Tour debut, too.
Ben An, who attended the former Bradenton Prep, won the U.S. Amateur in 2009, leading to his first Open appearance the following year. An missed the cut that year and at last year’s Open held at Chambers Bay.
An tees off at 8:13 a.m. off the first hole, while Grillo begins his maiden Open off No. 1 at 8:35 a.m.
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State Amateur Public Links
Bradenton’s Ryan Southworth logged the best finish among county golfers competing in last week’s Florida State Amateur Public Links Championship at Estero’s Old Corkscrew Golf Club. Southworth fired back-to-back 76s, before a final-round 83 left him tied for 21st. Lutz’s Joe Alfieri, who represented the United States in the biennial Concession Cup at The Concession Golf Club this year, recorded an eight-shot victory following a 66 in the final round.
West Florida Tour adds advisory board
The West Florida Golf Tour has an eight-member advisory board for the 2016/17 seasons, which will meet a few times a year to discuss issues affecting the WFGT. The board is comprised of: tour director Christian Bartolacci, Florida Golf Performance Center instructor Stephen Arnold, PGA Tour Canada member Chris Kennedy, WFGT member Jake Daly, WFGT member A.J. Morris, PGA Tour Latino America member Samuel Chavez, Moccasin Wallow Golf Club head pro Noah Zelnik and WFGT member Steve Sowards.
The WFGT began its summer series this week at Parrish’s River Wilderness Golf and Country Club. The 54-hole, three-day tournament concluded Wednesday and saw Kennedy, a Lakewood Ranch resident, tie for third place. The winner was Jacksonville’s Kevin Aylwin, who was a co-medalist at the U.S. Open local qualifier held at Sara Bay Country Club last month. Aylwin posted a 14-under-par 202 for a four-shot victory. Clearwater’s Ryan Gildersleeve took second with a 206 total, while Kennedy was one more shot back after a 66 in the final round.
State Amateur looms
Three Manatee County golfers are set to compete in the Florida State Amateur next week in Fort Myers. Former Lakewood Ranch High standout Spencer Schultz, The Concession Golf Club’s Alan Pope and Longboat Key’s Jack O’Hara are in the field for the 99th edition of the state amateur, which is held at Fiddlesticks Country Club and Miromar Lakes Golf Club. Tee times for the tournament, which starts a week from Thursday, will not be determined until early next week.
Two pros receive honor
Two Manatee County golf professionals were named to Golf Academy of America's Top 100 alumni list recently. Golf Academy of America is a two-year golf college that has been running for the past 40 years.
The Concession Golf Club head pro Chris Dandrow (1998 Orlando graduate) and Tara Golf and Country Club head pro Melissa Williams (1999 Orlando graduate) were named to the list honoring those that, according to a news release, exemplify the high standards and professionalism learned while attending Golf Academy of America and the breadth of careers available in today's golf industry.
▪ On Thursday, June 9, Gordie Dye aced the 135-yard 11th hole at IMG Academy Golf Club with an 11-wood. Witnesses were Mark Murphy, Bill Ford and Jack Graham.