Who won the first-ever Donald Ross Memorial Invitational boys individual title?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Junior golf: Locals make splash at FJT event

Gianna Tomeo at last year's FHSAA Class 2A girls golf state tournament in Howey-in-the-Hills. Jason Dill/Bradenton Herald.

Several Manatee County junior golfers excelled in the recent Florida Junior Tour event held in Bonita Springs.

The tournament was shortened to a one-day event due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

Nonetheless, two Bradenton boys logged top five finishes in the 13-15 year old tourney at Worthington Country Club.

Jack Tianyi Cen (70) and Bradenton Christian golfer Philip Knowles (72) finished in second and a tie for third, respectively, behind Lake Mary's Robin Wang, who fired an 8-under par 64 for the title.

On the girls side, Manatee High's Gianna Tomeo also had a successful tournament when her 77 gave her a third place showing.

Tomeo was one shot behind Emma Bradley, of Naples, and Sebring's Kendall Griffin at the conclusion of play. Bradley won the rain-shortened tournament in a playoff.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tip of the Week: Tony Jacklin's top tip

While having dinner out on Tuesday night, I saw Manatee County resident Tony Jacklin, a two-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member, demonstrating some golf tips for viewers on the Golf Channel.

So what better way to restart the tip of the week segment on this blog than to use Jacklin's philosophy about keeping your head down.

The tip was filmed at The Concession Golf Club in East Manatee,

Here it is:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Prep golf: Chris Kennedy duals as professional golfer and coach

New Cardinal Mooney boys golf coach Chris Kennedy watches his team warm up ahead of Tuesday's season-opening match against Sarasota Riverview at the Founders Club.

Lakewood Ranch resident Chris Kennedy has sparkled on the West Florida Golf Tour in 2012.

The former Cardinal Mooney standout has topped the WFGT's money list for the year with more than $17,000 in earnings.

As PGA Tour Q-School approaches in September, Kennedy has adopted another position: high school golf coach.

Kennedy is the new boys golf coach at his alma mater, the Cardinal Mooney Cougars.

He's still playing full-time as well as coaching the boys golf team this fall.

To read more about why Kennedy decided to get into coaching, check out Thursday's editions of the Bradenton Herald.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

LPGA Symetra Tour: Race for the Card

On Monday, this blog examined how the 2012 season was going for LPGA Tour pros that are based in Manatee County.

Today, we'll look at how players from the area are faring on the LPGA Symetra Tour, which is one step below the main tour.

The top 10 players on the season-ending money list will earn an LPGA Tour card for the 2013 season.

And the Volvik Race For the Card is winding down, with just three tournaments left in the year.

Here's how the locals stand:

Jaclyn Sweeney

The former Arizona State University star is in the best shape among any players calling Manatee County home. Currently, Sweeney is No. 9 on the money list with just more than $28,000 in earnings out of 12 tournaments. And her lead over the 10th and 11th players on the money list is slim. So Sweeney will need three strong events to close out the season and avoid Q-School with a free pass to the LPGA Tour next year.

Ginger Howard

All eyes were on the budding phenom when she turned pro and ran through the local Q-School stage in Venice with ease. But Howard's rookie year on the Symetra Tour hasn't been all glitz and glamor like some top talents have had on the LPGA Tour (see Lexi Thompson). Howard is ranked No. 32 on the money list with earnings just below $14,500. Nonetheless, the IMG Academies alum can still vault herself into the top 10 with a victory or two down the stretch. She'll need to improve her 73.97 scoring average first, though.

Rachel Connor

Connor is in a similar position to Howard. The Englishwoman hasn't marveled this year, with $14,811 in 11 tournaments. It ranks her No. 31 on the money list and crunch time is upon Connor to make a move toward earning her card. Otherwise, Q-School looms. Her major weakness is with the putter, where she ranks 76th in putting. But Connor has also generated five rounds in the 60s this season, good for a tie for 8th on the Symetra Tour and reason to believe she can string it all together with three events left.

Natalie Sheary

The former Wake Forest standout came through IMG's famous golf academy like Howard and Sweeney. But unlike Sweeney, Sheary isn't in a comfortable position with three tournaments remaining on the season.
She sits just below the $11,000 mark in earnings, and has to excel quickly in order to gain a card to the LPGA Tour in 2013. Sheary's driving accuracy (68 percent) and greens in regulation number (63 percent) must improve if she'll better her top finish this year (tie for fifth) by the end of the season.

Monday, August 27, 2012

LPGA Tour: Local report card

After a little summer break from the blog due to vacations and getting this year's football tab previews done, it's time to focus back on the links.

With that in mind, here's a quick peak at how some of the female professional golfers are doing on the LPGA Tour as the season winds down:

Jessica Korda

It's been a mixed bag of results for the Bradenton native this season. Korda captured her first-ever LPGA Tour victory at the Women's Australian Open to begin 2012 with a bang. But since then, she's yet to record another top 10 finish, and has only notched two top 20 showings. Still, Korda's sophomore campaign has netted her more than $260,000 in earnings.

Jodi Ewart

The Englishwoman, who lives in Manatee County, hasn't won on the LPGA Tour yet. But she has logged two top 10 finishes and close to $170,000 this season. Ewart, like Korda, hasn't fared well as of late. While she hasn't missed a cut since April, Ewart hasn't cracked the top 60 in her last three LPGA Tour events.

Paula Creamer

A tour veteran, Creamer's posted a successful 2012 despite not winning a tournament. That's due to her performances in the majors, where she tied for 20th in the Kraft Nabisco Championship and followed that up with top-10 results in the U.S. Women's Open and LPGA Championship. To date, the former IMG Academies alum has more than $400,000 in earnings.

Victoria Tanco

The Argentine phenom hasn't blossomed in her rookie season. A former IMG Academy standout, Tanco has missed nine cuts with only $22,300 in earnings. She's in need of some superb golf to avoid a return trip to LPGA Q-School.

Hannah Yun

Like Tanco, Hannah Yun has struggled after making her way through Q-School. The former University of Florida golfer has cashed in 3 of 12 tournaments in 2012. It adds up to just over $21,000 in earnings and it looks like another visit to Q-School.