Gamez wins WFGT championship

Robert Gamez has won three PGA Tour events in his career, but his victory last Sunday at The Founders Club gave him a good chance to resurrect his career.

Gamez, who lives in Orlando, won the West Florida Golf Tour's championship by beating Nick Jones of Palm Harbor 2-up.

It only took him only 2 ½ hours to complete the task. He won $4,500, the amount he needed to enter PGA Tour qualifying school in the fall.

 En route to the crown, Gamez ousted Sarasota's Brian Ward on the third playoff. It wasn't easy. Gamez was 3-up at the start of the match, but Ward rallied with three birdies and an eagle.  Games managed to go 2-up with two to play, but once again Ward bounced back by holing out for a birdie and taking advantage of errant shot by Gamez to force a playoff.

Gamez rolled in 10-foot birdie putt to win on the third playoff hole.

In winning, Gamez overtook Sarasota's Joey Lamielle for the tour's money title. Lamielle was eliminated 2 and 1 by Sam Osborne on Saturday.

The tournament featured the 12 top players on the order of merit for the mini-tour, started two years ago by Carl Wakely.  Lamielle entered the championship as the leading money winner with over $11,000 in winnings.

Wakely said the tour has paid out over $370,000 since its inception. The 26-year-old Virginia Tech grad organized the tour so area players could stay and play on the west coast of Florida. Most of the Florida mini-tours are played on the Sunshine state's east coast. Also, Wakely said he is planning 100 events in the next calendar year, and he hopes to attract a title sponsor. "It has grown so much that 10 to 15 players have moved to Sarasota to play the tour," he said.
 Here are the final money leaders for the West Florida Golf Tour:
1, Robert Gamez, $12365;

2, Joey Lamielle, $11,480;

3, Matthew Galloway, $8,142;

4, Nick Jones, $7,307;

5, Matt Stauch, $6,804; 

6, Brian Ward, $5,705;

7, Seath Lauer, $5,392;

8, Brad Klapprott, $5,258;

9, Sam Osborne, $5,193;

10, Daniel Stone, $5,263;

11, Matt Cooney, $4,799.


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