Jacklin joins WFGT as an ambassador

Owner Carl Wakely has lured fellow Brit Tony Jacklin of Bradenton to take the West Florida Golf Tour to the next level.

"He's going to be our ambassador," said Wakely, who started the tour two years ago in February.

Wakely is well aware that Jacklin is a legend in Great Britain, and he hopes the former British and U.S. Open champ will attract players to the Sarasota-based pro mini-tour.

 "We feel that the West Coast of Florida is rapidly becoming the number one destination for professional golfers," said Wakely.  "Our goals are shared by golfing legend Tony Jacklin, which is why he has joined the tour and come on board as the tour's ambassador."

Wakely has renamed the tour the Tony Jacklin West Florida Golf Tour. Some 40 tournaments are planned for 2012.

Tony has a professional and personal interest in the tour. His son, Sean Jacklin, is a regular participant.

 "The game of golf has been kind to me during my fifty years as a professional golfer and I've learned so much from the great players who went before me," said the World Golf Hall of Famer.

"I became ambassador to the West Florida Golf Tour because I believe in everything the tour stands for. It is about passing on one's experience to the next generation of young players to ensure they give themselves the best possible chance of success.

"The plan we have set out at the West Florida Golf Tour will make it a world class environment for those aspiring to become top golfers.

"For too long, players who have not yet made it to the major tours have had to pay too much to play on average courses for questionable purses."

Jacklin, the co-designer with Jack Nicklaus of The Concession in East Manatee County, will begin his duties this weekend when the WFGT runs the Manatee County Open at River Wilderness Country Club in Parrish.  Jacklin will make an appearance on Sunday.

Sarasota High grad Devin Spies is one of those aspiring pros who have found a home on the West Florida Golf Tour.

This past Monday, Spies won the Trackman Series event at The Founders Club in a playoff with Larry O'Brien. Both shot 67s, but Spies birdied the par 5 10th hole for the victory.

Sarasota's Joey Lamielle is the tour's career money leader with over $30,000 in earnings.


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