Stein, Abbate Win 31st South Florida PGA Pro Scratch Amateur

CORAL SPRINGS – Matt Stein and Ryan Abbate, representing Adios Golf Club in Coconut Creek, combined for a 10 under par 62 Monday (June7) to win the 31st annual South Florida PGA Pro Scratch Amateur Championship at the TPC at Eagle Trace.

Stein, an assistant professional at Adios, a men’s only club, made four birdies, one of which didn’t count because Abbate eagled the same hole, the par-5 15th by holing a 20-yard pitch shot over a bunker in front of the green. He had hit driver and 4-iron up close.

Abbate added six birdies, matching one by Stein at the par-5 fifth hole. Abbate also birdied Nos. 6, 9, 10, 12 and 17, Stein the fourth and eighth holes. They did not make a bogey in the four-ball stroke play format.

“We’ve played a lot of golf together over the years but this is the first time in a team competition,” Stein said.

They have known each other since they were high school rivals. Stein graduated from Coral Springs in 1998, Abbate from St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale a year later.

Both had played in local qualifying for the U.S. Open last month at Emerald Hills in Hollywood. Had either one made it through, he would have been playing in a sectional qualifier Monday, not here.

Abate, 29, won the Florida State Amateur Championship in 2005 at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach. Since then he has sold a business and is “semi-retired,” he said, mostly playing golf while looking for other business opportunities.

Second at 63 were Tom Dyer, director of golf at Old Marsh in Palm Beach Gardens, and Bryan Haase, his assistant caddy master, who made two eagles. Haase also had three birdies, Dyer two birdies. At the par-5 8th, Haase hit driver, 3-wood and holed a 15-foot chip shot, and at the par-5 10th, he hit driver and rescue club on the green and sank a 10 footer.

Jimmy Buell and Mike Weeks, the winners the past two years, shot 67, tied for 12th. There were five women among the 39 twosomes, two pros and three amateurs.

Play was interrupted twice by the threat of lightning for a total of about 45 minutes.


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