3rd October to 12th October 2003
We flew from Newcastle with British Airways to Tampa via Gatwick:-
3-Oct-03 – Flight BA 8070 – Dept. NCL 6:50 AM – Arrv. LGW 8:15 AM
3-Oct-03 – Flight BA 2167 – Dept. LGW 11:25 AM – Arrv. TPA 3:50 PM
12-Oct-03 – Flight BA 2166 – Dept. TPA 5:50 PM – Arrv. LGW 7:20 AM 13-Oct-07
13-Oct-03 – Flight BA 8075 – Dept. LGW 11:35 AM – Arrv. NCL 12:55 PM
Tour Transport – 15 Seater Mini Van – Alamo
Accommodation was an excellent 4 bed Villa in Sabel Harbour
Sabel Harbour Villa – 4 bed, 3 bath Pool and Spa
The 2003 Tour Players
(Information and Technology)
Playing off 8 he will need to harness his power game to avoid loosing to many balls. His single tour win in 2001 came at the demanding Bob Cat Trail. Andrew is best known for his daring escapes from the water. A more cautious approach is expected this year after he met a few of Florida’s Gators on previous tours.
Away from the course Andrew is the stats man responsible for updating this website.
With a handicap of 11 Stuart is renowned for his ability around the green with his 9 iron. He qualified for this tour by wining an event in Europe on the buythewine tour in 2002.
In 2001 despite no victory his consistent performances gave him the third highest stableford point,s total. His tough test will be to control a slice that can create a splash.
Stuart will be in charge of vehicle maintenance. We will remind him that fuel is cheap in the states. He got us to the Airport on vapour in 1999.
With a shot a hole to begin with we may be being too generous to this tour vet. Experience can play a major part in tournament golf. He proved this in 2001 with his victory at the difficult Waterlefe course.
He may miss his sleeping partner from 2001 on the daily trip to K-Mart for more lake balls, if things don’t go to plan.
If you see us well turned out in photographs on the website as the tour progresses then much of the credit will go to Dave’s laundry skills. However you can get into a lot of bother if your smalls are offensive, even risking rejection from the squeaky clean man of Kent.
Brilliant Brian Hcap
(Our Serenading Bar-steward)
The low man of the tour playing off 4. This is his second tour following a brilliant performance in his rookie year of 2001 when he was the flying Scotsman, leaving us all in his wake. He topped the table with victories at Imperial Lakes and Heritage Oaks. Sometimes not knowing the dangers helps. This year he is well aware of the hazards which await a stray shot and we expect the courses to bite back.
Brian the tour bar steward is obviously in charge of alcoholic beverages. In this department he goes against the Scottish tradition of being frugal by normaly encouraging us to consume four days ration in one. Was this the secret to his success in 2001?
(The Big Banker)
A steady horse on the course off a handicap of 12. His consistent play on the 2002 buythewine tour was admired by many but this will be a stiffer test with water and Gators to contend with. Can he keep it up the middle and has he the length required. These questions will be answered shortly.
A man to advise about finance Mike will be available for consultation to tour members who abuse the plastic, at a special tour member rate of course.
(Transport and Logistics)
No stranger to overseas golf playing in many Euopean pro-ams.
Normally straight up the middle this man off 7 handicap should avoid snakes and alligators on his rookie tour. But will he?
He brings to the the tour his expertise in freight logistics which will ensure a smooth hassle free transit across the pond for the essential bags and clubs the tour depends on.
The final leader board of the 2003 tour
|Player - Handicap||Points Total||Wins||FLoBy's|
|1||Andrew - 8||271||3||6|
|2||Mike - 12||269||1||1|
|3||David F - 4||264||1||3|
|4||Brian - 4||262||0||1|
|5||David B - 18||258||2||2|
|6||Stuart - 11||249||2||5|
Andrew takes the 2003 Tour Title
The 2003 individual performances by course
|Course||Singles||Andrew||Brian||David B||David F||Mike||Stuart|
|The Bobcat Trail||Gross||90||80||100||85||90||90|
|The Preserve at Tara||Gross||82||81||83||83||96|
News and Information
5-10-2003 – Rounds 1 & 2
After two days the rookies have both been victorious, with Mike winning at Heritage Oaks and David F victorious at Stoneybrook. The 2001 champ Brian has also slotted back into the same grove and while David B , Andrew & Stuart have all had moments of brilliance they have lacked the consistence to challenge the leaderboard.
6-10-2003 – ROUND 3
The Bobcat bites again! As expected the Bobcat again proved a severe test. With a stiff breeze and slick greens in superb condition, the best we have experienced during all our trips out here, the scores drifted lower.
Stuarts victory drought is over. Despite consistent performances on the 2001 tour a win escaped him. Well today he tamed the mighty Bobcat and was the victor despite a shaky back 9. With 18 points on the front 9 he was well in command. Andrew and David B were his nearest challengers who both had 15 points. Andrew came home in 16 points to post a target of 31. Despite a spluttering finish Stuart had enough gas to come home in 14 points and claim a well deserved victory.
Now the crack has turned to how many balls we will loose at Rosedale, which we play on Day 4.
7-10-2003 – ROUND 4
Rosedale is one of the tightest courses we play and for those at home who have not been on the Tour they may be wondering why the scores look so poor. Take a look at the 18th tee shot that Brian is seeing for the first time and you may begin to understand the difficulty. The distance to the fairway is close to 200 yards but where is it!. The curlews complain about the 3rd at Brampton!
David B rose to the top here at Rosedale just piping David F who made the shot of the day at the 436 yard 16th by holing a sweetly struck 2 iron from 225 yards for an eagle 2. Andrew dumbfounded his peers by only loosing 1 ball.
8-10-2003 – ROUND 5
Today we played the new Creek 9 holes at Heron Creek as our back 9 and the Marsh 9 holes as our front 9. This new 9 holes takes the Heron Creek complex to 27 holes. Opened only two weeks ago the new 9 is superb.
The strain of continuous tournament play places a huge demand on our bodies and as dedicated athletes we put ourselves through strenuous work outs like the water aerobics in our pool as shown which is at a bitter 92 degrees f. (Oh and the hot tub is a bit hotter.)
9-10-2003 – ROUND 6
We returned to Legacy today after missing it out in 2001. This is still a superb golf course with eagles, ospreys and gators to add to the experience. We had to wait on 8th hole while a large gator crossed the cart path. You will not be surprised to learn that we gave him the respect and distance he deserved.
At last Andrew put in a fine performance which aided by a large number of shots allowed him to post the highest total of the tour so far of 38 points. A magnificent birdie 3 at the 455 yard 18th was the icing on the cake. Stuart again put in a fine performance to finish in second place despite loosing balls of the first two tee boxes.
As we played in the morning for the first time we visited Siesta Key beach late in the afternoon for a swim in the Gulf. A kick about on the beach was followed by a meal at Siesta Key Oyster Bar where the Mahi Mahi was again excellent.
10-10-2003 – ROUND 7
Waterlefe took the largest haul of golf balls from the team to date. This spectacular course which is built on and into the Manatee River demands straight long hitting from the tee to reach dry land over carries of up to 225 yards. So it was no surprise that David B won ! He defeated David F on a card playoff who had had an excellent outward 9 of 38, only 2 over par. A weak back 9 however allowed David B to pip him with 16 points back. This was David B’s second win of the Tour and a repeat of his victory at Waterlefe on the 2001 Tour.
Despite warnings about the critters that live in the dense undergrowth Brian fearlessly took on the challenge and made a miraculous escape by chipping back onto the green at the second hole.
He is in there honest, If you look hard you can see his size 10’s.
10-10-2003 – ROUND 8
This was our first visit to The Links at Greenfield Plantations and apart from David B we all enjoyed the course which proved very testing off the back tees at 6,719 yards.
Three sand saves in a row on the front 9 was the key to another good round by Andrew. Despite 6 penalty shots he got it round in 81, 9 over par. Mike, the first man we have ever seen with a far better short game than Foster, was tied after 9 with Andrew on 18 points. He came home in 17 to post an excellent total of 35 points. Andrew was up to the task with an inward score of 20 point to finish on 38. Brian was again knocked back into 4th place on a card playoff by Stuart, the silver fox who was third with 29 points. David F said the less said the better!
On a happier note the team are pleased to report that at last Mike has had a FLB.
12-10-2003 – ROUND 9
Our final game was played early on Sunday. A 7.45 am tee time had been booked to allow for packing and the drive to Tampa Airport to catch our 5.50 pm flight.
This was our first visit to the Preserve at Tara. It has a number of holes similar to the original course here at Tara, which is now private. A heavy dew and the poorest greens we had played on durring this trip made putting very difficult. The course it’s self was another excellent design by Ted McAnlis and provided the greens are sorted we would love to revisit.
With four players within 2 points this was a very closely contested game. David B piped Mike for third place on a card playoff, both with 32 points. Andrew took first place from David F also on a card playoff with both men posting 34 points. A birdie two for Andrew on the 205 yard 17th was the turning point.
By finishing ahead of Mike today this allowed Andrew to take the points total for the tour with 271 points from the 9 events, just 2 ahead of Mike who finished on 269. It must be noted that Mike had amassed his total with far less shots. Due to his consistent performances he only played once of his normal club handicap of 12. A special mention must also be made with regard to our low handicapper Brian. Despite not winning an even his consistent scoring saw him playing off scratch at one point and gave him an average playing handicap for the tour of 2.1
Well I am writing this final report from home and can reflect on a fabulous 9 days of golfing in idyllic conditions, eating too well and enjoying the excellent company of the other FLORIDA GOLF TOUR 2003 TEAM MEMBERS. Will we be able to earn sufficient brownie points for 2005?