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Boca Raton’s Andrew Sharp nearly made the most of his debut in the 53rd annual Broward County Men’s Amateur Golf Tournament at the Jacaranda Golf Club in Plantation.
Sharp, 35, opened the tournament with a 70 to take a one-shot lead into the second round over Stephan Sorge (71). He held a five-shot lead over defending champion Ben Finley, of Plantation, who carded a 75.
“I feel like I left a few out there yesterday and I feel like I left a lot out there today,” said Sharp, following the tournament. “It was a lot of fun. The guys were great. It was a great environment on the course…It was a great time.
“I started off really good and I thought, ‘Let’s keep this thing rolling,’” Sharp said. “I was trying to play the course and not worry what was going on around me, (just) hit the ball.”
Sharp was 1-over par on the front nine of the final round and started to lose ground early on the back nine with bogeys on 11, 12 and 13. After a birdie on the 14th hole, he double-bogeyed 16 and wound up with a 40 on the back nine.
Finley, 51, who lives along the East Course’s 11th hole and plays at Jacaranda, finished the second day with five birdies and four bogeys for a 71. Finley carded a 75-71 for a 146 total and won his second straight title and third championship in four years.
“It is the first time I played in this,” Sharp said. “I was hoping to play in the state amateur tournament but missed qualifying by a few shots. I saw this was open and it was a good field and it looked like a good tournament to play in.
“You hope to win and I had been playing really well,” he said. “You kind of play your own game and get out there and make some putts and you’ll have a chance. I think I was right there and I enjoyed every part of it.”