2024 Florida Senior Games, December, 2-15, Florida's Sports Coast/Pasco County

Florida Senior Games Golf Athletes Putting Skills Produce Gold Medals
The FSG daily wrapup, courtesy of SilverSneakers®

The putts were lining up well and falling into the cup Monday for Barbara Syler, of The Villages, and David Lee, of Palm Harbor, as they recorded the top overall scores at the 2023 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, Golf competition at the Lake Jovita Golf Course and Country Club.

Lee carded a 73 to win the gold medal in the Men’s 70-74 age group. He made par on 13 holes while earning two birdies, but added three bogeys.

“I didn’t three putt on any of the holes and got some lucky breaks,” Lee said. “On one hole a guy in my foursome had a putt break one way, but mine went the other way. I played with some good people and that improved my play.”

He pointed out Robert Colledge, from Lakeland, the silver medalist in the 70-74 age group, who Lee defeated by two strokes. Colledge was a gold medalist at the 2017 National Senior Games.

“He’s a two handicap,” Lee said. “Our scores could have been easily swapped.”

Syler shot an 80 to win the women’s 60-64 age group. She parred 10 of the 18 holes, playing in her first Florida Senior Games.

“I putted well and all my drives hit the fairway,” she said.

While Lee and Syler putting well to post the overall low scores, George Ringham, Sr., did not have the same fortune as it came down to the wire for the 90-94 age group gold medal.

Ringham, of Sun City Center, edged Max Gnagy, of Sebring, by one stroke. Ringham won the gold medal with an 88. Gnagy’s 89 won the silver medal.

“I tried to give it away,” Ringham said. “I couldn’t putt. I had a five stroke lead and almost blew it. Luckily I parred the final hole.”

Through 12 holes, Ringham had a 59 while Gnagy was behind with a 64. Over the next five holes, Ringham had bogeys and more while Gnagy shaved his deficit to one stroke. On their final par three hole, both made par to give Ringham the win.

The Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, in Alachua, hosted Florida Senior games Table Tennis competition in the 50-69 age groups.

With gold medals in all three events, Patricia Benitez, of Orlando, increased her Florida Senior Games medal count to 28 since 2011. She won her 10th women’s singles and mixed doubles gold medals and now has won eight women’s doubles golds.

Benitez and her husband, Ricardo Abril, won their third consecutive Mixed Doubles gold medal in the 60-64 age group and have combined to win seven gold medals since 2011.

The 32nd Annual Florida Senior Games continues Tuesday with two sports in action.

Schedule for Tuesday, December 5
Table Tennis (70%2B Age Groups) – Legacy Park Multi-Purpose Center, Alachua; 9:00 a.m. start time
Tennis (M/W Doubles) – Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Center, Zephyrhills; 9:30 a.m. start time

The 2023 Florida Senior Games is an annual program of the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida, presented in conjunction with Florida’s Sports Coast and SilverSneakers®.