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IMG Academy Golf Latest Headlines

GOLF PLUS: DLGA students grab weekly honors

David Leadbetter Golf Academy-Bradenton students Isabelle Lendl and Cyril Suk were named national Players of the Week by Golfweek magazine after recent tournament victories.

The 16-year-old Lendl, a junior at The IMG Academy School, won five matches to capture the Ione D. Jones/Doherty Championship match-play tournament at Coral Ridge Country Club in Fort Lauderdale. Her victims included younger sister Daniela in the round of 16, 4 and 2, and older sister Marika in the semifinals, 4 and 2. Marika won last year's Jones/Doherty Championship.

In the final, Isabelle defeated reigning U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Bolger 1-up. The match swung on back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 by Lendl, the first after she hit a 7-iron from 159 yards on the par-3 hole to within 18 inches.

The Lendl sisters are daughters of former world No. 1 tennis player Ivan Lendl.

Suk, 15, a IMG Academy freshman, withstood cold and windy conditions Sunday and Monday to win the Future Collegians World Tour Innisbrook Open at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor. Rounds of 69-71-73 resulted in an even-par total of 213 and a 3-stroke victory from Maxwell Campion of Brookline, Mass.

Out-of-Door Academy sophomore Zachary Balit finished fourth at 220, carding Monday's low round of 1-under 70.

Owen sets mark

The Founders Club ambassador Jim Owen , a PGA golf professional who served as chair of the membership advisory board and membership advisory committee before retiring last year, set a course record recently with a 7-under par 65 from the pewter tees (about 6,500 yards) on the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed course.

The 70-year-old Owen set the mark during a weekly game for club members. His foursome included Jim Billings , Don Bigger and Humberto Vainieri .

Owen, a North Florida PGA Section Teacher of the Year in 1987, was director of golf at Longboat Key Club from 1978-91 and part owner of Serenoa Golf Club until 1998.

EWGA tournament

The Manatee Chapter of the Executive Women's Golf Association is holding a "Ladies-Only" winter golf day at noon Saturday at The Links at Greenfield Plantation. Lunch and practice are at 11:30 a.m.

For details, call 331-2930.

Tournament trail

The inaugural Pirates Charities Spring Training Golf Classic will be played at 1 p.m. Feb. 22 at River Strand Golf & Country Club. Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m., with a dinner reception and awards ceremony following the event.

Only 30 foursomes are available. The cost is $2,000 a foursome, and the format is a scramble. Various sponsorship opportunities exist. Proceeds will go toward the purchase of a Pirates-theme bus for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

Last year marked the first full year of operations for Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are set to begin their 40th year in Bradenton. Pirates Charities contributed more than $295,000 to worthwhile non-profit organizations, including the Foundation for Dreams. For details, call Rachelle Hess at 747-3031.

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