The 2012 Publinx Open contested at the Norman K. Probstein Golf Course at Forest Park brought out St. Louis’ best amateur and professionals on a May day that felt more like mid summer. Temperatures exceeding 90 degrees and an afternoon breeze welcomed over 200 players competing in three divisions – Amateur, Senior Amateur and Professional.
Phil Caravia would have preferred to not be available to play in this year’s Publinx. The 2011 East Side Amateur Champion earned a spot in this year’s Metropolitan Amateur Match Play Championship being contested at Old Warson Country Club. After a loss in the round of 8 on Saturday afternoon, Caravia’s Sunday suddenly became free so he made his way over to Forest Park for a mid-morning tee time. While he would have preferred to still be playing at Old Warson as part of the final four, he made the best out of the situation posting a 3-under, 67 to lead the Amateur Division. Patrick Riordan, who also was dismissed early at Old Warson finished in 2nd place with a 2-under par, 68. Chris Dale, Thomas Helfrich and James Trittler tied for 3rd posting even par rounds of 70.
The Senior Division featured a five way tie for medalist honors. Gary Agne, Dave Estes, Rich Jarrett, Bob Meeh and John Stricker posted 2-over par, 72 to lead a star studded field including past Publinx Open Champion, Terry Tessary, Missouri Amateur Champions Scott Thomas and Don Bliss. Agne’s round was highlighted by a rare birdie on the par 3, 6th hole (Agne’s 15th) on the Redbud course. His bid for birdie on the following hole stopped a roll short of going in, as did his attempt on his final hole of the day.
A break in his schedule on the development tours allowed Chris Naegal the opportunity to participate in this year’s Publinx Pro Division. Playing alongside friend and fellow Meadowbrook Country Club member, Scott Thomas and Senior Co-Medalist, Bob Meeh, Naegel showcased why he’s one of the bright young professionals out of St. Louis. His 4-under par, 66 beat a professional field that included Brian Fogt (68), Dave Levine (68), Colin Neeman (68), Mike Suhre (68), Bob Gaus (71), Steve Lotz (71), Mike Tucker (71), Jeff Whitfield (71), Nash Haxel (72) and Bobby Pavelonis (75), to name just a few. Fellow touring professionals Matt Rau posted 74 and John Kelly finished at 5-over, 75.
(Photo Left – Dr. Tobin Lingafelter competing in the Amateur Division posted a 6-over par, 76. His tee shot found the hazard on the 9th hole of the Dogwood Course. He proceeded to make par from the hazard, but only after playing his second shot standing knee deep in the pond. – Photo Courtesty of Mike Cunningham)
Full Field Results – HERE