Melvin Blair of Tampa, Florida, opened with a 73 and cruised home with a final-round 76 as he captured his first USGTF Southeast Region Championship played July 29-30 at GlenLakes Country Club in Weeki Wachee, Florida. Defending champion Carlos de Barros of Lake Worth, Florida, and Mark Harman of Ridgeland, South Carolina, tied for second, four strokes back at 153.

Blair began his final round with two solid pars, only to birdie the third hole with a spectacular approach from almost 200 yards after his tee shot hit a tree. He carded a front nine 36 under threatening skies, and shot a back nine 40 as heavy rains plagued the field after the turn. Harman, who opened with a 75, struggled all day and limped home with a 78, while de Barros, teeing it up for the first time anywhere in a month, shot 75 the second round after a first-round 78. Rounding out top five were former Southeast and Central champion James Peters from Newport, KY, and Frank Mitchell from Boca Raton, Florida.

Fourteen players teed it up on the perfectly-manicured Ron Garl-designed private layout. Southeast Region director Mike Stevens served as the host and conducted the annual Southeast meeting during dinner Saturday night. The location of next year’s event will be determined at a later date.
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