As he began the final round of the APGA Tour Valley Forge golf tournament Wednesday with a 4-stroke lead, Marcus Manley said his goal “was to kind of keep the foot on the gas and keep it going, try to go as low as I could.”
Manley didn’t go quite as low as he did Tuesday, when his 6-under-par 65 at Bluestone Country Club in Blue Bell left his fellow competitors well behind, but his 72 in windy conditions was strong enough for him to take a 5-shot victory and the top prize of $7,500 from the $25,000 purse.
Manley, 37, of Kissimmee, Fla., shook off a double bogey at the second hole, completed the front nine with three birdies and coasted home to finish at 5-under 137 for what he said was his first APGA tour win in two years. He captured
At one point, Manley was 8-under for the tournament on the back nine. Only one other competitor, Davin White of Locust Grove, Ga., was under par on the final nine holes, at 2-under.
“The goal today was to try to increase the lead as much as I could,” Manley said. “The double (bogey) could have triggered the round to go left real quick but eventually I kind of stayed focused and was able to make three birdies coming to the turn.”
Trey Valentine of Melbourne, Fla., shot his second straight 71 and took second place at 142. White shot the best round of the day, a 69, and tied Patrick Newcomb of Jacksonville, Fla., for third at 143. Newcomb fired a 72.
Rovanta Young of Huntsville, Ala., also had a 72 and took sixth place alone at 144.
Metedeconk National Golf Club assistant professional Louis Kelly, of Sewell, Gloucester County, led the Philadelphia contingent at 149 after finishing with a 76 to move into a tie for 14th place. Bethlehem amateur Zach Juhasz (78-151) and Matthew Vital (73-152) tied for 20th and 22nd place, respectively.
Mini-tour pro Jonathan Ortiz of Lansdale closed with a 79 for 162 and 39th place.
The tournament was conducted by the Advocates Professional Golf Association, which strives to bring great diversity to the game by developing African-Americans and other minority groups for careers in golf. It also was the first event of three in the Farmers Insurance Fall Series, which offers $15,000 in bonus money.