Ocala Open golf tournament benefits local charities

Michael Visacki of Sarasota, right, who was the winner of last year’s Ocala Open, celebrates his Eagle on 18 with Stephen Thomas, also of Sarasota, left, during the first round of the Ocala Open at the Candler Hills Golf Club in Ocala, Fla. on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. The golf tournament continues through Friday. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted March 26, 2021 | Photos By Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette

The 15th Annual Ocala Open at Candler Hills Golf Club opened with the first round on Wednesday.

The tournament is a charity event to raise money for Hospice of Marion and Interfaith Emergency Services. The annual tournament has raised more than $663,000.

This year, Hospice and Interfaith each received $42,500. Hospice offers comfort for the terminally ill and supports their families and caregivers. Interfaith provides food, shelter, clothing and emergency help to those in need.

After the first round of competition, Chris Wang led at eight-under-par after shooting a 63. Patrick Williams of Estero, Willie Mack III of Flint, Michigan and Trey Shirley of Bardstown, Kentucky shared second place with a round of seven-under-par.   

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