Connors Runs Away from Field
The 8th FSGA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship was contested at TPC Eagle Trace, April 29-May 1, 2016. 136 Mid-Amateurs (players 25 years of age and older) would battle windy conditions throughout the three rounds. Joe Alfieri, of Lutz, is no stranger to success in the Mid-Amateur ranks and has been a household name in Florida the past few decades. Coming off representing a victorious United States team at last weekend's Concession Cup, the 1999, 2001 & 2015 FSGA Player of the Year and defending Champion jumped out to an early lead on Friday, posting 67 (-5) and giving him a three stroke advantage entering the second round. Ten players total posted rounds of even par 72 or better in the first round.
Round two saw Alfieri continue his steady play, matching his 3 bogeys with 3 birdies in the breezy afternoon conditions to post even par and stay at 5 under-par total. Michael Connors, of Palm Beach Gardens, posted the round of the tournament on Saturday's second round. His bogey free 66 (-6) included an eagle on hole 8, and also 4 birdies to see him move to 5 under-par total to tie Alfieri. A group of five players would finish round two at even-par 144 to sit in a tie for 3rd place. 63 players finished at 13 over-par 157 or better, making the cut and advancing to Sunday's final round.
The winds picked up early Sunday morning at TPC Eagle Trace. Michael Connors would get off to a hot start, converting birdies on both the 2nd and 3rd holes, opening up a three stroke lead after Alfieri made bogey on 2. By the time Connors and Alfieri made the turn, Connors lead would open up to 5 strokes. Connors would continue the steady play and see the lead grow to as many as 6 after he birdied the 14th in the final round. Connors bogeyed the 7th hole on Friday, his 16th hole of the tournament, and did not make another bogey until the 17th hole in the final round. An impressive 37 holes played without a bogey. His final round 70 (-2) which included 3 birdies and a lone bogey would give Connors a 5 stroke victory and tournament total of 209 (-7). Marc France would post a final round 68 (-4) to finish 2-under par for the Championship to finish second. Defending Champion Joe Alfieri's final round 76 saw him fall to a 3rd place finish.