Huizinga Dominates 99th Amateur
The top 168 amateur golfers in the state began round one of the Amateur Championship Thursday morning. The field was split between playing their first round at Fiddlesticks or Miromar Lakes and they will switch courses for round two. Jacob Huizinga, 2015 Four-Ball Champion from Orlando, took the early lead after an impressive seven under-par, 65. Huizinga lit up the back-nine at Fiddlesticks with four straight birdies from holes 13 to16 and a final birdie on the 18th hole. Defending Champion, Jimmy Jones, of Tampa, did not linger far behind with a six under-par, 66. Jones shot the low round of the day at Miromar Lakes after starting strong with four birdies in a row on holes three through six.
Jones sits one shot back tied for second place with Mike Andre, of Fort Myers, and Michael DeMorat, of Merritt Island. Gabriel Lench, 2014 Amateur Champion, tied for ninth after a first round three under-par, 69.
One shot separated first from second and second from third place after round two. Jacob Huizinga carded another impressive round to remain in the lead at 12 under-par, 132 total. Jacob birdied holes 15 through 17 at Miromar Lakes to finish his second round at five under-par, 67. Two consistent rounds, 66-67--133, propelled Michael DeMorat into second place alone at 11 under-par. Jimmy Jones remained in contention, fighting to be crowned the Amateur Champion for a second consecutive year. Jones carded five birdies to finish his second round at four under-par, 68, in third place, three strokes from the lead. Austin Schultz, of North Port, made a scene by starting his second round with five straight birdies en route to a 67, 137 two day total, and fourth place finish. The field was cut at six over-par, 150, with 75 people advancing to the final two rounds of the Championship.
Excitement occurred during round three of the Championship as 2014 Amateur Champion, Gabriel Lench posted a four under-par, 68 to jump up to tied for second place. Lench sat tied with 2015 Amateur Champion, Jimmy Jones at a total of nine under-par, 207. Both previous Champions chased Jacob Huizinga who hasn’t let his lead slip away from him. Huizinga posted a third round of 69 to move to a total of 15 under-par and a six stroke lead! Jacob finished his third round strong with four birdies on the back-nine. Tied for fourth were Logan Lanier, of Saint Augustine, and Blake Dyer, of Saint Petersburg, at eight under-par, seven strokes from the lead. The final round on Sunday will be an exciting race to overcome Huizinga’s lead!
Jacob Huizinga finished strong at Fiddlesticks Country Club for a wire-to-wire Amateur Championship victory. Huizinga started and ended his final round with a birdie. With three other birdies on holes six, 11, and 12, Jacob finished the Championship with a one under-par, 71. Huizinga posted four rounds under-par to finish with a tournament total 272, 16 under-par, and a five stroke win! Blake Dyer, of Saint Petersburg, carded four consistent rounds to move up the leadboard and finish in second place. Dyer’s final round consisted of six birdies en route to a 69 and tournament total 277 (-11). Michael DeMorat and Logan Lanier tied for third place at 10 under-par. Jimmy Jones, 2015 Amateur Champion, fell to tied for sixth after a final round 73 and Gabriel Lench, 2014 Amateur Champion, finished tied for ninth.
Started in 1914, the Florida Amateur Championship is the oldest continuous sporting event in the state as well as the largest amateur event in Florida. Past Amateur champions include Bob Murphy, Jerry Pate, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, Barry Cheesman and Blayne Barber.