Three Champs Crowned at Junior Match
The Final match boiled down to Ryan Rozic, of Melbourne, and Connor Campbell, of Winter Garden. Rozic, number 13 seed, defeated Davis Hingtgen in the Semifinals, one-up, while Campbell earned a two and one victory over Linus Samuelsson to reach the Finals.
A back and forth match took place on the first nine holes of the Finals and the boys stood all square at the turn. The highlight of the front nine occurred when Ryan holed a chip shot for birdie on the fourth hole to match a birdie from Campbell! Campbell saved par with a great up and down on the 10th hole to keep the match all square. Rozic broke through on the 11th hole with a birdie to go one-up. Campbell fired back on the par five 12th hole by hitting the green in two with a chance for eagle. Campbell barely missed his eagle putt and two putted for birdie. Rozic, who hit the green in regulation, sinks a birdie putt to keep his one-up lead alive. The match returned to all square when Campbell found the back of the cup on the 15th hole to beat Rozic with a birdie.
The match remained all square heading into the last hole. This will be the first time Campbell has had to play the 18th hole in match play, unlike Rozic who has had to play all 18 holes in each of his matches. Rozic proceeded to drive his ball into the hazard resulting in a drop. Campbell sat in the first cut of the rough and struck his second shot over the green. Rozic hit his fourth shot onto the green while Campbell aggressively chipped his third shot past the hole. Rozic putted first and just missed his long bogey putt. Campbell seized the open opportunity and with only needing two putts to win, sunk his 30 foot par putt to win one-up! Campbell won a Florida Junior Tour event in 2014 and now takes home a FSGA Championship victory!
Jake Beber-Frankel, of Miami, dominated at Sugar Mill Country Club. Starting with the two rounds of stroke play, Jake was under-par in each of his six rounds and played as the number one seed in match play. The only match that Jake trailed behind was in his Semifinal match against Davis Lee, but that only lasted for two holes before he regained his lead. It was exciting to have the final match come down to the number one and two seeds, Jake Beber-Frankel and Jason Duff. Jake was two-up after the front-nine and moved to three-up heading into the homestretch. Jason had a 10-foot birdie putt on hole 14 to cut the lead to two-up but narrowly missed. On the 15th hole, both players missed their birdie putts and continued on to the par three 16th hole. Jake hit his tee shot eight feet short of the hole while Jason’s ball landed 15 feet from the flagstick. Jason and Jake both two putted for par and Jake walked off the 16th green with a three and two victory! Jake never made it to the 18th hole during match play, which he was happy about because he bogeyed that hole both rounds of stroke play. Beber-Frankel is a tough competitor in FJT events and this marks his first FSGA Championship win!
The Final match was set with Siyan Chen, number five seed, competing against Alexa Pano, number three seed. Alexa, of Lake Worth, was one-up after nine holes and after a steady race the match turned to all square heading into the final four holes. Both girls made two birdies each up to this point in the match and are one under-par overall for the round. Pano barely missed a birdie putt on the 16th hole to make par followed by a par from Siyan. The girls both salvaged pars on the 17th hole, a tough par four uphill with water off the tee box. Alexa got up and down from a greenside bunker while Siyan two putted. After two pars on the 18th hole the match was extended to extra holes. The 19th hole determined the winner as Siyan Chen prevailed after making a par! Pano hit her approach shot in a green side bunker and failed to get up and down for par to extend the match further. Chen can add another Championship win to her 2016 resume. She won the Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship in June and has no followed it up with the Junior Match Play win!