Juniors Impress at the Amateur
The field at the 95th Florida Amateur Championship was full of the top amateur golfers residing in Florida including many of the best collegiate players and many ex-professional golfers. Nearly 100 juniors attempted to qualify and over 15 qualified for the championship.
The championship was held on two of Jack Nicklaus' most challenging designs; The Bears' Club and The Loxahatchee Club located in Jupiter. Both courses playing over 7,100 yards with green speeds reaching 13 on the stimpmeter posed an extremely tough test for the players. At the end of 72-holes, the champion, Chase Seiffert, remained the only player under par.
Three juniors were in contention come the weekend and all three of them finished in the top 10...
Philip Knowles, 15, from Bradenton, finished tied for 4th after rounds of 74-75-75-71. His one under par 71 tied for the lowest score in the final round. "I had a blast...The courses were extremely long and difficult, but I managed to get through it," Knowles said. Next month Knowles will be a member of the South Team at the Junior Florida Cup which is a Ryder Cup style match between top 16 juniors from North Florida vesus South Florida.
Sam Horsfield, 15, from Davenport, finished tied for 7th after rounds of 74-76-73-74. He struggled on his opening nines the first two rounds, but he recovered very well on the difficult courses. A very consistent three over par weekend moved Horsfield up the leaderboard and into the top 10. Horsfield recently qualified for the US Junior Championship being held in New Hampshire and the US Public Links Championship being held in Utah.
Hank Lebioda, 18, from Winter Springs, also finished tied for 7th with rounds of 77-69-76-75. Playing alongside Gary Nicklaus, with Jack Nicklaus watching every shot, Lebioda shot a very impressive three under par 69 in the second round. Hank, the 2010 Florida Boys' Junior Champion, will be a freshman on the golf team at Florida State University in the fall.