Knowles Wins 24th Amateur Match Play
Philip Knowles defeated Edward Figueroa in the final match to win the 24th Florida State Amateur Match Play Championship at The TwinEagles Club in Naples on July 31 - August 3.
In the finals, Philip Knowles, of Bradenton, secured the title beating Edward Figueroa, from Naples, 4 and 2. Knowles would get off to a hot start Sunday afternoon winning the first two holes to grab an early 2 up lead. After a stellar eagle on the par 5 third hole, Figueroa would narrow Knowles lead to 1 up. Knowles would quickly get his 2 up lead back after winning the 4th hole and would hold that lead thru the 9th hole. After making birdie on the par 4 tenth hole, Knowles would grab a 3 up lead. The players would then have to wait out three hour weather delay before resuming play on the 11th hole. After resuming play, Figueroa would win the 11th hole to cut Knowles lead to 2 up with seven holes to play. Knowles would yet again make another birdie on the 12th hole to take a commanding 3 up lead in the match. After halving the next three holes, Knowles would make his six foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to win his first State Championship 4 and 2. Knowles was able to redeem himself on Sunday after narrowly missing out on last year’s Amateur Match Play Championship giving up a 2 up lead with 4 holes to go to eventual Champion, Kevin Jorden. Knowles has also solidified himself as one of the best match play players in recent memory. Combined with his Junior Florida Cup match record and his Amateur Match Play record, Knowles is an astonishing 17-1 in his last 18 matches.
En route to the finals, Knowles and Figueroa each won five matches to meet Sunday afternoon. Knowles, who earned the 8th seed after posting a four-under par 68 in the seeding round, defeated Emilio Mariconda, from Naples, 5 and 3 in the first round. Knowles defeated Michael Anderson, of Parkland, 3 and 2, to advance to the round of 16 and then defeated Miles McConnell, of Riverview, 2 and 1 to earn his spot in the quarters. Playing the number one seed, Tommy Hurst, from Miami Shores, Knowles won 4 and 3 to advance to the semifinals. On Sunday morning, Knowles bested fellow FJT standout Danny Walker, from Bradenton, 2 up to face Figueroa in the final match.
Before reaching the Championship, more than 260 players attempted to qualify at one of seven sites across the state. In the qualifying stage, players competed in 18 holes of stroke play in hopes of reaching the Championship at The TwinEagles Club. The Match Play Championship begins with an 18-hole seeding round to seed the 64 player field. Single elimination match play follows to determine the Match Play Champion.