August 02, 2007

Junior Match Play Champions Crowned

Kevin Aylwin captures his second championship of the year while Erica Popson defends her title.

Kevin Aylwin won his second State Championship of the year capturing the boys 16-18 age division of the Junior Match Play Championship. Erica Popson won the girls 16-18 age division as Bodi Karsono and Jessica Schall each won their brackets of the 13-15 age division at Eagle Creek Golf Club and North Shore Golf Club in Orlando.  

Playing at Eagle Creek Golf Club, Kevin Aylwin, of New Smyrna Beach, won five matches en route to claiming the boys 16-18 age division Championship bracket. Since winning the Public Links Championship at Eagle Creek two weeks ago, Aylwin was familiar with the course. “I had a lot of confidence,” said Aylwin. “I felt like I knew the course like the back of my hand.” After earning the second seed with a 67 in the seeding round, Aylwin won his first match 4 and 2 and continued on to win his second match 6 and 5. In his quarterfinal match versus Louis Amira, of Valrico, Aylwin came back from three down to win the match on the 19th hole. “I just kept telling myself not to quit,” said Aylwin. “I made a couple of birdies and pars to come back.” Facing Pete Kellermann, of Jacksonville, in the semis, Aylwin was also three down but managed to come back and win the match 2 up. Play was suspended for the day when Kellermann was 1 up through 13 holes. With an early Thursday morning start, Aylwin made pars on the final five holes to advance to the Championship. “I wanted to make it worthwhile for getting up so early,” said Aylwin, who made the 1 hour and 20 minute drive every day. In the final match against Amit Odaiyar, of Bradenton, Aylwin started ahead and was three up after nine holes. “It was nice to get out to a good start and not have to come from behind like previous matches,” said Aylwin. Aylwin was 4 up through 12 holes when play was suspended for a brief weather delay. Odaiyar made birdies on holes 13 and 14 and they halved the next two holes. On the 17th hole, Odaiyar hit his tee shot four feet from the hole while Aylwin was just short. Odaiyar missed his birdie putt and Aylwin secured par to win the match 2 and 1. “This whole experience was exhausting,” said Aylwin about the long days. “The course maintained great conditions throughout the tournament.” Next up, Aylwin will attempt for a third State Championship next week in the Amateur Match Play Championship at Sawgrass Country Club.

In the Hogan Bracket, Sean Metcalf, of Celebration, defeated Parker Clowers, of Jacksonville, 5 and 3 in the final match. Brendan Iler, from Palm Beach Gardens, upset top seed Nick Jamison, of Stuart, after sinking a 15 foot putt on the 18th hole to win the Jones Bracket. Iler won both his semifinal match and final match 1 up. The Snead Bracket wrapped up on Wednesday with Billy Stevens, of Venice, emerging as the Champion. In the final match, Stevens beat Sean McAlpin, of St. Petersburg, 2 and 1 to win the bracket.

At North Shore Golf Club, Erica Popson, from Davenport, upset top seed Jessica Alexander, of Riverview, to win the girls 16-18 age division title. Popson, who won the Junior Match Play Invitational last year, earned the third seed posting a 75 in the seeding round. Popson won her first two matches before going 3-under through 14 holes to beat Alexander 5 and 4 in the finals. “I played well all week,” said Popson. “I just changed my swing so this win is a real confidence booster.” This year, Popson advanced to Sectional Qualifying for the US Women’s Open and won a Florida Junior Tour event. 

Jessica Schall, of Lake Mary, won the girls 13-15 age division. Schall, the number one seed, won her first match 5 and 3 and went on to win the final match versus Ryan Ashburn, of Seminole, 3 and 2.

Bodi Karsono, of Gainesville, captured the Championship Bracket of the boys 13-15 age division beating Daniel Berger, from Key Biscayne, 1 up. Bodi, who has twice represented the Tiger Woods Foundation in the Callaway Golf Junior World Golf Championships, was the sixth seed after shooting even par in the seeding round. Karsono proceeded to win four matches before meeting Berger in the finals. In his semifinal match, Karsono beat Chris Ingham, from Pinecrest, in 20 holes and then overpowered Alex McMahon, of Naples, 6 and 5 in the semifinals.

In the boys 13-15 age division Byron Nelson Bracket, Kollin Woodbury, of Largo, claimed the bracket title defeating Alex Toupin, of Palm Coast, 4 and 3. Woodbury, the third seed, beat second seeded Chipper Hughes, of Ponte Vedra Beach, 5 and 4 in the semis to advance to the finals versus Toupin. 

To view tee times, pairings, and complete results, please see www.fsga.org.

Organized in 1913, the Florida State Golf Association is a not-for-profit organization that governs amateur golf in the state of Florida. In addition to conducting 25 championships for amateur golfers in the state, the FSGA is responsible for more than 40 qualifying tournaments for USGA National Championships and the Florida Junior Tour. The FSGA also maintains the USGA Handicap System, performs course ratings throughout Florida and assists in junior programs and scholarships.


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