Four Advance to Match Play Semis
In the upper half of the bracket, Nicholas Smith, of Ocala, plays Raj Nahal, from Eustis, in the first match of the morning. En route to the semis, Smith, a member of the Florida State University golf team, beat the 2006 Amateur Champion Jeff Dennis, of Parkland, in the first round of match play 4 and 3 and proceeded to win his next two matches 4 and 3. In the quarterfinals, Smith defeated Tommy Parker, of Palm Beach, 5 and 4. Smith’s opponent, Raj Nahal, of Eustis, also won his quarterfinal match 5 and 4 against Christian Blanchet, of Gainesville. Nahal, a University of South Florida sophomore, beat two-time State Champion Kevin Aylwin, of New Smyrna Beach, in the Round of 16 on the 19th hole.
The second and third seeds will face off in the lower half of the bracket. University of Florida golfer Tyson Alexander, of Gainesville, the second seed, is up against third seed Chris Kennedy, of Bradenton, an incoming freshman at University of North Florida. Alexander defeated Juan Aller, of Miramar, in the quarters winning 4 and 3. Kennedy defeated Jacksonville University golfer Justin Jones in the quarterfinals 3 and 2. In the Round of 16, Kennedy knocked off US Open qualifier Chris Condello, of Heathrow, 2 and 1. Both Alexander and Kennedy recently qualified for the US Amateur Championship to be played later this month.
Since the number of entries received has always surpassed the capacity of the Championship, a qualifying stage was instituted this year. In the qualifying, players competed in 18 holes of stroke play in hopes of reaching the Championship at Sawgrass. The Match Play Championship began with an 18-hole seeding round to seed the 64 player field. Single elimination match play followed to determine the Match Play Champion.
To view tee times, pairings, and complete results, please see www.fsga.org.