Barber Wins Amateur Championship
University of Central Florida golfer, Blayne Barber, 19, of Lake City, dominated the field of 168 players to capture the 92nd Amateur Championship. In the first round, Barber shot a 5-under par 67 on the (East/West) course at Sawgrass Country Club and a 69 in the second round on THE PLAYERS STADIUM course to lead the field of 72 players advancing to the weekend rounds. Playing the final 36 holes of the Championship on THE PLAYERS STADIUM course at 7,215 yards, Barber shot a one under par 71 in the third round to take a 3-stroke lead going into the final day.
In the final round, Barber started strong with birdies on holes 2, 4, and 7 to fire a 34 on the front nine. After making the turn at 2-under par 34, Barber continued to make birdies on holes 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 to break away from the field. Barber with an eight shot lead heading into the seventeenth hole hit his approach shot to within 8 feet to birdie the Signature par 3-17th hole on THE PLAYERS STADIUM course. Barber tapped in for bogey on the 18th hole to card an even par 36 on the back nine to run away with the title by nine strokes. This victory adds to Barber’s 2006 & 2008 Boys Junior Championship title. Barber, a University of Central Florida golfer, tied for seventh in this year’s Division I Men's Championship and was named the Conference USA Golfer and Freshman of the Year. Barber also earned a spot on the Golf Coaches Association of America All-Freshman Team and was one of five golfers nationally named to the squad.
Blake Soni, of Bradenton, finished in second place nine strokes back of Barber with a tournament total of two under par 286. Soni carded a 4-over par 76 on THE PALYERS STADIUM course in round the final round to secure second place. Kevin Phelan, of Saint Augustine moved up to take third by firing a final round 74 for a tournament total of one under par 287. Tommy Parker, of Palm Beach finished in fourth place with a tournament total of even par 288. Defending Champion Judson Eustaquio, of Lake Worth finished tournament tied for 37th.
Barber receives a crystal vase and his name inscribed on the Clarence Camp Championship Trophy. The top fifteen plus ties receive an exemption into next year’s Florida State Amateur Championship at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.
The top 168 amateur golfers in the state will play 18 holes each on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course and Sawgrass Country Club (East/West) course on June 25-26. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 70 and ties. The final 36 holes of the Championship will be played on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course on June 27-28. Before reaching the Championship, more than 1000 participants attempted to qualify at one of 16 sites across the state setting a new tournament record for entries filed.
Started in 1914, the FSGA State Amateur is the oldest continuous sporting event in the state as well as the largest amateur event in Florida. Past Amateur champions include Bob Murphy, Jerry Pate, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, and Barry Cheesman.
For 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. The FSGA also maintains the USGA Handicap System, performs course ratings throughout Florida and assists in junior programs and scholarships.