Black Wins Amateur Match Play
In the finals, Ryan Black, of Port Saint Lucie, secured the title on the 17th hole beating Guillermo Pumarol, from Miami, 2 and 1. After nine holes, Black was 3 up after birdies on holes 1, 3, and 4. Pumarol won the 14th and 15th holes to pull the match back to 2 up in Black’s favor. On the 17th hole, Black, a sophomore golfer at the University of West Florida, made a par to halve the hole and win the championship. This is Black’s first state championship. This victory adds to Black’s impressive summer who recently qualified and will be playing later this month in the United State Amateur Championship held at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Earlier this summer Black qualified for the United State Amateur Public Links Championship.
En route to the finals, Black and Pumarol each won five matches to meet Sunday afternoon. Black, who earned the 7th seed after posting a 73 in the seeding round, defeated Jeffrey Cherry, from Melbourne, 5 and 3 in the first round. Black defeated Jin Chun Kim, of Fort Pierce 4 and 3 to advance to the round of 16. Black defeated John Wegmann, of Southwest Ranches 5 and 3 for his spot in the quarters. Playing Amit Odaiyar, from Ocala, Black won 2 and 1 to advance to the semifinals. On Sunday morning, Black faced the 3rd seed Kevin Phelan, from Saint Augustine, the highest seed remaining in the field, and beat Phelan 1 up to face Pumarol in the final match.
Since the number of entries received has always surpassed the capacity of the Championship, a qualifying stage was instituted two years ago. More than 360 players attempted to qualify at one of seven sites across the state. In the qualifying, players competed in 18 holes of stroke play in hopes of reaching the Championship at Old Corkscrew Golf Club. The Match Play Championship begins with an 18-hole seeding round to seed the 64 player field. Single elimination match play will follow to determine the Match Play Champion.