Top Seeds Falling in a Hurry at Match Play
The underdogs prevailed after the first two rounds of the Florida State Match Play Championship at Cobblestone Country Club in Palm City. Only three of the top eight seeds advanced to the quarterfinals.
Jeff Thomas, the 1999 runner-up, and Steven Sim, the 1998 champion, advanced from the 2" and 3rd seeds, respectively. Also advancing was the 6th seed, Frank Strafaci.
Defending champion and top-seed Matt Avril was defeated in the second round by Weston's Doug Ritter. Ritter is familiar to success; he has claimed two state titles including the 1998 Florida State Mid-Senior Championship. He will face the 9th seed Paul Melson of Plantation in the quarterfinals.
Twelfth-seed Justin Hoagland of Palmetto defeated the number five-seed David Gibson in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals. He will face 20th seed Bill Harvey of Palm City. Harvey has defeated the 13th and the 4th seed to advance this far.
Thomas, who lost 3 and 1 to Avril in last year's championship, finished his first two matches quick. He will face Temple Terrace's Takumi Yoshimoto in the quarterfinals.
Sim will face Strafaci in the other quarterfinal match. After winning 6 and 5 in the first round, Sim narrowly defeated the 14-seeded Troy Discount by 1-up. Strafaci, who is a former President of the Florida State Golf Association, has defeated the 27th and the 22nd seeds so far.
The other four flights only played their first-round matches Friday. All the number one seeds advanced from their first round.
The quarterfinal and semifinal matches for all flights will be held Saturday.
The final match for all flights will be conducted Sunday morning. The Florida State Match Play Championship is the 10th of 17 state championships conducted annually by the Florida State Golf Association.