June 21, 2016

99th Amateur Field Set

Top amateurs gear up for the 99th playing of the State Amateur Championship.

The top 168 amateur golfers in the state will compete this week, June 23-26, with hopes of winning the 99th Florida State Amateur Championship at Fiddlesticks Country Club - Long Mean Course and Miromar Lakes Golf Club in Fort Myers.

Before reaching the Championship, more than 700 participants attempted to qualify at one of 14 sites across the state. In the Championship, participants will play 18 holes each at Fiddlesticks Country Club and Miromar Lakes Golf Club on June 23-24. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 70 and ties. The final 36 holes of the Championship will be played at Fiddlesticks Country Club on June 25-26.

The 2016 field features two past Amateur Champions: 2015 Champion, Jimmy Jones Jr., of Tampa, and the 2014 Champion, Gabriel Lench, of Lake Mary.  Joining our past Amateur Champions will be a hand full of recent State Champions including: 2016 Amateur Public Links Champion, Joe Alfieri, of Lutz, 2015 Amateur Match Play & Mid-Amateur Champion, T J Shuart, of Fort Lauderdale, 2015 Mid-Senior Champion, Stephen Anderson, of Hobe Sound and 2014 Mid-Amateur Champion, Thad Hudgens, of Longwood. Other notable players include: Ryan Celano, of Naples, Michael DeMorat, of Merritt Island, Marc Dull, of Winter Haven, R J Nakashian, of Palm Beach Gardens and Jon Veneziano, Mount Dora.

In all, 21 players earned exempt status through a variety of different means. The field features 61 players under the age of 20. The youngest player competing this week will be Leopoldo Herrera, of Doral, who is 14 years old, while the oldest player is reining FSGA Senior Player-of-the-Year, Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale, at 66 years young.

Started in 1914, the Florida Amateur Championship 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, Barry Cheesman and Blayne Barber.

Spectators and media are welcome to watch the state’s best amateur golfers compete at Fiddlesticks Country Club and Miromar Lakes Golf Club.    

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