Senior Match Play Final Set
Stroke Play Seeding Rounds
The Golf Club of the Everglades, located in Naples, started 78 players on Sunday, June 10th vying to be crowned Senior Amateur Match Play Champion. Two rounds of stroke play would determine the low 32 players advancing to match play. Don Whittemore, of Temple Terrace, finished on top as the number one seed after two impressive and consistent rounds of 69 for a 138 (-6). Whittemore, a familiar force in FSGA events, is searching for another victory after winning the Four-Ball Championship in 2012. Past Senior Player of the Year and 2014 Senior Amateur Match Play Champion, Pete Williams, tied Richard Kerper at 139 (-5) in second place. Defending Champion, Owen Joyner, of Bonita Springs, carded two great rounds of 72-69 to finish fourth at 141 (-3). 2013 Champion, Doug LaCrosse advanced to match play along with 2017 Senior Player of the Year, George DeSear.
The cut to the top 32 players was made at nine over-par, 153. Five players tied for 32nd and continued to a sudden-death playoff for the last spot in match play. Jose Novo, of Miami, advanced from the playoff to play number one seed, Don Whittemore, in the Round of 32 matches Monday afternoon. Tough competition would determine the 2018 Senior Match Play Champion!
Round of 32
The round of 32 wrapped up with many notables advancing. The number one seed, Don Whittemore, defeats Jose Novo to advance into the round of 16 where he will face Jacque Legere from Fort Myers. The 2017 Senior Amateur Championship, George DeSear, moves on to the round of 16, where he will be playing against Patrick Becker of Cape Coral. Last year's Senior Match Play Champion, Owen Joyner, has also moved on along with Micheal Cox of Naples. Other notables that have moved on are the second and third seeded players, Richard Kerper and Pete Williams. Doug LaCrosse, the winner of this year's Super Senior Amateur Championship has also advanced and will be playing against Bill Barnes, the winner of this year's Senior Amateur Championship. Round of 16 matches are currently underway.
Round of 16
The round of 16 has now ended with 8 players moving on to the quarterfinals including Medalist Don Whittemore, defending Champion Owen Joyner, 2014 Champion Pete Williams, and 2013 Champion Doug LaCrosse. Three matches exceeded 18 holes with the longest match of the day played between Richard Kerper and Bill Moore. Kerper won the 25th hole to advance to the quarterfinals. Williams played an impressive match with a 7&6 victory. LaCrosse beat out this year's Senior Amateur champion, Bill Barnes, with a 5&4 victory. The quarterfinal matches will take place Wednesday morning with the semifinal round taking place Wednesday afternoon.
The quarterfinals ends with Whittemore, Kerper, Joyner and Williams advancing into the semifinals. Whittemore defeats Becker after starting off down through twelve holes but came back with three consecutive birdies to go up in the match and eventually win 2&1. Defending champion Joyner never gave up his lead in his match against Roger Dean. Joyner started off one up and steadily grew his lead to win 4&3. Kerper's match was all square after nine hole playing against Himelsbaugh. Kerper then came back with winning six consecutive hole to claim victory by 4&3. The last match of the day was played by Williams and LaCrosse. Both former champions, Williams started with wins on the first three holes and while LaCrosse fought back to only be one down, Williams won three consecutive holes to claim the victory by 3&2.
Joyner and Williams are victorious in the semifinal matches. The first match in the semifinals saw Joyner taking a commanding lead going four up in the front nine and then closing the match out 3 up against this year's number one seed, Don Whittemore. The second match played between Williams and Kerper was tied up for most of the round until Williams made three birdies in the back nine to get to 2 up. Kerper fought back but it wasn't enough to take the victory away from Williams who won 1 up.
Due to inclement weather moving into Naples, the final match is tentatively rescheduled for July 16th at the Golf Club of the Everglades. Owen Joyner and Pete Williams are ready to go head-to-head to determine the Champion in July. We look forward to the intense match between defending Champion, Joyner, and 2014 Champion, Williams, in the near future.