Shuart Prevails Winning 2nd Mid-Am
Quail Valley Golf Club, in Vero Beach, was in pristine condition as the host of the 38th Mid-Amateur Championship. The field consisted of 63 players who advanced through local qualifying to meet 21 exempt players at the prestigious Quail Valley Golf Club for 36 holes of stroke play seeding. Vero Beach local, Michael Barbosa, was the wire-to-wire stroke play medalist by one stroke with rounds of 67-69—136. Fourteen red numbers highlighted the stroke play leaderboard. 2015 Champion, TJ Shuart, finished as the third seed with an impressive second round of 67. Other past Champions, Joe Alfieri and Steve Carter, advanced to match play while six players, who tied at three over-par 147, continued to a sudden-death play-off to determine the last two spots in the round of 32 matches. 2019 Finalist, Jeff Golden, and Devin Hernandez prevailed through the play-off to finish 31st and 32nd seed respectively.
Stroke Play Results
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The Round of 32 began immediately after the second stroke play seeding round. Michael Barbosa defeated Devin Hernandez, of Saint Petersburg, to face 2009 Champion, Steve Carter, in the Round of 16. The 25th seed, Devon Hopkins, and 24th seed, Joey Latowski, prevailed against lower seeds to continue on their quest for the Finals. Both Matthew Lemma, of New Port Richey, and Nikhil DeSai, of Winter Park, earned 1-up wins to advance to the next round. Aaron Badz, of Saint Augustine, won his match, 2 & 1, against 2018 Mid-Senior Champion, Miles McConnell, while TJ Shuart continued his strong play to advance to the Round of 16.
Exciting golf highlighted the Round of 16 and Quarterfinal Matches played on Saturday. Five of the eight matches were determined on the 18th hole, including two matches that needed 20 holes to find a winner. Fourth seed, Matthew Lemma, advanced to the Quarterfinals after 20 holes against Brian Keenan, who played 22 holes to reach the Round of 16. Joey Latowski, of Port Saint Lucie, faced 20 holes against Devon Hopkins to continue to the Quarterfinals. Impressive golf came from two-time Champion, Steve Carter, of Saint Augustine, who took down stroke play medalist, Barbosa, 1-up. A clutch 18 foot putt on the final hole from Nikhil DeSai allowed him to beat 1999 Champion, Joe Alfieri, 1-up. Vero Beach local, Ryan Cobb, ended his match play journey after TJ Shuart advanced 2 & 1.
The great display of golf continued to the Quarterfinal matches on Saturday afternoon. Latowski faced Carter and the pair halved the first six holes with all pars. An eagle on the seventh hole brought Latowski to 1-up along with giving him momentum to card birdies on holes 9, 12, and 14. A bogey free round for Latowski propelled him to the Semifinal Matches with a 4 & 2 win. Lemma never trailed in his match and made the turn at 3-up. An eagle on 14 and birdie on 15 earned Lemma a 4 & 3 win against DeSai. The most excitement came from the match between Aaron Badz and Bowen Osborn. Badz was 4-up through 10 holes when Osborn brought forth the heat making an eagle on the par four, 11th hole and birdies on holes 14 and 15. The match sat at all square on the 18th green where the two both made pars and continued to play the first hole for the third time that day. Badz advanced to the semifinals after a par on the par three, second, their 20th hole. TJ Shuart defeated fellow South Floridian, Daniel Eggertsson, 2 & 1 due to his steady play.
The Semifinals saw Latowski defeat Lemma 3 &2 and Shuart win 7 & 6 against Badz. Latowski would go head to head against past Champion, Shuart, in the Finals. After a birdie on the first hole, Latowski took the early lead. Latowski made the turn 2-up and held onto his lead approaching the finishing holes. Shuart came back to win holes 13, 14, 17, and 18 to take the match to all square. Shuart’s birdie on the 18th hole extended the match to extra holes to determine the Champion. On the first extra hole, number one, both players missed their birdie putts to continue to the second hole. On the 20th hole, Shuart missed the green short right, chipping on to 30 feet. Latowski hit his approach shot on the fringe and left himself with an eight foot putt for par. Both players made bogey extending the match to the 21st hole, par five number three. Shuart and Latowski laid-up and hit their approach shots ten yards short of the green with a false front. Latowski left himself with five feet for par while Shuart closed in on the hole with a six inch par putt. Latowski missed his putt and Shuart sunk his putt for par to seize his second Mid-Amateur Championship victory!
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The men’s schedule will continue with the Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championships on June 1-2. The Mid-Amateur Four-Ball North is hosted by World Woods Golf Club, in Brooksville, while the Mid-Amateur Four-Ball South will be played at Eagle Creek Golf & Country Club in Naples.