June 23, 2013

Horsfield Wins the 96th Amateur

Sam Horsfield captures the 96th Amateur Championship by eleven shots

Sam Horsfield wins the 96th Florida State Amateur Championship firing a tournament total of four-under par 278 at Jupiter Hills Club in Jupiter, on June 20-23.

Sixteen-year-old, Sam Horsfield of Davenport, prevailed over the field of 168 players to capture the 96th Florida State Amateur Championship.  In the first round, Horsfield trailed by six shots, but followed up with a second round three-under par 67 on the difficult Hills course at Jupiter Hills Club. He sat at three-under par for the championship heading into the weekend and leading by four shots. Even with an up-and-down round on Saturday, Horsfield extended his lead with a two-over par 72 for a 54-hole total of one-under par 211. 

In the final round Horsfield played a solid front nine.  He started with an early birdie on his second hole, and stayed consistent with all pars and one more birdie, giving him a nine shot lead heading into the back nine.  With a double bogie on hole 13, Horsfield recovered immediately with a birdie on the 235-yard par three 14.  Horsfield said, “My goal for the day was to play solid.  I wanted to try to shoot even par and knew that that would be good for the day.  So three-under was a great day to have out there.”  Horsfield kept playing solid with a birdie on 16 and then closed the deal with another birdie on the par-four 18th hole to finish three-under for the day.  “Going into the last few holes I was feeling very relaxed and knew how I stood in the field.  Having the birdie on 16 just made me feel even better going down the stretch.”

This is Horsfield’s second career Florida State Golf Association title, winning the 2011 Boys’ Junior Championship (13-15) when he was fourteen with a 15 under-par three-day total of 201 to win by five shots.  He also recently set a course record at Fox Hollow Golf Club in Trinity, Florida, when he shot a 61 en route to qualifying for the US Amateur Public Links.

First round leader, Sean Kelly of Bradenton, finished alone in second place after rounds of 66-79-75-69 for a tournament total of seven-over par 289.  Kelly’s four-under par first round of 66 on the Hills course gave him an early three shot lead over the field. Thad Hudgens, of Longwood, finished in third place after rounds of 77-68-72-73 for a tournament total of eight-over par 290. Other notable players included the 2013 Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Champion Joe Alfieri who finished tied for sixth, and the 2013 Mid-Am Four-Ball North Champion Jon Veneziano, of Mount Dora, finished tied for eighth place with a tournament total of 296.

The field was cut to 74 players following round two.  Both courses played extremely difficult to the best amateurs in the state the first two days, with the par 70 Hills course playing to a 79.3 stroke average and the par 72 Village course playing to a 78.3 stroke average.  Clearly a superb venue for championship golf, Jupiter Hills Club was host to the 1987 US Amateur Championship.

Started in 1914, the FSGA State Amateur 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, and Barry Cheesman.

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