Junior Match Play Champions Crowned
Rhett Pooley, Sachin Kumar and Alyssa Lamoureux, captured their division titles at the Junior Match Play Championship. The Oaks Club in Osprey hosted the Boys’ 16-18 division while IMG Acedemy Golf Club hosted the Boys’ 13-15 and the Girls' 13-18. The event was held July 23-26.
Boys 16-18 Age Division
Rhett Pooley, of Lake Wales, won the Boys 16-18 age division Championship by defeating Tyler Strafaci, of Davie, 1up in the Finals. Strafaci won the 2013 Junior Match Play title and 2014 Boys' Junior title. In the final match, Pooley and Strafaci battled back and forth throughout the match. Strafaci was 2up through the 7th, but Pooley won three of the next four holes and was 1up through 11 holes. The duo headed to the 18th tee all square. Both went for the reachable par 5 in two; Strafaci found the rough over the green and Pooley found the back fringe. Strafaci chipped up to 6 feet and then Pooley putted from the fringe and the ball struck the flagstick. Pooley let out a fist pump, but the ball didn't fall, it rattled off of the flagstick and settled a few inches from the hole. Strafaci conceded the birdie and then had to make his 6 footer to extend the match. After studying the putt, he left the must-make putt a little short giving Pooley his first state championship title.
Pooley posted rounds of 73-74 in the seeding rounds, to earn the 10th seed. In the round of 32, Pooley defeated Michael Bakker on the 20th hole, and then went on to beat Christian Anderson 2up, to earn a spot in the Quarterfinals. Pooley would then defeat Morgan Hobbs 3 and 1, and Benjamin Miller 2 and 1, to reach the finals.
Boys 16-18 Bracket
Alyssa Lamoureux, of Seminole was the story of
the week at the Junior Match Play in the Girls Division. Lamoureux would
capture medalist honors by 6 strokes after rounds of 72-75. Once in
match play, she would defeat Caitlin Cotterill 2 & 1, Julia Champion
3 & 2, and Sydney Shrader 7 & 5 en route to her first FSGA
Championship. In 2014, Lamoureux advanced to match play at the Women’s
Amateur Championship and finished 3rd at the Girls’ Junior.
Girls 13-18 Bracket
Boys 13-15 Age Division
After the 1 & 2 seeds fell in the Round of 16, the path was set for the #3 seed Robert Eisch, of Tampa & #4 seed Sachin Kumar, of Port Saint Lucie to meet in the finals Saturday morning after navigating through their respective halves of the bracket.
Kumar defeated Juanyu Weng 2 & 1 in the Round of 16 Thursday afternoon. On Friday, he would post consecutive 3 & 2 victories over the 12th seed Sam Rogers & close friend and 16th seed Kritsarin Oukosavanna. Kritsarin was able to knock off both the 1 seed and 8 seed after claiming the last spot in match play after a 5 for 4 play-off.
Eisch’s road saw him defeat Kristian Fortis 7 & 6, Colin Kresl 1 up, and Chris Kern 5 & 4 en route to reaching the finals.
The final match started off with the players trading blows early. One down on the 9th tee, Eisch decided to hit driver on the short par 4, hitting it hole high about 60 feet right of the flag. Eisch would convert the birdie to tie the match heading into the back nine; however, losing that hole would spark Kumar. Sachin would continue steady play, moving to 3 up through 14, and close out the match 3 & 2 just two holes later. Kumar adds the match play championship to an already impressive 2014 campaign that has seen him finish 3rd at the Boys’ Junior, making the cut at the Florida Open, and Amateur Championship, and two FJT Victories at Cypress Creek in March and Bear Lakes in June.
Boys 13-15 Bracket