September 14, 2014

Knowles and Romeo Take Home Hardware

Knowles breaks 36-hole FJT record, Romeo defeats Yang in first playoff hole

The Champions Course at Palm Aire Country Club, in Sarasota, was no match for the boys and girls in the 16-18 division with twenty-eight players carding under par scores. 

Phillip Knowles, this year's Amateur Match Play Champion, broke the 10-year-old Florida Junior Tour (FJT) record of lowest 36-hole score this weekend by two strokes, firing an impressive 14-under par 64-66--130. Bobby Gates Jr. set the record in 2004 at Grand Cypress Golf Club with a two round total of 12-under par 132. Along with breaking the 36-hole record, Knowles' Round One score of 8-under par 64 tied for second lowest round in FJT 16-18 records. 

Fourteen boys and five girls finished under par after Round One. Knowles, of Bradenton, carded a bogey free round, sinking birdie putts on holes 1, 2, 4, 8, along with holes 11 through 14. Knowles 8-under par 64 gave him a four shot lead over Spencer Shultz, also from Bradenton. In the girl's division, Terese Romeo, of Tampa, lead the field after Saturdays round of 5-under par 67. Romeo also made eight impressive birdies on holes 2,5,6,10,11,13,16 and 18.

Topping Saturday's fourteen under par rounds, seventeen players finished in the red during Sunday's Final Round. Knowles lapped the field winning by seven strokes, carding five birdies and an eagle on the par 5, 510 yard first hole. Andrew Potter, of Naples, finished second with a two round total of 70-67--137 while Colin Kresl, of Lakeland, finished third with a two round total of 69-70--139. 

In the girl's division Athena Yang, of Winter Haven, gave Romeo a run for her money, firing a 6-under par 66 to tie for the lead at 7-under par 137 and send the duo into a playoff. Similar to Knowles' second round, Yang carded five birdies and dunked her 122 yard approach shot on the par 4 13th for an eagle. Despite Yang's efforts, Romeo was victorious in the playoff, defeating Yang on the first hole, par 4 18th, by sinking her 6 foot par putt. Lantanna Stone finished third with a two round total of 69-73--142.

The FJT 16-18 division is back in action in two weeks at Banyan Golf Club of Palm Beach in West Palm Beach on September 27-28.

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