June 25, 2006

Dennis Captures Amateur Championship

Jeff Dennis wins the 89th Florida State Amateur Championship shooting a tournament total of 5-under par 280 at Pine Tree Golf Club in Boynton Beach on June 22-25.

University of North Florida golfer, Jeff Dennis, of Parkland, had a four-stroke lead heading into the final round with scores of 69-68-70. Dennis, 19, outlasted two short weather delays to shoot 37-36 in the final round to secure the Championship by four shots. In the final round, Dennis and Marc France were tied at 5-under going into the 9th hole when Dennis made birdie to jump to 6-under while France made bogey. “I was leaking oil for the first seven holes,” said Dennis. “I made a great up and down on eight for par and then birdied nine for 1-over on the front.” On the back nine, Dennis saved par on the 13th hole with a solid bunker shot to be 5-under. After missing a short birdie putt on 14, Dennis regrouped on the 15th hole to make birdie and go back to 6-under. Dennis felt he had “pretty good control after 15.” Dennis laid up on the 18th hole for bogey and clinched the Championship by four strokes. “I played well the first three rounds and just held it together today,” said Dennis. “This a great feeling, the biggest win of my career.”  Edward Kenny, of Lake Worth, was back in contention making birdie on holes 12 and 14 to also finish with a final round 73. Kenny shot 69 and a pair of 71s in the first three rounds to take second place with a 1-under 284. Marc France, of Lakeland, finished even for the tournament with rounds of 71-68-72-74 for third place.  

Dennis receives a crystal vase and his name inscribed on the Clarence Camp Championship Trophy. The top ten plus ties receive an exemption into next year’s Florida State Amateur Championship at the Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor.

Before reaching the Championship, more than 700 participants attempted to qualify at one of 13 sites across the state. In the Championship, participants play 18 holes each at Pine Tree and Hunter’s Run on June 22-23. After 36 holes, 72 players with a two-round total of 152 or better advanced to the final 36 holes at Pine Tree on June 24-25. Designed by Dick Wilson, Pine Tree is considered one of his best courses and ranked in the nation’s top 100 and placed in Florida’s top five on a regular basis.

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, Buddy Alexander, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, and Barry Cheesman.

For tee-times, pairings and results, please see www.fsga.org. 

Organized in 1913, the Florida State Golf Association is a not-for-profit organization that governs amateur golf in the state of Florida. In addition to conducting 22 championships for amateur golfers in the state, the FSGA is responsible for more than 40 qualifying tournaments for USGA National Championships. The FSGA also maintains the USGA Handicap System, performs course ratings throughout Florida and assists in junior programs and scholarships. 

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