July 31, 2008

Junior Match Play Champions Named

Ernesto Marin and Daniel Berger each won five matches en route to capturing their division titles while Erica Popson made it three in a row winning the Girls 13-18 age division.

Ernesto Marin, of Miami, defeated Kevin Britton, of Palm City, 4 and 3 in the final match to claim the Championship Flight of the Boys 16-18 age division. Marin, coming off a quarterfinal finish in the US Junior Championship, won four matches before meeting Britton in the finals. Marin, the 4th seed, won his first match 4 and 3 and proceeded to beat Scott Smyers, of Lakeland, 1 up in the Round of 16. In the quarters, Marin won 5 and 3 and then beat Brandon Park, of Weston, 4 and 2 in the semis. Park, the 32nd seed, upset top seed Justin Foster, of Dunedin, in the first round. In the finals, Marin was 2 up through nine holes and won the 10th hole to go 3 up. Britton won 13 to close the gap to two and Marin answered with a 25 foot birdie putt on 14 to bring his lead back to three. Marin birdied the 15th hole to secure the Championship title 4 and 3. Britton, the 31st seed, had a good run knocking off the 2nd and 3rd seeds on his way to the finals. In the Snead Flight, Joshua Masterson, of Davenport, defeated JD Hefferin, from Maitland, 4 and 3. The Hogan Flight had Jason Del Rosso, from Orlando, beating Casey Matthews, of Miami, 8 and 6 for the win. Komsith Huachai, of Windermere, won the Jones Flight defeating Justin Dorward, of Port Saint Lucie, 3 and 2.  

Top seed Daniel Berger, of Jupiter, won the Boys 13-15 age division Championship Flight beating Chris Ingham 3 and 1 in the final match. After firing a 65 in the seeding round, Berger won his first match 6 and 5 and then his Round of 16 match 2 and 1. In the quarters, Berger beat Marcus Plunkett, from Saint Augustine, in 19 holes to advance to the semifinals versus Joshua Lee, from Orange Park. Berger defeated Lee 5 and 4 to face Chris Ingham in the final match. Berger and Ingham traded birdies throughout the front nine as Berger went 1 up at the turn. Berger made birdie on the 11th hole to go 2 up and after halving holes, Berger closed out the match on 17. This win betters Berger’s runner up finish last year and most recent runner up finish to Gary Nicklaus in the Palm Beach County Amateur Championship. Next up, Berger will attempt to win the Amateur Match Play Championship in August at Quail Valley. To reach the finals, Ingham, of Pinecrest, birdied the last four holes to come back from three down to beat Matt Ceravolo, of Palm Beach Gardens, 1 up. Ingham placed third in this year’s Boys Junior Championship. In the Nelson Flight, Ittipat Chanakul, of Orlando, defeated Dylan Stilin, from West Palm Beach, 7 and 6 for the bracket title. 

Defending Champion Erica Popson, of Davenport, won her third Junior Match Play title beating Samantha Marks, of Maitland, 4 and 2 in the final match. After earning a bye in the first round, Popson, the top seed in the Girls 13-18 age division, won her next two matches 1 up and 2 and 1. This win also adds to Popson’s victory in the Florida Junior Girls’ Championship.

To view tee times, pairings, and complete 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 25 championships for amateur golfers in the state, the FSGA is responsible for more than 40 qualifying tournaments for USGA National Championships and the Florida Junior Tour. The FSGA also maintains the USGA Handicap System, performs course ratings throughout Florida and assists in junior programs and scholarships. 

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