Junior Match Play Invitational
August 26-27, 2006
Junior Match Play Champions Crowned
Blayne Barber and Erica Popson each won their second Championship of the year capturing the 16-18 age division of the Junior Match Play Invitational at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples on August 26-27. In the 13-15 age division, Curtis Thompson and Casey Kennedy each won their respective divisions of the 2006 Championship.
The 2006 Boys Junior Champion Blayne Barber won four matches en route to claiming the Boys 16-18 age division. Playing from 7,060 yards, the same distance and hole locations as Greg Norman’s Shark Shoot-Out, top seeded Barber played steady golf to reach the finals. In the final match, Barber, 16, of Lake City, overpowered Joshua Leppo 4 and 2 to win the 2006 Championship. Leppo, 17, of Naples, the sixth seed, went 5-under to win his first match 6 and 5 and then upset third seed Tyler Hock 5 and 3 in the quarters.
Erica Popson, of Davenport, secured the Girls 16-18 age division beating Kristen Hill in the final match. Popson made four birdies through 12 holes to win the match 7 and 6. The 15-year-old Popson prevailed in her first two matches with two holes remaining in each. “I played my best golf in the final match,” said Popson. “My putting improved from the first day and everything just came together in the final match.” Popson earned the second seed with a Florida Junior Tour (FJT) victory in the 16-18 age division and winning the 13-15 age division of the Florida Girls Junior Championship.
In the Boys 13-15 age division, third seeded Curtis Thompson, of Coral Springs, defeated Alex McMahon, of Naples, 2 and 1 to win the division. Thompson, 13, won his first two matches 7 and 5 to advance to the finals. McMahon, the eighth seed and playing his home course, made six birdies to upset the top seed Phillip Choi in the quarterfinals 5 and 3 before reaching the finals.
Casey Kennedy, 15, of Venice, beat the number one seed in the Girls 13-15 age division to win the title. Kennedy defeated 11-year-old Alexis Thompson, of Coral Springs, in the finals 4 and 3. Both Kennedy and Thompson advanced from their semifinal match after making birdie on the 19th hole.
This invitation only event features the top male and female junior golfers ages 13-15 and 16-18. Invitations are based on the Junior Championship and Florida Junior Tour rankings. Tiburón Golf Club, located at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, is a 36-hole championship course designed by the legendary Greg Norman. Home to the Franklin Templeton Shootout, Tiburón Golf Club offers players a rare balance of breathtaking beauty and challenge.
$80, includes one practice round and all match play rounds.
Division (16-18): Fourteen from either the Boys' Junior Championship or
the Florida Junior Tour points list will be invited to participate. Two
other players based on their performance will round out the field of
16. Eight girls will be invited based on their performance to compete in
Junior Division (13-15): Eight from either the Boys' Junior Championship or the Florida Junior Tour points list will be invited. Eight girls will be invited based on their performance to compete in the Invitational.
All players must walk. (Pull carts permitted.) Use of caddies is permitted. Spectator carts are permitted. Accommodations: Arrangements will be provided in player information packet.
At Victoria Hills Golf Club, Wesley Graham, of Port Orange, defeated Phillip Choi, from Orlando, 3 and 1 to win the 13-15 age division as Robbie Wight, from West Palm Beach, defeated Andrew Nottenkamper, of Boynton Beach, 19 holes for the 16-18 division title.
Arrangements have been made at the Ritz-Carlton for $119 per night. Call (239) 593-2000 by August 12 and identify yourself as an FSGA competitor.