VERO BEACH, Fla. (June 19, 2014) -- Michael DeMorat fires a nine-under par round of 63 to lead the 97th Florida State Amateur Championship at Quail Valley Golf Club and Hawks Nest Golf Club, in Vero Beach. The Championship continues through Sunday, June 22.
Michael DeMorat, of Merritt Island, tied the course record at Quail Valley Golf Club on Thursday with his round of nine-under par 63. DeMorat, who recently signed to play golf at Eastern Florida State College, leads the field of 168 by three strokes heading into the second round of play. DeMorat started on the front nine, and after playing the first four holes in even par, he would rattle off four birdies in a row on holes 5 thru 8. After a slight hiccup on the ninth hole with a double bogey, DeMorat would turn at two-under par 34. DeMorat would catch fire on the back nine carding an impressive side of seven-under to cap off his round of 63. His side of 29 included an eagle on the 10th hole, and birdies on 11, 12, 13, 14, and 17. DeMorat will look to expand his lead tomorrow as he heads to Hawks Nest Golf Club for his 9:48 AM tee time.
Edward Figueroa, of Naples, and Gabriel Lench, of Lake Mary, are currently tied for second place after their rounds of six-under par 66. Figueroa, who played Quail Valley, would card seven birdies to go along with only one bogey. Lench fired the low round of the day at Hawks Nest Golf Club, making an eagle, six birdies and only two bogeys. Other notable players in the mix include the 2014 Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Champion, Don Bell, of Port Orange, who is currently tied for 7th place after his round of 69 at Hawks Nest, and the 2013 Amateur Match Play Champion, Kevin Jorden, of Juno Beach is tied for 11th place after his round of 70 at Quail Valley. Even with 22 players under par, both courses averaged over par for the best amateurs in the state, with Quail Valley Golf Club playing to an 76.226 stroke average and Hawks Nest Golf Club playing to a 76.741.
Before reaching the Championship, more than 740 participants attempted to qualify at one of 14 sites across the state. In the Championship, participants will play 18 holes each at Quail Valley Golf Club and Hawk’s Nest Golf Club on June 19-20. After 36-holes, the field will be cut to the low 70 and ties. The final 36-holes of the Championship will be played at Quail Valley Golf Club on June 21-22.
Started in 1914, the Florida Amateur Championship 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, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, and Barry Cheesman.
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