Who are the 5 hottest players in Florida?
25 Jul 2014
see also: M.J. Maguire Rankings, M.J. Maguire Profile

M.J. Maguire
M.J. Maguire
by Jack Persons, AmateurGolf.com

How’s this for a corny opener: AmateurGolf.com can’t decide what’s hotter… A Florida mid-day round, or the following five Florida golfers?

In our eyes, it has to be the golfers. These five players have separated themselves from the rest of the pack by playing fantastic golf this year and performing down the stretch at big-name national golf tournaments.

Today, we stop in Florida as we continue to look for the summer’s best golfers. The Sunshine State is perpetually competitive, and the following list of stars exemplify exactly that. Here are Florida’s five hottest golfers of the summer.

MJ Maguire

The University of North Florida’s Maguire (pictured, top-left) came from behind in the final round of the Southern Amateur to win by three strokes. While the rest of the field took a beating at the Honors Course in Tennessee, Maguire stayed steady and was rewarded with what he called “the biggest win of my amateur career.” That might be low-balling the accomplishment. Not only is the Southern one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country, but he also earned a spot in next year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Sam Horsfield

The England native—who now resides in Florida—qualified for two USGA championships this summer. He went from the U.S. Amateur Public Links, where he lost in the second round, to Texas for the U.S. Junior Amateur. As of the publishing of this article, he had reached the quarterfinals of the championship, where he will face Andreas Halvorsen. Horsfield also won the New Year’s Invitational. It has been quite the year for the young star.

Rigel Fernandes

Fernandes, who attends the University of South Florida, won the 2014 Rice Planter’s Amateur by a very impressive seven strokes. He shot 17-under for the week, a dominant performance in a very strong field and prestigious tournament. Fernandes also put up a strong showing at the U.S. Amateur Public Links, tying for 21st in the stroke play portion of the event before losing in the first round.

Joe Alfieri

Mid-amateur Joe Alfieri has played the majority of his summer tournaments in Florida this year, and played well in all of them. To start the summer, he took runner-up in the Florida Mid-Amateur Stroke Play championship. He followed it up with a tied for 15th place finish in June at the Florida Amateur Championship, and finally finished off July with a tied for 11th place finish at the Florida Open. A top-20 finish at the Birmingham National Invitational was the icing on the cake.

Taylor Funk

Yes, Funk’s father is the infamous Fred Funk. He has played very well on the amateur circuit this summer, as he finished in the top- 10 at the rain-shortened Trans-Miss Championship, qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship, and opened with a five-under 65 at the Porter Cup. He is currently tied for sixth after two rounds.
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