Jimmy Jones headed into the final round of the Championship in second place, one stroke behind Cristobal Del Solar, of Tallahassee. The two players faced off in the same pairing, which made for an exciting final round. Jones birdied holes three and four but could not jump ahead of Del Solar who birdied holes four and five to move to 12 under-par.
Cristobal faltered with two double-bogeys on holes six and eight, pushing him back to eight-under par. Jones remained steady on the front-nine, which propelled him into first place at eleven-under par, three ahead of Del Solar going into the back-nine.
Del Solar, who loves competition, fought back with three straight birdies on holes 10 through 12. Jones struggled with two bogeys on holes 10 and 12.
Cristobal picked up one more stroke after a birdie on hole 14 and was three-up with three holes to play. After two disappointing bogeys on holes 16 and 17, Del Solar walked to the 18th hole at 10-under par. He was one stroke ahead of Jones, which was exactly how the day started. Jones hit his second shot on number 18 into the green-side bunker. He nearly made his bunker shot, leaving himself with a tap in birdie. Del Solar pitched his third shot to the fringe and had to make his next shot to clinch victory. Cristobal missed his chip shot and made a four-foot putt for par forcing a playoff.
Number 18 served as the first playoff hole where both players birdied to move on to number 10. Jones hit the par four in regulation leaving him a 30 foot birdie putt. Del Solar flew his second shot to the fringe at the back of the green and putted down to eight-feet. Jones nearly made his long putt, marked his ball and waited for Cristobal to putt for par. Del Solar missed his putt and Jones sunk his par putt to win the 98th Amateur Championship!
Chandler Blanchet finished alone in third place at four-under par after rounds of 69-72-70-73—284. Michael DeMorat and Ryan Orr tied for fourth place at three-under par, 285. The top fifteen plus ties receive an exemption into next year’s Florida State Amateur Championship. 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, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, and Barry Cheesman.
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