MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — University of Florida freshman Jorge Garcia of Annaco, Venezuela topped off a great year winning the South Beach International Amateur by three shots.
His final round 5-under par 66 (276) sealed the victory in his fourth try at the SBIA Championship. Garcia, who played his high school golf locally at American Heritage, spent the week battling winds that blew 15 to 30 miles per hour all four days. Garcia is a part of the resurgent Florida Gators squad that expects big things. That certainly seems to be a realistic expectation with how well he and his teammates played this week.
Tied for second were three players, two from the college ranks and a senior in high school. TCU’s Sarosh Adi’s even par 71 rounded out his week which included a 64 at Miami Beach GC in round two. While Adi’s was disappointed he didn’t close out the tournament after he led after the third round, it was his highest finish in a worldwide “major.” Florida State’s Joshua Lee of Fleming Island, Ga. also fired an even-par 71 to pick up his second place hardware.
The round of the tournament and in the history of Miami Beach Golf club was shot by the third second-place winner. Arkansas commit Luis Garza of Leon, Mexico broke the course record of 63 set by Blake Morris in the 2013 SBIA. Garza’s 61 was simply put, unbelievable. With extremely hard pin positions, greens rolling at 11.5 and wind blowing at 15 miles an hour plus, the round drew dropped jaws by all who watched it and played in the tournament.
“When you consider the best amateurs in the world were in the field and today’s stroke average was 74.55 in very difficult conditions, the 61 was magical,” said Executive Director Jeff Hunt.
“It is very special to see Jorge win this tournament, it is obviously very special for him to win in his adopted backyard,” Hunt said. Hunt added, “Our field is one of the strongest in the world and Jorge is so good we knew he would take the trophy one day, and that day was today!”