ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (January 8, 2016) --
Jimmy Jones fired the second-lowest round of the
tournament today to take the 36-hole lead in the
lead at the New Year's Invitational.
The season's opening tournament in the "Majors of
Amateur Golf" calendar is being played at St.
Petersburg Country Club, a historic course (1924)
designed by Herbert Strong.
And while reigning Florida State Amateur champion
Jones's round today put him on top, it was
the amazing comeback of LSU player Brandon Pierce
a few heads. Pierce (Covington, Louisiana) went
from out of contention to
the top 10 by chopping 15 strokes off of his first
round 79 with a tournament-low 64.
Joe Alfieri (Tampa) is running away with the Mid-
division (by 9 over Marc Dull), and after pair of 69's
he has his eyes on the bigger prize. Alfieri is tied for
third with Jake Kevorkian.
Alone in second is Joey Lane (69-68=137).
The senior division is lead by Dennis Monahan who
fired a very solid round of 70 to emerge from a
logjam and give himself a 5-shot lead at 144.
ROUND ONE COVERAGE
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (January 7, 2016) -- The
New Year's Invitational rang its opening round bell
today in Florida, and field of top amateur and
collegiate players were ready at the waiting.
Phillip Knowles of Bradenton set the
pace, firing 4-under 68 to lead four golfers that lurk
a single shot back at 69. Knowles plays for the
University of North Florida; he is no stranger to
being out front in a golf tournament.
In 2014, at just 17 years old, he capped off an
impressive run at the Florida State Match Play
Championship with a 4-and-2 victory, defeating
Edward Figueroa of Naples to grab the prestigious
At North Florida in his freshman year, he had
two top-30 individual finishes, and last summer he
qualified for the U.S. Amateur.
Josh August (Lake Worth, FL); Joey Lane (Great Falls, VA); Andrew McCain
(Minneapolis, MN), and Joe Alfieri (Tampa, FL)
make up the foursome at 69. Look for McCain to
make a serious run here -- the former University of
Maryland golfer won the 2015 Minnesota State Open - as an
amateur. And the previous summer he set a course
record during the Pacific Coast Amateur.
As for Alfieiri, he is not only in contention for
the overall title, he also paces the Mid-Am Division
by four shots over Marc Dull. Tom Hyland and Dennis
Monahan both fired 74 to pace the small Senior
The 72-hole tournament ends Sunday.