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New Year's Invitational: Jimmy Jones fires 66 to grab 36-hole lead
Jimmy Jones (FSGA photo)
Jimmy Jones (FSGA photo)
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 that turned 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- Amateur 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 title.

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 Division.

The 72-hole tournament ends Sunday.

ABOUT THE New Year's Invitational

Historic invitational golf tournament that originated on the Lakewood golf course in 1927. This same amateur invitational tournament -- which attracts top Florida amateurs and a strong group of out-of- state players as well -- continues, unbroken, each year although the club name was later changed to St. Petersburg Country Club.

View Complete Tournament Information

Results For New Year's Invitational Golf Tournament
Place  PtsScores
1FLJimmy JonesTampa, FL70070-66-73-70=279
T2MNAndrew McCainMinneapolis, MN42069-71-68-71=279
T2VAJoey LaneGreat Falls, VA42069-68-72-70=279
T2FLJimmy StangerTampa, FL42070-71-66-72=279
5FLJoe AlfieriTampa, FL21069-69-67-75=280

View full results for New Year's Invitational Golf Tournament

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