FSGA Jr. Match Play Invite: Barber and Popson Win Titles

NAPLES, Florida (August 27, 2006) - Blayne Barber and Erica Popson each won their second Championship of the year capturing the 16-18 age division of the Junior Match Play Invitational at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples on August 26-27. In the 13-15 age division, Curtis Thompson and Casey Kennedy each won their respective divisions of the 2006 Championship.

The 2006 Boys Junior Champion Blayne Barber won four matches en route to claiming the boys 16-18 age division. Playing from 7,060 yards, the same distance and hole locations as Greg Norman’s Shark Shoot-Out, top seeded Barber played steady golf to reach the finals. In the final match, Barber, 16, of Lake City , overpowered Joshua Leppo 4 and 2 to win the 2006 Championship. Leppo, 17, of Naples , the sixth seed, went 5-under to win his first match 6 and 5 and then upset third seed Tyler Hock 5 and 3 in the quarters. Erica Popson, of Davenport , secured the girls 16-18 age division beating Kristen Hill in the final match. Popson made four birdies through 12 holes to win the match 7 and 6. The 15-year-old Popson prevailed in her first two matches with two holes remaining in each. “I played my best golf in the final match,” said Popson. “My putting improved from the first day and everything just came together in the final match.” Popson earned the second seed with a Florida Junior Tour (FJT) victory in the 16-18 age division and winning the 13-15 age division of the Florida Girls Junior Championship.

In the boys 13-15 age division, third seeded Curtis Thompson, of Coral Springs , defeated Alex McMahon, of Naples , 2 and 1 to win the division. Thompson, 13, won his first two matches 7 and 5 to advance to the finals. McMahon, the eighth seed and playing his home course, made six birdies to upset the top seed Phillip Choi in the quarterfinals 5 and 3 before reaching the finals. Casey Kennedy, 15, of Venice , beat the number one seed in the girls 13-15 age division to win the title. Kennedy defeated 11-year-old Alexis Thompson, of Coral Springs , in the finals 4 and 3. Both Kennedy and Thompson advanced from their semifinal match after making birdie on the 19th hole.

This invitation only event featured the top male and female junior golfers ages 13-15 and 16-18. Invitations are based on the Boys and Girls Junior Championships and the Florida Junior Tour rankings. The boys 16-18 age division consisted of a field of 16 while all the other divisions featured eight players.

To view complete results, click on the appropriate link below:

Girls 16-18 Boys 16-18 Girls 13-15 Boys 13-15

About the FSGA Organized in 1913, the Florida State Golf Association is a not-for-profit organization that governs amateur golf in the state of Florida . In addition to conducting 22 championships for amateur golfers in the state, the FSGA is responsible for more than 40 qualifying tournaments for USGA National Championships and the Florida Junior Tour. The FSGA also maintains the USGA Handicap System, performs course ratings throughout Florida and assists in junior programs and scholarships.

ABOUT THE Florida Junior Match Play

This match play invitation-only event features the top junior golfers ages 13-18. Boys 16-18 play on one course, and boys 13-15 and all girls play on another. Invitations are based on the Junior Championship and Florida Junior Tour (FJT) rankings.

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