TAMPA, Fla. (June 24, 2007)-– Matthew Galloway won the 90th Florida State Amateur Championship shooting a tournament total of 4-under par 280 at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor on June 21-24.
University of West Florida golfer, Matthew Galloway, of Valrico, had a two-stroke lead heading into the final round of play with scores of 69-70-70. Playing the Copperhead Course in the final round, Galloway, 21, posted a 35-36 to finish the day at even par and secure the Championship by two strokes. “I didn’t hit the ball in trouble much,” said Galloway . “I hit my irons well and didn’t three putt all week.” On the front nine, Galloway was 2-under through four holes making birdie on holes three and four. Making the turn at 5-under for the tournament, Galloway maintained a four-stroke advantage over the field. On the back nine, Galloway was steady making pars and one bogey on the 11th hole. After checking his two stroke lead with an official on the 16th hole, Galloway said, “I knew I just needed to finish with pars and I would be ok.” Galloway did just that on 17 and saved par on 18 after driving the ball into the trees. “This wins means a lot,” said Galloway . “There are a lot of good names on that trophy and it’s awesome to see mine added to it.” Galloway credits his coach for giving him the confidence needed to win the Championship. “After the first round, I was surprised to break par,” said Galloway . “I spoke with my coach who gave me some good advice and the confidence I needed.” Galloway heads to North Carolina next for the North and South Amateur Championship.
Song Jeon, of Tallahassee , placed second with a tournament total of 2-under par 282. Jeon recorded a 76 in the first round and then moved ahead with rounds of 67-70. In the final round, Jeon started with a birdie on one and finished the front nine with a birdie on nine. With another birdie on the 13th hole, Jeon closed the gap to two and finished with a 2-under par 69 for the day. Tyson Alexander, from Gainesville , and Jhared Hack, of Sanford , tied for third place at 1-under par 283. Alexander carded a 69-74-71-69 as Hack recorded consistent rounds of 71-70-71-71. The 2005 Amateur Champion Ryan Abbate, of Fort Lauderdale , shared fifth place honors with Danny Simmerman, of Fort Myers , and Cameron Knight, of Dade City .
Galloway receives a crystal vase and his name inscribed on the Clarence Camp Championship Trophy. The top ten plus ties receive an exemption into next year’s Florida State Amateur Championship at Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta.
Before reaching the Championship, more than 845 participants attempted to qualify at one of 13 sites across the state. The top 168 amateur golfers in the state advanced to play 18 holes each on Innisbrook’s Island and Copperhead Courses. After 36 holes, 70 players with a two-round total of 150 or better advanced to the final 36 holes on the Copperhead Course, home to the PGA Tour’s PODS 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, Buddy Alexander, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, and Barry Cheesman.
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