VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 7, 2007)-- Eddie Kenny defeated Stephen Anderson in 22 holes to win the 26th Florida State Mid-Amateur Championship at John’s Island Club in Vero Beach on October 4-7.
Eddie Kenny, of Lake Worth, earned the 24th seed after posting a 78-75—153 in the stroke play qualifying to advance to match play. "I hit the ball fantastic in stroke play," said Kenny. "I had ten 3-putts which hurt me, but I was just happy to make it into match play."
In the first round, Kenny edged out last year's Mid-Amateur finalist Noi Chay, of Land O' Lakes, making a 20-foot birdie putt on the 23rd hole. Kenny then defeated Frank Strafaci, of Davie, 6 & 4 in the Round of 16 and Jim Kelly, from Heathrow, 3 & 2 in the quarters.
"I was making a lot more putts in match play," said Kenny. "I wasn't hitting the ball as well as I did in stroke play but my putting was fantastic."
Facing Steve Carter, from Jacksonville, in the semifinals, Kenny defeated the 2004 Mid-Amateur Champion 2 & 1 to secure his spot in the finals versus Stephen Anderson.
The final match went back and forth many times as Anderson won the first hole and Kenny the second. Kenny was 2-up at the turn before Anderson made some nice putts on holes 10 and 12 to bring the match back to even. Anderson went 1-up after Kenny missed a three foot putt on 13. They halved holes 14 and 15 as Kenny won 16 after Anderson pulled his shot into the bunker. Kenny went 1-up making birdie on 17 and Anderson then won 18 to force extra holes. On the 4th extra hole, the 22nd hole, Kenny secured his second State Championship making a six foot birdie putt for the win.
"It was a grueling match," said Kenny. "We played a lot of golf all week and the weather just beat us up." Last year, Kenny partnered with Paul Melson to win the Four-Ball Championship.
Stephen Anderson, of Hobe Sound, went into match play as the 31st seed.
"I just wanted to make it into match play," said Anderson. “I thought once I got in, seeds didn't mean a lot.”
Anderson, who received his amateur status back in 2006, upset second seed Paul Royak, of Tampa, 2-up in the first round then defeated David Keepler, of Fort Myers, 4 & 2 in the Round of 16. “I got off to a good start which gave me confidence as I moved on,” said Anderson. In the quarters, Anderson defeated 2005 Mid-Amateur Champion Jon Veneziano, of Mount Dora, 1-up to face Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale, in the semifinals. The match was all square after 10 holes and on 11, Anderson felt he "needed to press" and hit driver which he hadn't done all week. Anderson won the hole with a birdie and eventually secured the match 1 up. "It was a real momentum changer," said Anderson. After falling to Kenny in the finals, Anderson said, "I'm disappointed but I'm satisfied how I played."
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