Florida State Junior: Barber still leads

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 8, 2008)--Blayne Barber fired 5-under par rounds at each course to take a three stroke lead in the 54th Florida State Boys Junior Championship at Interlachen Country Club and Country Club of Orlando.

Matthew Ceravolo moves into first place in the 13-15 age division after shooting even par in the second round with the final round tomorrow, Wednesday, July 9 at Interlachen Country Club.

After 36 holes, Barber, 18, of Lake City, holds a three stroke advantage recording a two-round total of 10-under par 133. Barber, the 2006 Boys Junior Champion, fired a first round 5-under par 66 on the par 71 Country Club of Orlando course to take a one stroke lead heading into the second round. Barber expanded his lead to three with a second round 67 at Interlachen. In the second round, Barber posted a 35 on the front and made four birdies with no bogeys on the back for a 31. Barber, who will be playing golf at University of Central Florida in the fall, was last season’s Florida Junior Tour points Champion.

This season, Barber has two wins including the 54-hole event at University of Florida. Ben Vertz, 18, of Coral Springs, posted a 1-under par 70 in the first round at Country Club of Orlando and then fired a 66 at Interlachen, the low round of the day, to sit in second place with one round remaining.

In the second round, Vertz made five birdies and eagled the par 5 3rd hole to post a pair of 33’s. George Letson, 17, of Tampa, trails Barber by six strokes posting rounds of 67-72 for third place. 52 juniors in the 16-18 age division with a two-round total of 152 and better have advanced to the final round.

In the 13-15 age division, Ceravolo, 15, of Palm Beach Gardens, recorded a second round even par at Country Club of Orlando to jump in front by two strokes.

After a first round 68 at Interlachen, Ceravolo trailed the leader by one. In the second round, Ceravolo posted a 71 for a two-round total of 4-under par 139. Currently, Ceravolo leads the Florida Junior Tour points standings with four wins this season.

First round leader Chris Ingham, 15, of Pinecrest, fell to second place after posting a second round 74 at Country Club of Orlando. Combined with his first round 67, Ingham has a two-round total of 2-under par 141. Ingham is chasing Ceravolo in the points race as he stands in second place by 615 points.

Joey Petronio, 14, of Orlando, played steady golf to card rounds of 73-72 for third place heading into the final round. 21 juniors in the 13-15 age division advanced to the final day shooting a two-round total of 155 and better.

More than 370 entries were filed for the 2008 Championship setting a new tournament record. Competitors first attempted to qualify for the Championship at one of six sites across the state in 18 holes of stroke play. The Championship field features 120 of the top male amateur golfers in the 16-18 age division and 48 top juniors in the 13-15 age division. In the Championship, competitors will play 18 holes on each course with the final 18 holes at Interlachen Country Club.

--Courtesy FSGA

ABOUT THE Florida Junior Amateur

54 holes of stroke play to crown the top junior in the state. Non exempt players need to qualify at sites across the state in 18 holes of stroke play. Started in 1955, former Boys Junior Champions include Gary Koch, Len Mattiace, Josh McCumber, Jeremy Anderson and Matt Kuchar. Male amateur golfers ages 13-18. Entrant must not reached their 19th birthday and not attending college. All players must walk and carry their own clubs.

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