Florida State Am: Eustaquio finishes strong

TEQUESTA, Fla. (June 22, 2008)--Judson Eustaquio fired a course record 4-under par 66 in the final round to win the 91st Florida State Amateur Championship at Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta on June 19-22. Judson Eustaquio, 20, of Lake Worth, posted the only under par total of the Championship at 2-under par 280 for the four rounds. In the first round, Eustaquio carded a 2-under par 68 on the par 70 Hills Course for the low round of that day. Eustaquio jumped to the top of the leader board after shooting a second round even par 72 on the Village Course. Playing the Hills Course on the weekend, Eustaquio shot a 74 in the third round to trail the leader by one stroke heading into the final round of play.

“I was very confident,” said Eustaquio about sitting one back from leader Garrett Morrison. “I knew what I had to do to win.”

In the final round, Eustaquio started strong with a birdie on the 2nd hole after holing out from the bunker.

“That was a big momentum swing,” said Eustaquio. “I had a plug lie on the lip and just pulled it back for the birdie.”

With a birdie on the 4th hole, Eustaquio made his only bogey of the round on #6 and then recovered with a birdie on seven. After making the turn at 2-under par 33, Eustaquio continued to make birdie on hole #10 to break away from the field. Eustaquio recorded all pars on holes 11-17 and finished with a birdie on 18 after his approach shot left him eight feet from the hole.

“I just tried to make pars and if I hit a good shot capitalize on it,” said Eustaquio. Eustaquio matched his front nine with a 2-under par 33 on the back nine to run away with the title by six strokes.

“This win is up there,” said Eustaquio. “It’s definitely one of my best feats.”

This victory adds to Eustaquio’s 2004 Boys Junior Championship title. At Florida Southern, Eustaquio was runner-up in the Division II Men's Championship and received the Phil Mickelson Award for the most outstanding freshman in Division II Men's Golf.

Third round leader Garrett Morrison, 34, of Orlando, fell to second place after carding a final round 73. Morrison shot a 72-69 in the first two rounds and led after three rounds shooting even par.

For the Championship, Morrison finished six back from Eustaquio with a 286 total. Three players tied for third place shooting a four-round total of 290. Robbie Wight, 21, of West Palm Beach, shot a 74-70 and finished with a pair of 73’s on the weekend. Eustaquio’s teammate at Florida Southern, Danny Evelyn, 20, of Wellington, also tied for third with rounds of 74-77-68-71. David Johnson, 21, of Palm Bay, carded a 72-75-67-76 for a share of third place.

Eustaquio 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 TPC Sawgrass.

Before reaching the Championship, more than 900 participants attempted to qualify at one of 13 sites across the state setting a new tournament record for entries filed. The top 168 amateur golfers in the state played 18 holes each on the Village and Hills Course on June 19-20. After 36 holes, the field was cut to the low 70 and ties with a two-round total of 153. The final 36 holes of the Championship were played on the Hills Course on June 21-22.

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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