WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (July 10, 2005) -- David Abell of Jupiter eagled the par-5 ninth hole and made several critical putts on the inward nine Sunday to win the 30th annual Palm Beach Kennel Club/County Amateur Championship at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club.
A par-matching final round of 71 for 213 gave Abell a one-stroke victory over Judson (Jude) Eustaquio, 18, of Lake Worth. Eustaquio, an incoming senior at Cardinal Newman High School, closed with 72-214. They had been tied after 36 holes after Eustaquio shot 69 on Saturday, the only score under 70 all weekend.
"We both played really good golf all day until we messed up the 18th hole," Abell said. Leading by two, Abell made double bogey after a layup shot short of the lake in front of the green from the right rough. Eustaquio hit his second shot left of the green, chipped short and two-putted for bogey.
Defending champion R.J. Nakashian of Palm Beach Gardens closed with 70-220 for third. "I knew I had no chance today," Nakashian said. "David was playing too well and I was too far behind after that 78 on Friday. I don't know what happened there." Nakashian had three birdies and two bogies the final round.
It was Abell's first win since 1982 when he beat Mark O'Meara in an amateur tournament in Mexico, he said, other than the National Senior-Junior Amateur Team Championship with Vinnie Giles in 2001 at Cypress Links and the club championship at prestigious Pine Valley in New Jersey two years ago.
Abell, 45, a native of Fort Pierce and the business manager for Hall of Fame golfer Nick Price, bogied the first hole, Eustaquio the fourth and seventh to fall behind. At the ninth, Abell had 226 yards to the flag, his 3-iron hit the flagstick, and he subsequently made the five-foot eagle putt for a three-shot lead.
Equally important, he said later, were birdie putts at the 12th and 13th holes, the latter one covering Jude's birdie, and their matching par-saving putts at the 14th hole. "I was leading here two years ago when I topped my tee shot at 12, and that's all I could think about when I got to that tee today," Abell added with a smile
"I played solid, played my game, but I couldn't find the hole," Eustaquio said, "but David's a solid player. The ninth hole hurt a lot." After finishing fourth last year, Eustaquio returns to the Westfield Junior PGA Championship which starts Thursday in Ohio. He'll be joined by Newman teammate Danny Evelyn, winner of the qualifying South Florida PGA Junior Championship last month.
The top five here will be exempt from qualifying for the 2006 County Amateur. Following Abell, Eustaquio and Nakashian, Brett Burton of Stuart and Rick Othmer of West Palm Beach tied for fourth at 222.
The prize list:
Palm Beach Kennel Club/County Amateur Championship
Mayacoo Lakes CC, West Palm Beach, Fla.
6,665 yards, par 71
David Abell, Jupiter, $750 70-72-71-213
Judson Eustaquio, Lake Worth, $500 73-69-72-214
R.J. Nakashian, Palm Beach Gardens, $400 78-72-70-220
Brett Burton, Stuart, $275 75-75-72-222
Rick Othmer, West Palm Beach, $275 73-76-73-222
Mark Brown, West Palm Beach, $225 80-73-70-223
Eoghan O'Connell, Palm Beach Gardens, $190 74-79-71-224
Kyle Henderson, West Palm Beach, $190 74-73-77-224
Danny Germaine, North Palm Beach, $160 76-78-71-225
Greg O'Mahony, Tequesta, $140 73-74-79-226
Brad Ball, Jupiter, $130 74-74-79-227
Andy Johncke, Palm Beach Gardens, $115 74-75-79-228
Brandon Smith, Lake Worth, $115 70-75-83-228
Jeff Sellers, West Palm Beach, $95 75-79-75-229
Scott Turner, Palm City, $95 74-76-79-229
Tim Stieren, Palm Beach Gardens, $66.25 81-76-74-231
Michael Berger, Port St. Lucie, $66.25 74-81-76-231
Casey Schrader, Boynton Beach, $66.25 75-78-78-231
Devin Harkness, Jupiter, $66.25 76-76-79-231
Artie Scott, Tequesta, $33.33 85-75-72-232
Brian Kennedy, Highland Beach, $33.33 80-78-74-232
Jesse Lee IV, Wellington, $33.33 78-77-77-232
Brian Fragakis, Royal Palm Beach, $33.33 74-81-77-232
Brooks Koepka, Lake Worth, $33.33 71-81-80-232
Eric Schreiber, West Palm Beach, $33.33 71-80-81-232
Money listed awarded in merchandise certificates.