MIAMI, FL (June 24, 2011) -- Ben Vertz, of Coral Springs, recorded an even par round of 72 on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral in the first round to sit just two strokes back heading into the second round of play. In the second round on the Jim McLean Signature Course, Vertz recorded one birdie and no bogies to turn at one-under par 34. Vertz, the 2010 Florida Open Champion, continued his solid play on his back nine with birdies on 3, 4, 5, and 8 to card a three-under par 32, to cap off his impressive round of four-under par 66.

Ryan Abbate, of Fort Lauderdale, sits one stroke back of Vertz with a two round total of three-under par 139. Abbate, the 2005 State Amateur Champion, carded a three-over par 75 on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral in round one and caught fire in round two posting a 6-under par 64 on the Jim McLean Signature Course. Abbate’s flawless round consisted of six birdies and no bogies. Kevin Aylwin, of New Smyrna Beach, also sits just one stroke back of Vertz, after a two round total of three-under par 139. Aylwin, a three time FSGA Amateur Public Links Champion, posted a first round one-under par 71 on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral. In the second round Aylwin would fire a two-under par 68 on the Jim McLean Signature Course. The Defending Champion Sean Dale, of Jacksonville, currently is tied for 14th at three-over par 145 for the championship.

Started in 1914, the Florida Amateur Championship 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, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, and Barry Cheesman.

Spectators and media are welcome to watch the state’s best amateur golfers compete at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.

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ABOUT THE Florida State Amateur

Started in 1914, the Amateur Championship is the oldest continuous sporting event in the state of Florida. The field will include exempt players and players who have qualified through 18 holes of stroke play at one of the 13 sites. The Championship features a field of 168 players split alternately on two golf courses the first two days. The field is reduced to the low 70 and ties after the first two rounds to play an additional 36 holes of stroke play. During qualifying, each player must use a golf cart. Caddies are acceptable, but he/she may not ride in a golf cart or carry the player's clubs. Players are responsible for cart fees for all practice rounds. Those individuals who advance to the Championship, including exempt players, must pre-register and remit a Championship fee which includes cart fees for all competitive rounds.

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