- FSGA photo
JUPITER, Fla. –It may have taken an extra hole, but Ben Reichert added his name to the history books on Sunday as he was crowned the 102nd Amateur Champion at The Loxahatchee Club.
“To get this win, it means a lot. I’ve went through some struggles over the last couple of years, on and off the course. It’s pretty humbling to get back in the winner’s circle after a while, so pretty excited about it,” Reichert said.
Reichert, who began the day in a three-way tie for second place, defeated Colin Kresl, Jordan Batchelor and Rhett Pooley on the first playoff hole to secure his first Florida State Golf Association Championship victory.
The rising junior at the University of Alabama Birmingham got off to a slow start in the morning, bogeying two of the first six holes. Reichert turned it around with a birdie on the eighth hole, finishing the front three shots off the leader.
Kresl, who started the round with a two-shot lead, finished the front nine at even-par before running into some trouble on the 10th, carding a double bogey, to cut his lead to one. Batchelor posted two birdies and a bogey on the front nine to move to 3-under for the championship and bring himself without one shot of the lead.
With a birdie on the 12th, Reichert pulled into a tie for first place with Kresl at 3-under. Pooley joined them at 3-under on the next hole with an improbable eagle from far left of the green.
Batchelor birdied the 14th hole to also move to 3-under. He stuffed his approach shot on the 16th to about two inches, tapping in for birdie to take the outright lead at 4-under.
Heading to the 18th, Bachelor, Kresl and Pooley where all tied for the lead at 4-under, with Reichert one shot back. Reichert made a steady par on the final hole, while Batchelor, Kresl and Pooley all carded bogeys, forcing a playoff.
The four players head back to the 18th hole. Reichert was the only player to make it to the green in two, left with a 10-foot putt. After going out of bounds, Kresl had a 15-foot putt for bogey, while Batchelor and Pooley both hit their second shots left of the green.
"I tried to do what I did all day: try to make as good of a swing as I can. The rest is out of my control," Reichert said.
Reichert two-putted for par to secure the championship victory.
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
18 holes of stroke play at one of the qualifying 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.
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