Forty feet. That’s the length of the birdie putt that gave Fred Biondi
the lead on the 71st hole of the Florida Amateur Championship. One hole later, he rolled in a short-par putt to be crowned the 104th Amateur champion on Sunday at Streamsong Resort.
"It means a lot," Biondi said. " I know the people that have won this championship and it's an honor. It feels good to to win. Getting this win early in the summer gives me a lot of confidence going forward. I'm glad I won and got the job done."
The University of Florida junior posted a final-round 71 to capture the championship by one shot at 13-under 275. This is Biondi’s fourth FSGA title, after winning the Boys’ Junior in 2016 and 2017, as well as the Amateur Public Links in 2020.
Biondi becomes just the eighth player to win both the Amateur and Boys’ Junior Championships. He also becomes the second Florida Gator to accomplish this feat after Sam Horsfield did it in 2013 with his Amateur win.
Biondi began the final round in a tie for first with University of South Florida junior, Runchanapong Youprayong
, at 12 under. Biondi got off to another quick start with birdies on two of his first three holes, taking the outright lead at 14 under on the third.
"My game has gotten a lot better at Florida. I've learned a lot of things about how to play the game."
Biondi and Youprayong ran into some trouble on the fourth and fifth, with both players carding back-to-back bogeys. Biondi bounced back with a birdie on the par-4 sixth hole, hitting his approach shot to the tucked pin to 1 foot, and extending his lead to two shots.
After a birdie for Youprayong on the eight, Biondi headed to the back side with a one-shot lead with nine holes to play. Youprayong sunk a 5-foot birdie putt to pull back into a tie at the top of the leaderboard.
The Thailand native took his first lead of the day with a birdie on the 14th but ran into some trouble on the next hole as his putt lipped out, finishing with two bogeys on the 15th and 16th.
After par on the 16th to take a share of the lead again, Biondi hit his third shot on the 17th to 40 feet on the green. He stepped up to the ball and rolled it in for birdie and to take the lead with one to play.
"I hit a lot of bad long putts today - speed wise," Biondi said. "I knew that was a key one. I saw Jake's (Beber-Frankel) putt just before and knew exactly where to go to let it trickle down the hill. I did a pretty good job doing it and it's not one of those that you make all the time. But it went perfectly in the middle and I was pretty pumped up."
The Brazil native secured the championship with a par on the 18th to take home the one-shot victory.
Youprayong finished the weekend in second place at 12-under 176, after a final-round 72.
Michael Mays and Jake Beber-Frankel each took a piece of third place at 9-under 279. Mays used a final-round 70 to finish inside the top three. Beber-Frankel finished with a final-round 70, with a bogey-free front nine and going birdie-eagle on Nos. 13-14.
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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