Mike McCoy wins Florida Senior Am 2022 (Photo: FGA)
Avila Golf and Country Club's 18th hole provided plenty of drama in the Florida Amateur Championship. In the end, Mike McCoy's
score of 1-under par was enough to earn him a two-stroke victory over Michael Arasin
The win almost slipped right out of the 2023 Walker Cup captain's hands. McCoy was in the driver's seat when birdies on the 15th and 16th holes got him to 3-under par.
"The birdie on 16 was huge. I hit my second shot up into some scruffy grass," McCoy said. "I tried to pop it out with a putter and barely made it to the fringe. I rolled in the 15-foot putt. The ball was covered in mud."
Arasin matched McCoy's birdie on sixteen, helping him keep in touch with the leader.
It was basically a two-horse race, as the co-leader heading into the final round, Terry Werner
, had slipped off the pace early in the round with three bogeys in the opening five holes.
When McCoy hit his tee shot into a greenside bunker and missed the six-foot par putt, Arasin was only one back with one hole to play.
"It would have been nice to go to 18 with a two-shot lead," McCoy said with a chuckle.
The par-four 18th was a bear all day for the players. It gave up one birdie to the top ten players in the field, who played the hole in a combined 9-over par for in the final round. It was no kinder to McCoy and Arasin.
"I hit one of my best tee shots of the day," McCoy said. "There's a pond on the left and trees on the right, so you have to step up and really hit a good shot."
Arasin did the same, so both men were in the fairway.
McCoy seemed to think that Arasin's foot slipped on his approach shot and he missed the green. When it was McCoy's turn he had 183 into the green. He thought he hit the perfect shot, but it bounded just over the green.
"I was surprised it went that far. The adrenaline was pumping," McCoy said.
When Arasin pitched onto the green and missed his 20-foot par putt, McCoy safely two-putted for the win.
As he reflected on his round, McCoy pointed to a 20-foot birdie putt he made on the eighth hole as a pivotal moment. He was sputtering along at 2-over par for the day and had just bogeyed the seventh hole.
"I needed that one," McCoy said.
However, a birdie on the par 5 11th hole, which has a green with water and a stone wall protecting it, was the turning point according to McCoy. His six-iron carried the wall and water, leaving him with two putts for a birdie that helped him get to 1-under par for the tournament, his eventual winning score.
"It was a fun week, on a really nice golf course," McCoy said. "It's only my second Florida Golf Association event, and I met some really great guys and there were great players there."
McCoy, 59, will captain the 2023 Walker Cup team in St. Andrews, Scotland. The native of Des Moines, Iowa won the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, becoming the second-oldest champion in the event’s history at age 50. He has competed in 65 USGA championships, including 20 U.S. Amateurs, and was a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in England.
ABOUT THE Florida Senior Amateur
The Senior Championship is for those individuals
over the age of 55. 54 holes of stroke play, with a
to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes. Must be an
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