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Late birdies help Latowski win his second Florida Mid-Am
Joey Latowski (Credit: FSGA)
Joey Latowski (Credit: FSGA)

Joey Latowski won the Florida Mid-Amateur championship for the second time in three years after a 20 hole victory over Jake Sherwin in the match play final.

The Florida Mid-Am is a grind. 84 players started the competition and played 36 holes on Thursday and Friday at The Oaks Club. After the two rounds, 32 players made it to match play. Matthew Galloway won medalist honors with a score of 9-under par. Match play finalists Latowski and Sherwin played seven rounds of golf in four days.

The final day started with four players vying for the championship. Joey Latowski, the 11 seed, and Miles McConnell, the 23 seed, faced each other in one semi-final. McConnell held the lead for the majority of the match; it took Latowski 13 holes to finally grab a lead. He won the fifteenth hole for a 2-up lead and saw out McConnell on the seventeenth hole with a 2-and-1 victory.

In the other semi-final, Jose Vega, the 20 seed, ran into a buzzsaw. Sherwin, the 8 seed, raced off to a 5-up lead after seven holes and never looked back. To Vega’s credit, he hung in there and cut Sherwin’s lead to 3-up, but he ran out of holes and lost 3-and-2.

The final match between Sherwin and Latowski was closely contested, however Latowski never lead until his birdie on the 20th hole clinched the victory.

Sherwin won the fourth and seventh holes with birdies, but Latowski managed to stem the tide with birdies of his own on the ninth and eleventh holes to pull back to even. Sherwin won the 12th hole and then eagled the par-4 15th hole when he rolled home a 15 feet. Sherwin had one hand on the trophy.

However, Latowski played the 16th and 17th holes in a total of five shots to even the match. Both players made five on the 18th hole to force a playoff.

On the 19th hole, Sherwin missed a 20 foot birdie putt, and Latowski extended the match with a solid 10 foot par putt.

On the 20th hole, Sherwin managed to get his ball onto the front section of the green from a fairway bunker. His 80 foot birdie putt was about seven feet from the hole. Latowski hit a wedge about 18 feet from the hole and converted the putt to take the match.

As the ball rolled into the cup, Latowski, who also won the 2020 title, cooly pumped his fist, befitting the demeanor a champion requires, especially after spending most of the day playing from behind and keeping calm.



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ABOUT THE Florida Mid-Amateur

36 holes of stroke play determine a 32-player match play bracket. Must be age 25 or older and be a member of the FSGA.

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