Colton Swartz and Arth Sinha (FSGA Photo)
Colton Swartz of Fleming Island, Fla. shot a round one 5 under 66 and never looked back as the Florida Southern commit won the 16-18 Division of the 69th Boys' Junior Amateur Championship by six shots over Parker Severs of Lakewood Ranch, Fla. and Lorenzo Rodriguez of Miami, Fla.
Golfers played at Mayacco Lakes Country Club or PGA National (Fazio Course) the first two days and then all the golfers that made the cut played Mayacco Lakes for the final round.
Swartz played almost flawless golf on Thursday in the first round, with his only blemish being a bogey on the 18th hole.
"To start, it was a very tight course so my tee shots were very good," Swartz said. "That enabled me to attack some pins and I made my fair share of putts. Everything was solid and it felt great."
The final round proved to be an interesting one. Rain delays made the challenge of Mayacoo Lake even harder, but Swartz prevailed with a wire-to-wire victory. Swartz bogeyed the first two holes while James Earle made an early charge.
Earle birdied three out of his first four holes and then collected another birdie on hole number eight to climb move into second place. However, Swartz collected himself and picked up three birdies on the front nine to keep his lead heading into the final stretch.
Meanwhile, Parker Severs made a charge climbing nine spots and into second place.
After a double on the tenth hole, Swartz birdied the twelfth and then picked up two consecutive birdies on holes fifteen and sixteen to capture the win by six strokes. Swartz carded a one under par 70 in his final round to finish the tournament at eight under par.
"I tried to stick to my strategy all week and not get ahead of myself," Swartz said. "On that course (Mayacco Lake), just one mistake can lead to making a big number so I just wanted to keep my head down and take it one shot at a time."
Swartz now can use this win as a confidence booster for the rest of the summer as he heads into his first year of collegiate golf.
"It shows I can compete with the best players out there," Swartz said. "It gives me a lot of confidence in my game moving forward and knowing that I can get it done in the heat of the moment."
In the boys' 13-15 Division, Arth Sinha of Oviedo, Fla. won in the second playoff hole at even par. Lucas Gimenez of Jacksonville, Fla. finished in second place.
Darren Zhou carded seven birdies at Mayacoo Lakes to post a four under 67 in his first round to hold the lead. Giuseppe Puebla was not far behind posting a three under par 68 at Mayacoo only one shot back from Zhou.
The leaderboard changed quite a bit in the second round as Lucas Gimenez carded a five under par 67 at PGA National to take the lead by three strokes over the field. After carding a two over par 73 in the first round, Arth Sinha carded a three under par 69 in the second round at PGA National to climb seven spots and into second place heading into the final round. In addition, Giuseppe Puebla carded a two over par 74 to share second place with Sinha.
The last hole was perhaps the most interesting as Gimenez lips out his chip to make a bogey and Sinha lags a birdie putt to two feet to make par. Gimenez and Sinha both finish the tournament at even par and a two hole play off ensues.
Gimenez hit his approach shot on the first hole of the play off to two feet for birdie and Sinha had twenty-five feet for birdie. Each made their putts and headed into a second play off hole.
The roles reversed as Sinha hit his approach to one foot and Gimenez was left with twenty feet for birdie. Gimenez made par while Sinha tapped in for birdie to take the victory.View results for Florida Junior Amateur
ABOUT THE Florida Junior Amateur
54 holes of stroke play to crown the top junior
in the state. Non exempt players need to
qualify at sites across the state in 18 holes of
stroke play. Started in 1955, former Boys
Junior Champions include Gary Koch, Len
Mattiace, Josh McCumber, Jeremy Anderson
and Matt Kuchar. Male amateur golfers ages
13-18. Entrant must not reached their 19th
birthday and not attending college. All players
must walk and carry their own clubs.
View Complete Tournament Information