Andrew Morris (FSGA photo)
After a marathon over the last four days that included seven rounds of golf, Andrew Morris was the last man standing to become the 31st Amateur Match Play Champion. Morris took down Cooper Smith 4&3 in the finals to bring the trophy home.
HOW IT HAPPENED
At the beginning of the week, 64 players began pool play all hoping to be the last remaining player standing, but Morris was the only one who successfully did it after 126 holes of golf. Being a local to Jacksonville, he was able to take full advantage of knowing the golf course from playing it multiple times previously.
Not only did Morris get through his pool easily, he went 3-0 to do it. From there, the Farleigh Dickinson alumni said it perfectly. “The names I had to go through made it super hard."
His first match up proved that statement to be very true. Taking on the 106th Amateur Champion Marc Dull, Morris knew he had to get off to a hot start to beat him. He went 2-up on the front nine while Dull tried to claw his way back unsuccessfully, leading to a victory of 1-up.
His next matchup against Chase Baldwin was vital to giving him confidence heading into the semifinals. He beat Chase Baldwin 3&2 to face reigning amateur and mid-amateur of the year, Joey Latowski. Latowski knows his way around match play quite well having an impressive resume at the Mid-Amateur Championship and back-to-back semifinalist appearances at the Amateur Match Play.
Latowski got off to a 2-up lead through two as Morris struggled for the first time during the tournament. From there, he was able to battle back to a 4&2 victory.
Coming down to the final match, Morris knew he would need to play some great golf to beat Cooper Smith. Smith knows Deerwood Country Club like the back of his hand after playing at the University of North Florida for a few years before transferring to the University of South Florida.
The two competitors traded blows back and forth all afternoon. The two were a combined nine-under par on the front nine with eagles and birdies coming left and right. Playing the last six holes of the round in four-under par, Smith could not keep up with Morris, WHO won the championship match 4&3.
Morris had a lot of family and friends on the sidelines watching. However, his dad was not one of them. “I lost my father last year, and I was wearing a shirt that he gave me. He definitely is looking down and smiling”. Morris said after the round.
With a win for his late father, Andrew Morris becomes the 31st Amateur Champion.
View results for Florida Amateur Match Play
ABOUT THE Florida Amateur Match Play
Prequalifying to determine a championship field of
players. 18 holes of stroke play to determine
for the match play bracket. Open to male amateur
golfers with a valid USGA handicap index not
11.4. Must be a member of the FSGA.
View Complete Tournament Information