Florida State Amateur: Abbate ahead by one stroke

MIAMI, FL (June 25, 2011) -- After three rounds of play, Ryan Abbate holds a one stroke lead heading into the final round of play in the 94th Florida State Amateur Championship at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami. The Championship concludes with the final round on Sunday, June 26.

Ryan Abbate, of Fort Lauderdale, leads the field of 74 players with a three-round total of two-under par 212. Abbate, the 2005 State Amateur Champion, would post a one-over par 37 on the front nine, and held it together on the back nine in rainy conditions posting an even par 36 for his round of 73 to hold a one stroke advantage heading into the final 18-holes of play. In the first round Abbate carded a three-over par 75 on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral and caught fire in round two posting a 6-under par 64 on the Jim McLean Signature Course. Abbate’s flawless second round consisted of six birdies and no bogeys.

Ben Vertz, of Coral Springs, sits alone in second place just one stroke back of Abbate after a third round three-over par 75 for a tournament total of 213. Vertz, the 2010 Florida Open Champion, recorded an even par round of 72 on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral in the first round and continued his solid play in the second round on the Jim McLean Signature Course, with an impressive round of four-under par 66. The 2006 (13-15) Boys’ Junior Champion Tyler McCumber, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Daniel Stapff, of Miami Shores, Pete Kellermann, of Jacksonville, and Greg Carrier, of Ponte Vedra Beach, are currently all tied for third place at even par for the Championship. Carrier fired the low round of the day with a six-under par 66, which included seven birdies and just one bogey. The Defending Champion Sean Dale, of Jacksonville, currently is tied for 15th at four-over par 218 for the championship.

In the Championship, participants will play 18 holes each at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral and the Jim McLean Signature Course on June 23-24. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 70 and ties. The final 36 holes of the Championship will be played at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral on June 25-26.

Started in 1914, the Florida Amateur Championship is the oldest continuous sporting event in the state as well as the largest amateur event in Florida. Past Amateur champions include Bob Murphy, Jerry Pate, and PGA Tour players David Peoples, Chris Couch, and Barry Cheesman.

Spectators and media are welcome to watch the state’s best amateur golfers compete at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.

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 through 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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