OCALA - Florida Southern sophomore-to-be Jimmy Jones heads into Sunday's final round of the 98th Florida State Amateur Championships here at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club sitting one shot off the lead after firing a three-under 69 in the third round of action.
Jones, who entered Saturday's third round sitting a three-way tie for the lead, saw its time at the top of the leaderboard evaporate as Cristobal Del Solar of Tallahassee opened the third round by shooting a four-under 32 on the front nine to take over the lead. Cristobal Del Solar entered Saturday's third round sitting one shot behind the lead.
Jones, who shot an even-par 36 on the front nine in the third round, would mount a comeback as he scored an eagle on No. 12 to pull within two shots of Del Solar and then would pull within one shot on No. 14 as Jones recorded a birdie. The two golfers, who played in the final two tee groupings in the third round, would go into the 18th hole tied at nine-under par after Jones scored a par on No. 17 and Del Solar gave a stroke back after bogeying the 17th.
On the 18th and final hole, Del Solar would take the lead after recording a birdie to finish his third round with a 5-under par 67 to push his 54 hole total to 206 (-10), while Jones fell into second place after a two-putt for a par on the 18th to finish the third round with a 3-under 69 to push his 54 hole total to 207 (-9).
Gainesville's Chandler Blanchet, who was a freshman this past season at the University of West Florida, carded a 2-under 70 in the third round and heads into Sunday's final round sitting in third place with a 5-under 211 for 54 holes. Blanchet is five shots behind Del Solar and four shots behind Jones.
Three golfers, including Jake Kevorkain and Ryan Orr, are tied for fourth with 214's for 54 holes. Kevorkian and Orr were tied with Jones for first place following Friday's second round, but Kevorkian shot a 4-over 76 on Saturday and Orr also shot a 4-over 76 in the third round. Kevorkian and Orr share fourth place with Jacksonville's Travis Trace, who fired a 3-under 69 in the third round.
While Jones, who shot a 69 in the third round and is one shot off the lead, another Moccasin sophomore-to-be, John Coultas (Valrico, Fla.) shot another even-par round of 72 on Saturday and enters Sunday's final round sitting in a tie for 10th place with an even-par 216 for 54 holes. Coultas has shot even-par 72's in all three rounds of the Florida State Amateur.
Through the first three rounds of action at this year's Florida State Amateur Championships, only nine golfers have shot under par on either the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club or the Ocala National Golf Club. The tournament features a total of 167 players this season.
The Florida State Amateur Championships is one of the older and prestigious amateur golf championships in the country and this year the amateur goes to one of the most prestigious and well-known golf clubs in the nation, Jupiter Hills Club. In addition to hosting this year's state amateur, Jupiter Hills has also hosted the state amateur in 2008, and also the 1987 U.S. Amateur Championship and two U.S. Open Sectional qualifiers. The amateur championship is open to amateur golfers that are either a resident of Florida (reside in Florida at least four months per year, have otherwise established legal residency or graduated from a Florida high school and presently attend an out-of-state college or a military personnel or a dependent of a military personnel based in Florida on active duty. In addition, the player must have a handicap no higher than an 11.4.
Jones is scheduled to tee off at at 9:39 Sunday morning from the No. 1 tee at Golden Ocala. He will play in a threesome with Del Solar and Blanchet, while Coultas is slated to tee off at 9:12 a.m. from the No. 1 tee and he will play in a threesome with Drew Cooke of Lecanto, Fla., and Louis Tomlinson of Lake Mary, Fla.
Click here for complete third round results of the 98th Annual Florida State Amateur Championships