Jones Wins Florida State Amateur Championship in Sudden Death Playoff

Jones Wins Florida State Amateur Championship in Sudden Death Playoff

OCALA - It took 20 holes of golf here Sunday at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club to finally determine a winner of the 2015 Florida State Amateur Championship and when the dust settled the winner of the Clarence Stamp Trophy in 2015 is Florida Southern sophomore-to-be Jimmy Jones. Jones outlasted Cristobal Del Solar on the second playoff hole in Sunday's final round of action.

In Sunday's final round of action, Jones, who is a native of Tampa, Fla., trailed Del Solar of Tallahassee by one stroke as he was in second place after 54 holes of golf. In the final round, Jones and Del Solar were paired together in the final grouping. 

Despite opening the round by birding holes three and four, Jones couldn't catch Del Solar as he would open his round by scoring birdies on holes four and five to move to 12-under for the tournament. Jones' two birdies put him at 11-under par through the first five holes of the final round. 

Jones, though, would play the final four holes of the front nine at Golden Ocala at even par to make the turn holding a three shot lead over Del Solar, who recorded double-bogeys on both six and eight to drop back to eight-under par for the tournament heading into the final nine holes of the final round. 

Del Solar, though, fought back and opened the back nine by recording three straight birdies on holes 10 through 12 to push back to 11-under par and retake the lead after Jones bogyed both 10 and 12 to fall to nine under par for the tournament. Del Solar pushed his lead to three shots after scoring a birdie on No. 14. 

At that point, the pressure got to Del Solar and he gave back to two shots after bogeying both the 16th and 17th and came to the 18th tee holding a one shot lead at 10-under over Jones, who was nine-under par. On the 18th, Jones hit his second shot into the green-side bunker and after making his bunker shot, the Tampa native would tap-in for a birdie to finish at 10-under for 72 holes. Meanwhile, Del Solar would pitch his third shot on the 18th to the fringe, but he missed his chip shot for birdie and the outright win. Del Solar would make a four-foot putt for par to force a playoff. 

The playoff would begin on No. 18 and both players birdied the 18th and moved onto the No. 10 hole. Jones would hit the green in regulation leaving him a 30-foot putt birdie putt, while Del Solar flew his second shot to the fringe at the back of the green and putted down to eight-feet. Jones nearly made his long putt, marked his ball and waited for Del Solar to putt for par. He would miss his par putt, while Jones sank his putt to win the 98th Amateur Championship. 

For the tournament, both Jones and Del Solor finished with 10-under par 278's for 72 holes. Chandler Blanchet of Gainesville finished third overall as he carded a one-over par 73 in the final round to finish the four-day, 72-hole event with a 4-under 284. Blanchet was a freshman at the University of West Florida this past year. 

Merritt Island's Michael DeMorat and Belleair's Ryan Orr each tied for fourth as they both shot three-under par 285's for 72 holes. DeMorat carded a final round 68 (-4 under) and Orr shot a one-under 71 in the final round. 

While Jones took home the 2015 Florida State Amateur Championship, another Moccasin sophomore-to-be, John Coultas (Valrico, Fla.) closed out play on Sunday by firing his fourth straight even-par round of 72 to finish the 72 hole tournament in a tie for 12th place with a score of 288. Coultas finished the tournament by shooting even-par 72's in all four rounds and had 12 birdies, 49 pars, 10 bogeys and one double-bogey on his scorecard for the tournament. 

Jones finished the tournament with 15 birdies, 49 pars and seven bogeys on his scorecard for 72 holes. He played the tournament's par-4 holes at six-under and the par-5 holes at 3-under. 

For the four rounds of this year's Florida State Amateur Championships, only 11 golfers finished shooting under par for the tournament. The tournament featured 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 the second Florida Southern golfer to capture a Florida State Amateur Championship this month as former Moccasin women's two-time All-American golfer Emily Rymer repeated as the 2015 Floirda State Golf Association Women's Amateur Champion on June 18 at Coral Creek Club in Placida on Florida's southwest coast. Rymer defeated Alyssa Lamoureaux 4 and 2 in the match play final of this year's Women's State Amateur Championship.

Click here for complete final results of the 98th Annual Florida State Men's Amateur Championship