U Minn Woon Completes Comeback at St. Augustine Amateur
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (October 14, 2018) – U Minn Woon (Jacksonville, Fla.) shot a final-round 3-under 67 to overtake Petr Hruby and capture the 15th St. Augustine Amateur Championship at St. Johns Golf Club.
Woon started the day one shot behind Hruby and Tianyu Wu, a pair of 17-year-olds from the Czech Republic and China, who both attend the Bishops Gate Golf Academy in Howie-in-the-Hills, Fla. But just two holes into the final round, Woon found himself in the lead alone, after a birdie on the first hole followed by bogeys by both Hruby and Wu at the second.
Wu would fall off the pace as the round progressed, leaving Woon and Hruby to duel for the championship. Back-to-back birdies by Hruby at five and six pulled him even with Woon at seven under, but a two-shot swing at the next hole put Woon back up by two.
Hruby, a University of Washington commit, would return the favor at the par-5 9th, with a two-shot swing of his own to get back even. A second straight birdie to start the back nine gave him the lead by one, a lead he would hold until the short par-4 15th, when for the third straight day Woon made birdie to square it up again.
Still tied on the final hole, Hruby finally blinked, making bogey as Woon made a par for the win.
For Woon, who was born in Malaysia, moved to Florida when he was 16, and played college golf at Fairleigh Dickinson University, it was a comeback 27 holes in the making.
After starting the tournament with a 7-under 63, Woon staggered out of the gate on Saturday, making two straight doubles and dropping five shots on his first five holes to fall well back of the lead. But a 4-under 31 on the back nine got him back into contention, and just as importantly, into the final group for Sunday.
His winning total was a 9-under 201, with Hruby (69) one shot back at 8 under.
Ben Reichert (Tampa, Fla.) of the University of Alabama Birmingham was the only player besides Hruby to shoot three under-par rounds. The 2018 Florida Azalea Amateur champion finished with a 69 to take third at 6 under.
University of South Carolina golfer Caleb Proveaux (Lexington, S.C.) was fourth at 4 under, tied with former Valdosta State player and current Jacksonville Amateur champion Davis Roche (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Wu closed with a 74 to finish alone in sixth at 3 under, and was the only other player to finish the tournament under par.
The low mid-amateur was Paul Tesori (Ponte Vedra, Fla.), who spends the bulk of the golf season caddying for Webb Simpson on the PGA Tour. Tesori had rounds of 69-74-73 to finish tied 18th overall, and one shot ahead of the mid-amateur runner-up, Kirk Irvin (Ponte Vedra, Fla.).
Jeff Golden (Jacksonville, Fla.) was the third-low mid-amateur. The 2018 Florida Mid-Amateur runner-up finished tied for 26th with a 219 total.
The course held its own on Sunday, allowing only three under-par rounds out of 77 played: Woon’s 67, and the 69s by Hruby and Reichert.