Woon Takes St. Augustine Amateur Lead with a 63
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (October 12, 2018) – U Minn Woon (Jacksonville, Fla.) rolled up five straight birdies on the back nine en route to an opening 7-under 63 and a one-shot lead after the first round of the 15th St. Augustine Amateur.
Woon, a 23-year-old who played college golf at Fairleigh Dickinson University, had a steady start with a birdie at the first and six straight pars. But he caught fire from there, closing out his front nine with consecutive birdies and, after two pars to start his back nine, making five straight birdies from 12-16.
Rare is it to walk off the course with a bad taste in one’s mouth after a 63, but the 2017 Jacksonville Amateur champion Woon did just that after his only bogey of the day on the 18th dropped him to seven under.
One shot behind the leader is 17-year-old Petr Hrubý (Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.), who like Woon only had one 5 on his scorecard. Teeing off on the back nine, Petr Hrubý started fast, going out in 4-under 31 and adding three birdies on the first five hole of the back nine to get to seven under. He dropped his lone shot of the round at the par-3 8th, and parred the 9th for a 64.
Jeremy Sisson, a 19-year-old from Skaneateles, N.Y., eagled his final hole for a 5-under 65 to sit in solo third place, two shots back.
Daniel Gurtner-Morales (Ft. Worth, Tex.), Gaelen Trew (Melbourne, Fla.), Artem Yalovenko (Windermere, Fla.) and Mauricio Figueroa (Guadalajara, Mexico) are all tied for fourth at 3 under. Trew opened the tournament with a 6-under 29 on his first nine, but cooled off coming in, losing three shots on his inward nine.
Among the nine players tied for 9th at 2 under are the two low mid-amateurs, Paul Tesori (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) and Jeff Golden (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Tesori, who spends the majority of the golf season caddying on the PGA Tour for Webb Simpson, has long been a strong player in Florida, winning some Florida Winter Series events and finishing 5th in the Florida Azalea Amateur earlier this year.
Golden, who qualified for the U.S. Open in 2007, has a similarly strong resume, including a runner-up finish in the Florida Mid-amateur earlier this year.
The two are among the 19 mid-amateurs in the field this year, reflecting an effort to add balance to the field. “We’re trying to get more parity among the three (categories) of golfers — juniors, collegians and mid-amateurs,” Tournament Director Wes Tucker told The St. Augustine Record earlier in the week.
“A lot of our mid-amateurs are nationally ranked mid-amateurs, so we have a really good field, one of our best.”
The second round will start on Saturday with 21 players at or below par. The final round will be played Sunday, with participants in the First Tee of North Florida serving as standard bearers for the final three groups.