Latowski Finds Redemption at Mid-Amateur
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – One year after losing in the Finals of the Mid-Amateur, it was Joey Latowski who was left standing at the 39th Mid-Amateur Championship on Sunday at Mayacoo Lake Country Club.
“I’d say it’s a little bit of validation,” Latowski said. “I felt like last year, I sort of lost that one a bit. So to win this one, I definitely feel like more validation more than anything. I’ve been playing well lately, so just carried that over. All the hard work is starting to show.”
In last year’s Mid-Amateur, Latowski fell to TJ Shuart in the Finals after 21 holes at Quail Valley Golf Club. But this week, it was Latowski who raised the trophy. The Port Saint Lucie used an 8-under 205 for the championship to capture his first FSGA championship victory.
Latowski began the championship on Friday with a bogey-free front nine, finishing the day with a 2-under 69. He finished the day in a tie for second with Robbie Wight and Scott Turner, one shot behind the first-round leader, Matt Kleinrock.
“I tried not to think about last year too much,” Latowski said. “There was probably a little extra motivation coming into this week. The course suited me, so I felt like I could play well.”
Kleinrock, a Jacksonville native, used a bogey-free first round, with three birdies, to take the first-round lead at 3-under 68. Only eight player posted under-par rounds on Friday.
Latowski used a second-round 67 to move to the top of the leaderboard at 6-under 136. After a birdie to start the day, he birdied four of his final five holes to close out the front side. Latowski finished the day with an even-par back nine to fire a 67 and secure the 36-hole lead. Gabriel Vanososte also made the most of moving day on Saturday, carding a 4-under 67 to move into second place at 3-under.
Beginning the final round with a three-shot lead, Latowski ran into some trouble to start the day with back-to-back bogeys on the third and fourth. He bounced back quickly with a birdie on the sixth and played the rest Latowski of the front nine at even par.
He continued the strong play on the back side, playing the first four holes at 3-under with a birdie on the 10th and an eagle on the par-5 13th hole.
“I didn’t watch the leaderboard at all throughout the day,” Latowski said. “With the eagle on the 13th, I felt like from there, I would have had to really play bad coming down the stretch to give it away.”
Latowski carded a final-round 69 to secure the six-shot victory at Mayacoo Lakes.
Vanososte and Blanton Farmer finished the weekend in a tie for second place at 2-under 211. Vanososte finished the championship with an one over-par 72 on Sunday to earn a share of second place. Farmer used two under-par rounds on the weekend (68-70) to secure the runner-up finish.
Latowski, Vanososte and Farmer were the only players in the field to finish the champion under par, while Latowski was the only player to post three under-par rounds.
Kleinrock, the first-round leader, took home a fourth-place finish at 1-over 214, while Turner and Marc France finished tied for fifth at 2-over 215.