31st Amateur Match Play Championship
August 3-6, 2023
Jacksonville, Fla. – After a marathon over the last four days that included seven rounds of golf, Andrew Morris was the last man standing to become the 31st Amateur Match Play Champion. Morris took down Cooper Smith 4&3 in the finals to bring the trophy home.
How it happened
At the beginning of the week, 64 players began pool play all hoping to be the last remaining player standing, but Morris was the only one who successfully did it after 126 holes of golf. Being a local to Jacksonville, he was able to take full advantage of knowing the golf course from playing it multiple times previously.
Not only did Morris get through his pool easily, he went 3-0 to do it. From there, the Farleigh Dickinson alumni said it perfectly. “The names I had to go through made it super hard”.
His first match up proved that statement to be very true. Taking on the 106th Amateur Champion Marc Dull, Morris knew he had to get off to a hot start to beat him. He went 2-up on the front nine while Dull tried to claw his way back unsuccessfully, leading to a victory of 1-up.
His next matchup against Chase Baldwin was vital to giving him confidence heading into the semifinals. He beat Chase Baldwin 3&2 to face reigning amateur and mid-amateur of the year, Joey Latowski. Latowski knows his way around match play quite well having an impressive resume at the Mid-Amateur Championship and back-to-back semifinalist appearances at the Amateur Match Play.
Latowski got off to a 2-up lead through through two as Morris struggled for the first time during the tournament. From there, he was able to battle back to a 4&2 victory.
Coming down to the final match, Andrew Morris knew he was going to need to play some great golf to beat Cooper Smith. Smith knows Deerwood Country Club like the back of his hand after playing at the University of North Florida for a few years before transferring to the University of South Florida.
The two competitors traded blows back and forth all afternoon. The two were a combined nine-under par on the front nine with eagles and birdies coming left and right. Playing the last six holes of the round in four-under par, Smith was not able to keep up with Morris, where he won the championship match 4&3.
Morris had a lot of family and friends on the sidelines watching. However, his dad was not one of them. “I lost my father last year, and I was wearing a shirt that he gave me. He definitely is looking down and smiling”. Morris said after the round.
With a win for his late father, Andrew Morris becomes the 31st Amateur Champion after playing some great golf all week long.
Round of 16 & Quarterfinal Recap
Cooper Smith defeated Jay Brooks 1 up in the morning match that was highly contested. After winning the first two holes, he dropped the 3rd hole. Despite never trailing in the match, he was never more than 1 up. The pair of State Amateur runner-up's both birdied the 18th to give Smith a 1 up victory. In the afternoon, the match would again go the distance for Smith, defeating defending Champion, John Houchin 1 up. Birdies on 10, 11 & 13 saw Smith move to 2 up. Houchin would answer on 14 & 16 with birdies, but was unable to overcome a bogey on 15, and a few putts burning edges on 17 & 18.
Sebastian Nachilly survived a sloppy morning, down 3 early to German Tagle. Birdies on 11, 13 & 16 would see him close out 3 & 2. In the afternoon vs Jason Duff, Nachilly would win the 1st hole with a birdie and retain a 1 or 2 up lead the entire afternoon. After Duff's approach to 17 fell short and he failed to get up and down, Nachilly was the victor, 2 & 1.
Joey Latowski took down fellow South Florida Mid-Amateur Adam Parisi 3 & 2 in the AM, in a match he was 4 up through 10 and controlled. In the afternoon, was much of the same for last year's runner-up and two-time Champion. He would be five-under par thru 15 and take down Rhett Pooley, 4 &3, dropping only a single hole (12), his lone bogey of the afternoon.
Andrew Morris would find himself in a Round of 16 birth vs Marc Dull, current State Amateur Champion, and arguably hottest Mid-Amateur in Florida at the moment. Making the turn 2 up as a considerable underdog, Morris would watch he lead dwindle and Dull birdie 10 & 11, but with no fear he quickly answered with a birdie on 12 to go 1 up. A sloppy mistake by Dull around the 15th green after missing it short, saw a double-bogey and Morris moving to 2 up with 3 to play. Morris would find the penalty area on 17 while 2 up and see the lead fall to just one. With both players with eagle looks on the 18th, they both 2 putted seeing Morris hold on for a 1 up victory and the upset. Again in the afternoon, potentially as the underdog to Deerwood member Chase Baldwin, Morris would keep the ball in front of him and making a lot of pars, and cruise out to a 3 up lead through 8. Holding on at 2 up through 15, Morris would drain a 30 footer for birdie on the par 4, 16th for a 3&2 victory and a semifinal birth.
Pool Play Recap
Defending Champion & 1 Seed John Houchin went 3-0 and will face Ford Wilt after advancing in a play-off!
Cooper Smith after a deep run last year, will face Jay Brooks. Both players went 3-0 and also saw each other at the State Amateur this year with top 5 finishes
Sebastian Nachilly won his match to go 2-0-1, then won his first play-off hole, and will face German Tagele who earned 2.5 points in pool play.
Two players with local knowledge, UNF's Jason Duff & James Bradley went 3-0 and will face-off on the college's home course.
Joey Latowski dropped his first match then won 2 straight, and defeated Mingbo Jiang & Peter Thompson in a play-off, the two-time Mid-Amateur Champion and returning finalist will face Adam Parisi, who advanced after going 2-0-1.
Stefan Ink went 3-0 and the Ponte Vedra native will face 2014 Junior Amatuer Match Play Champion, Rhett Pooley, who is 3-0 this week.
State Amateur Champion Marc Dull advanced in play-off fashion after dropping his opening match yesterday and will face Jacksonville native Andrew Morris, who went 3-0 to win his pool.
Jake Nash tied his morning match and then advanced in a play-off and will face Deerwood CC member Chase Baldwin who advanced by going 3-0 on home turf.
Day 1 Recap
Defending Champion John Houchin improved to 9-0 in the event and has 2 points and is set to face Ty Capps (1.5) in AM needing a half point to advance.
Mingbo Jiang is 2-0 and will face Joey Latowsk (1-1) tomorrow, controlling his own destiny.
Sebastiano Mascia was 2-0 but will face State Am Champion Marc Dull, controlling his own destiny to advance.
Austin Collins (2-0) leads the pool, while Nathan Bertsch & Sebastian Nachilly both have 1 point and will need assistance by Chip Brooke to force a play-off.
Jason Duff goes 2-0 and will play Garrett Giles (1-0-1) with the winner advancing.
Dubbed the "Group of Death" by the FSGA Comms Department, Scott Turner & Jake Nash have 1.5 points while Jeff Dennis has 1 point, with lots to play out tomorrow.
Stefan Ink with 2 points controls his own destiny while Justin Grant & Brandon Lohr remain alive with 1 point each.
Cooper Smith who made a semifinal appearance last year, tallied 2 points and will control his own destiny to advance to the bracket of 16.
Jay Brooks with 2 points will look to advance coming off a strong finish at the State Amateur playing in the final group.
Rhett Pooley goes 2-0 and controls his own destiny, a half point in the AM will see him advance.
Chase Baldwin followed up qualifying for the US Mid-Amateur yesterday by going 2-0 today on his home course to lead Pool 11
In a battle of two kids who grew up at Buckhorn Springs, but separated by almost a decade, James Bradley & John Coultas are both 2-0 and will face off in the AM to advance.
German Tagle & Jonah Leach has 1.5 points each while Charles Castellano remains alive with 1 point.
Andrew Morris (2-0) will face Zach Baldwin (1-0) in the AM controlling his own destiny to advance.
Christopher Anderson goes 2-0 and will look to build on match play success from this event last year, the US Mid-Amateur & this past May's Mid-Amateur
Sean Stone (2-0) leads while Tommy Tyler & Ford Wilt both have 1 point per.
Format: Three rounds of group round-robin match play; followed by single elimination bracket match play
Eligibility: FSGA Member
Handicap: Florida GHIN 7.0 or less
Entry Fees: Qualifying - $85 | Exempt - $250
Qualifying: Six local qualifying sites
- Championship field size - 64 players
- Full seeding information - click here
- 16 groups of 4 players
- Three 18 hole round-robin matches in group play
- Players winning a match will receive 1 point in the standings
- If the match ends in a tie, each player will receive a half point in the standings
- The player with the most points in each group will advance to the 16 player bracket
- In the event of tie after three matches, the tied players will have a sudden death stroke play play-off
- Once the 16 group winners advance - 18 hole individual gross match play in single elimination brackets
- In the event of a tied match, the stipulated round is deemed to extend to as many holes as are required for a match to be won
Player of the Year Points - new for 2023
- Champion - 6,000 points
- Runner-Up - 4,200 points
- Semifinalist - 2,700 points
- Quarterfinalist - 1,800 points
- Round of 16 - 1,200 points
- Failed to Advance from Group Play will receive POY points based on Group Points
- 2.5 points scored - 750 points
- 2.0 points scored - 650 points
- 1.5 points scored - 550 points
- 1.0 points scored - 450 points
- 0.5 points scored - 350 points
- 0.0 points scored - 250 points
- Male amateur golfer with Florida GHIN of 7.0 or less
- Entrant is required to be an FSGA member
- Qualifying Fee: Qualifying Fee includes entry fee and cart fee.
- Championship Fee: Fee paid by those individuals who advance to the Championship through qualifying. Includes at least three competitive rounds of golf, with course and cart fees, range balls, tee gifts and lunch between rounds 1 and 2 on Thursday
- Exempt Fee: Exempt Fee includes Championship Fee and Entry Fee for those individuals eligible for exemption.
Late entries will be accepted subject to a $10 late entry fee should the entrant gain acceptance into the qualifying field.
Those individuals who advance to the Championship through qualifying must pre-register and remit an additional $200 online at the FSGA website at www.fsga.org. Payment must be received by Thursday, July 27th by 3:30 pm, or the individual will be withdrawn from the Championship. Championship Fee includes cart fees for all competitive rounds.
- Log on to the FSGA website at www.fsga.org using your email address and password
- Click on "My Account" in the upper right hand corner of the homepage
- Under "My Tournaments", click on the "Pre-Register" button to the right of the tournament name
- Enter your credit card information and then click the "Charge My Card" button on the bottom right hand corner of the page
Refunds, Notice of Withdrawals
Qualifying Entry Fees - Requests for qualifying entry refunds received prior to entry closing date will be honored (less $20 per entry administrative fee). Requests received after the closing date will be honored (less 50% of entry fee). No requests will be honored within two days of the scheduled start date of the qualifier.
Championship Fees & Exempt Entry Fees - Requests for refunds of Exempt or Championship fees prior to the pre-registration deadline will be honored (less $20 per entry administrative fee). No requests will be honored after the pre-registration deadline (See pre-registration date displayed on this page).
The golf course will be set-up at approximately 6,900-7,200 yards.
Fine for Withdrawing
Due to the nature of this match play event, and to ensure that all players have a match to compete in and in fairness to the field in group play, a player who withdraws during the group play rounds will be assessed a $250 fine & you will not be eligible for next year's Championship. It is unfair to your fellow players who spend their own time and money to travel to the Championship, and are subsequently left to sit in their hotel room because another player has chosen to withdraw out of frustration or first round loss. When entering the Championship, please take this into consideration. If you believe you cannot fulfill the tournament schedule, please leave the spot open for another player.
Thursday, August 3rd
- 7:30 AM - 9:15 AM - Group play matches round 1 off #1 and #10 tees
- Complimentary Boxed Lunch between rounds 1 & 2
- 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM - Group play matches round 2 off #1 & #10
Friday, August 4th
- 7:30 AM - 9:15 AM - Group play matches round 3 off #1 & #10 tees
- 1:00 PM - Sudden death play-off for group winners if necessary
Saturday, August 5th
- 8:00 AM - 8:56 - Match play round of 16 off tee #1
- 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Match play quarterfinals off #1 tee
Sunday, August 6th
- 8:00 AM - 8:15 AM - Match play semifinals off #1 tee
- 12:00 PM - Match play final off #1 tee
18 holes of stroke play at 6 local sites. Cart fees are included in your qualifying fee. The number of qualifying spots will be posted at the host site and will be proportionate to other qualifying sites based on the size of the field. There will be a playoff to determine the last qualifying spot and alternate positions.
It was John Houchin who was left standing after four long days of golf at the 30th Amateur Match Play Championship at Hobe Sound Golf Club. Houchin defeated Joey Latowski, 5 and 4, in the Finals on Sunday.
Carts are included for all competitive rounds of the Championship. Players are responsible for practice round cart fees.
Players in the following categories will be eligible for exemption provided they meet all entry and eligibility requirements:
NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the FSGA for players who become exempt after the close of entries.
- Last three year's Amateur Match Play Champions
- Last year's Amateur Match Play Semifinalists
- Last year's Amateur Player of the Year
- Last three year's Amateur Champions
- Current year's top five and tied Amateur Championship finishers
- Current and last two year's Mid-Amateur Champions
- Current year's Mid-Amateur Championship Semifinalists
- Last year's Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Champion
- Last year's Junior Amateur Player of the Year
- Last year's Junior Amateur Match Play Champion (16-18 Age Division)
- Last year's Mid-Senior Champion
- Current year's Amateur Public Links Champion
- Last year's Florida Open Low Amateur
- Current and last year's Boys' Junior Champions (16-18 Age Division)
Exemptions Earned from this Tournament
- Next three Amateur Match Play Championships
- Next year's Mid-Amateur Championship
- Next year's Florida Open
- Next year's Amateur Match Play Championship
- Next year's Amateur Championship
- Next year's Mid-Amateur Championship
- Spectators and Spectator Cart Policy - Click here.
- Caddies - Caddies are NOT permitted in FSGA Championships and FSGA qualifying rounds per the FSGA Code of Conduct; except at the Florida Open, Florida Women's Open & Senior Open, and the Florida Senior Open - Click here
- Championship Pace of Play Policy - Click here.
- Local Rules and Terms of the Competition - Click here.
- Championship Policies - Click here to read the withdrawal, dress code, and other policies.
- Procedures for Alternates - Click here for information on how alternates may gain entry into this Championship.
- Conditions/ Schedule - The FSGA Championships Committee/on-site Rules Committee reserves the right to alter any of the conditions, provisions and/or schedules. The decision of the Championships Committee/on-site Rules Committee in any matter will be final.
Host Hotel and Accommodations
There is currently no host hotel for this event.
Deerwood Country Club accepts Cash & All Major Credit Cards as form of payment.