Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Players Create Drama at Timuquana; Clutch Play on Final Holes Difference for McCumber, Barber

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Players Create Drama at Timuquana; Clutch Play on Final Holes Difference for McCumber, Barber

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY SMITS

The hometown heroics came late, and in spectacular fashion in the final round of the 52nd annual Florida State Golf Association Boys Junior Championship on Wednesday.

Ponte Vedra Beach's Tyler McCumber nearly holed his second shot at the par-4 18th hole of Timuquana Country Club, then tapped in for birdie to give him a one-shot victory over Orlando's Joshua Seale in the 13-15-year-old division.

Minutes later, Lake City's Blayne Barber made a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-4 17th hole, then parred the last to beat Gainesville's Tyson Alexander by one. It was Barber's second significant victory of the summer, two weeks after he won the Junior Masters.

McCumber (67) finished at 9-under 207 to win the state title in his division on the same course that his father, 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark, won the city junior amateur championship by 12 shots 37 years ago.

St. Augustine's Julian Suri (70), who led after each of the first two rounds, was one shot ahead of McCumber and tied with Seale with three holes remaining before three-putting for bogey from 30 feet at No. 17 and leaving a 15-foot birdie try at No. 18 on the lip of the cup to finish at 7 under.

Barber (69) had a three-shot lead over Alexander (69) through 10 holes, then withstood a rally by the incoming University of Florida freshman to finish at 10-under 206. Alexander played Nos. 11 through 14 at 5 under to tie Barber with four holes to play but missed two of his last four greens and two birdie putts while his rival hit every fairway and green.

The timely birdies by McCumber and Barber ended a tournament filled with low scores and spectacular shots. The top eight players in each age group finished 54 holes at par or better, and five players in the 16-18 division shot in the 60s in the final round.

And McCumber, Seale and Suri tried their best to knock down every flag on the course. The three combined for 19 final-round birdies, eight on the four par-5 holes. …

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