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Accomplished teenager wins St. Petersburg's New Year's Invitational

ST. PETERSBURG — Sam Horsfield is only 17 years old, but his golf resume is starting to look like a player much older.

Last year he won the Florida State Amateur Championship and the Class 3A high school state championship as a junior at Ridge Community School in Davenport.

On Sunday at St. Petersburg Country Club, he added the New Year's Invitational to his list of titles. With a final-round 2-under 70 that he described as "okay," Horsfield finished the four-day tournament at 13-under 275. Philippe Schweizer, who plays golf for Purdue University, was second at 279.

"I didn't hit it very well today," Horsfield said. "I had four bogeys and four birdies. It was a little bit squirrely on the back nine but it worked out."

Leading Schweizer by one shot after three rounds, Horfield birdied the first hole while Schweizer bogeyed.

"That's pretty much a two-hole swing, and mentally it makes things more stable," Horsfield said. "I wanted to start out by making birdie on one, and I'm very happy that I was able to do that."

The lead ballooned to five when Horsfield birdied the eighth hole to get to 13 under. That lead came in handy on the back nine. Horsfield bogeyed the 14th, 15th and 17th holes, but Schweizer could not make up ground due to two bogeys.

With a four-shot lead on the par-5 18th hole, Horsfield was able to relax. He ripped a drive, hit a fairway wood to within 15 feet and made the putt for eagle to get back to 13 under.

This was the first time Horsfield has played in the New Year's Invitational. He is the second-youngest player to win the tournament, behind 16-year-old Johnny Revolta in 1928.

"It's a nice way to start the year, for sure," Horsfield said.

Michael McGowan of the University of North Carolina was third at 282. Adam Schenk of Purdue was fourth at 283. Florida State and St. Petersburg High golfer Jack Maguire was seventh at 285. Florida and Clearwater Central Catholic golfer Ryan Orr was at 294.

Joe Alfieri defended his mid amateur title by shooting a final-round 72 for a total of 2-under 286. Tom Hyland was the senior champion with a three-round total of 222.

Accomplished teenager wins St. Petersburg's New Year's Invitational 01/12/14 [Last modified: Sunday, January 12, 2014 7:09pm]
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