Aug. 5, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss men's golf signee Kevin Jorden won the 23rd Florida State Amateur Match Play Championship, played at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.
The Juno Beach, Fla., native secured the title by beating Philip Knowles, of Bradenton, in 21 holes. After a back and forth battle through 11 holes on Sunday afternoon, Knowles won holes 12 and 13 to take a 2-up lead with five holes to play. After halving the 14th hole, Jorden swung the momentum his way by winning holes 15 and 16 to square the match. After Jorden's 15 foot birdie putt just slid by the edge of the cup on the 18th hole, the match would head for extras. Jorden and Knowles halved the 19th and 20th holes with pars. On the 21st hole, Knowles hit a greenside bunker shot to secure his par, giving Jorden an opportunity to win the title. After surveying the putt from many angles, Jorden drained the 18 foot birdie putt to win his first State Championship.
"All tournament I had been down early and I came back in every single (match)," said Jorden. "One of the things that I have learned through golf is that you have to stay patient. I knew with five holes to play, if I just won one, it would swing all the momentum my way, and that's exactly what happened. I won 15 and the next thing I knew, I had won 16, and all the pressure was on (Knowles). Putting was definitely key this week. All summer I have been hitting it very well. My putter was just off. This week I putted the best that I had in many years."
En route to the finals, Jorden and Knowles each won five matches to meet Sunday afternoon. Jorden, who earned the 14th seed after posting a 71 in the seeding round, defeated Osten Waite, from Ocala, 2 and 1 in the round of 64. Jorden defeated joseph Trey Aguirre, of Navarre, 3 and 2 to advance to the round of 16 and then defeated Shane Convery, of Ponte Vedra, in 19 holes to earn his spot in the quarterfinals. Playing Jamey Salmon, from Jacksonville, Jorden won 4 and 3 to advance to the semifinals. On Sunday morning, Jorden ousted Austin Powell, from Jupiter, 2 and 1, to face Knowles in the final match.