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Dale wins Florida State Amateur Championship

UNF golfer Sean Dale came back from being down two strokes entering the final day to win the 93rd Annual Florida State Amateur Championship June 27 at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla.

“It means a lot to always win your state amateurs,” Dale said. “Especially the Florida Am because it is one of the biggest. I would probably say that Texas and California are the ones up there with Florida. You got all the best players in Florida, so you know it is going to be a good field to go out and win that.”

Dale, who is entering his junior year at UNF, saved his best round of the tournament for last. He finished on Sunday with a 3-under-par 69. His good showing on Sunday helped him to turn in a 3-under-par 285 for the tournament.

After entering the final round down by two strokes, Dale bogeyed the par four first hole. After paring holes two and three, Dale made an eagle on the par five fourth hole when he holed out from a greenside bunker. The shot got him to 1-under-par and back in the hunt for the win.

“I hit it perfect,” Dale said. “It kind of jump started my round and got me back to 1-under and just got me some confidence from there on out for the rest of the round.”

Dale then birdied the par three seventh but turned in a bogey on the par four eighth hole to get to the turn at 1-under-par, with a 35.

Dale played his best golf of the tournament once he hit the back nine. He started off quick on holes 10 and 11 with birdies on both holes. Dale pared out the rest the round to win by three strokes on his way to grabbing his first Florida State Golf Association title.

“I like the accomplishment,” said UNF head golf coach Scott Schroeder. “I think it is one of those neat prestigious events growing up living in the state of Florida. If you look back over time, there are a lot of guys that have won that who are now playing on the PGA Tour.”

Dale’s win is just the most recent success from the UNF golf team members this summer. Freshman Kevin Phelan just finished playing in his first U.S. Open after winning the U.S. Open sectional tournament. In addition to Dale and Phelan’s offseason success, UNF golfers Joe Byun and Jacob Davidson will be alternates in a U.S. Public Links qualifier.

“Everybody seems to be doing good,” Dale said. “I think that just the way we finished out this past year has kind of just opened up everybody’s eyes. It has given us more confidence going forward. I mean we played in some big tournaments this past year in college, and I think that helped out a lot and made everybody else on the team more confident.”

Dale is the second Osprey to win the Florida State Amateur Championship in the past five years. He joins Jeff Dennis who won the tournament in 2006.

With all of the individual success coming from the UNF golfers this offseason, Schroeder is looking forward to seeing how it can help his team once the season comes around.

“It just shows that we have a lot of talent,” Schroeder said. “It just shows that we have a lot of depth and a lot of guys that just keep working hard and playing good golf. It keeps me excited and we’re looking forward to next year.”

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