Incoming Freshman John Coultas Captures Florida State Junior Amateur Championship
LAKELAND - Florida Southern incoming freshman men's golfer John Coultas recently captured the 60th Florida State Boys' Junior Amateur Championship by shooting a 12-under par 201 to win by four strokes at the Belleair County Club in Belleair on July 8-10.
Coultas, who is a native of Valrico, Fla., and was a senior this past school year at Newsome High School, signed to play with Doug Gordin's Moccasins during the spring signing period. He will be a freshman this coming fall at Florida Southern.
At the Junior Amateur Championships, Coultas, who finished tied for sixth at this year's Florida Class 3A State Championship and earned First-Team All-Area honors by the Tampa Bay Times, opened the tournament by shooting a four-under par 67 on the East Course, before firing a four-under 67 playing on the West Course in the second round to take a one shot lead into the final round. In the second round, which was played on Coultas' 18th birthday, he recorded birdies on 10, 14 and 18 and scored an eagle on the par-5 16th hole.
In the final round on July 10, Coultas got off to a hot start as he made birdies on 2, 6 and 9 and had only one bogey as he made the turn at two-under 34 to take a two shot lead into the final nine holes. Coultas would play the next eight holes in one-under par and then record a birdie on the 18th hole to cap off his third consecutive round of 67 and capture the Junior Amateur Championship.
Along with his first place finish in the Florida State Junior Amateur Championship, Coultas also finished tied for third this past weekend at the 65th Florida State Four Ball Championship held at the Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando. In the Four Ball Championship, Coultas teamed up with another incoming Moccasin freshman, Jimmy Jones, who was a senior this past year at Freedom High School in Tampa. Jones also signed with the Mocs during the spring signing period.
At the Florida State Four Ball Championships, Coultas and Jones shot a combined 15-under par 129 to tie with Chip Brooke of Bartow and Marc Dull of Winter Haven for third place. The champions of the Florida State Four Ball State Championship were Conor Richardson of West Palm Beach and Ryan Orr of Belleair, who are both teammates at the University of Florida. The Gator duo shot a 17-under par 127 to win the title by one shot.
Coultas isn't the only incoming Moccasin men's golfer to have won an State Junior Amateur Championship as John VanDerLaan of Southbury, Conn., took home the 71st Connecticut State Junior Amateur Championship in 2012 at the Watertown Golf Club. He was the fifth medalist to ever win the match play championship in the 71 year history of the Connecticut State Amateur Championship.
VanDerLaan, who also signed with the Mocs during the spring recruiting period and will be rooming with Coultas at Florida Southern, played high school golf at Pomperaug High School. This past season, VanDerLaan led Pomperaug to a tie for third place at the Connecticut Division II Boys Golf Championships. As a junior in 2013, he led the school to the Division I state title.
Gordin expects all three of these incoming freshman to play a big role for the Moccasins' during the upcoming 2014-15 season.