Philip Knowles' scorching summer season has translated into some early fall success. Knowles kept up his solid play in the Florida State Golf Association's Florida Junior Tour 16-18-year-old age division this past weekend at Palm-Aire Country Club.
Playing the Champions Course, the Bradenton Christian senior fired a 64-66--130 total for the 36-hole tournament. His 14-under-par tally broke a 10-year-old FJT scoring record, which was set by Bobby Gates Jr. in 2004 at Grand Cypress Golf Club.
Knowles' opening round tied the second-lowest round in FJT records for boys ages 16-18. That 64 was a bogey-free round that included birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 4, 8 and 11 through 14. It armed Knowles with a four-shot lead over Lakewood Ranch High's Spencer Schultz, who ultimately slipped to a tie for eighth place after a 75 in the final round.
Knowles won by seven shots over Naples' Andrew Potter.
Other top-10 finishes from Manatee County juniors included: Bradenton's Tony Jiang (tie for fourth, 72-68--140), Saint Stephen's Jack Tianyi Cen (tie for 10th, 72-72--144) and Braden River's Andrew Hammett (tie for 10th, 73-71--144)
Wondering what has become of Marissa Steen, who claimed the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay Country Club back in April? Well, she won her third LPGA Symetra Tour event in late August to earn an automatic promotion to the LPGA Tour.
On the strength of those three victories, Steen vaulted herself to the top of the Volvik Race for the Card standings, where the top 10 players on the money list at season's end earn LPGA Tour cards for the 2015 season.
And Steen holds the top spot with more than $75,000 in earnings. The Symetra Tour is wrapping up its 2014 campaign with the Tour Championship in Daytona Beach. But unlike the past couple years, no local players are in the hunt for one of the 10 LPGA Tour cards.
The closest local player is Hannah Yun, who trained at IMG Academy and played at the University of Florida. She sits in 44th place with more than $15,000 in earnings.
The Crew of DeSoto's 16th annual charity golf tournament, to benefit the Conquistador Historical Foundation, Light House for the Blind and other children's charities, is scheduled for Oct. 4 at The River Club.
The 1 p.m. shotgun start is $125 per individual golfer. A team sponsor is $400 and includes four free entries. Hole sponsors are $100 and includes a sign at the tee box or green. Other sponsors include birdie sponsor at $600 (four free entries, tee sign, sign at registration and dinner tables) and flag sponsor at $750 (four free entries, tee sign, sign at registration and dinner tables and a commemorative flag plaque).
Food and beverages are provided throughout the day with dinner slated for 5-6 p.m. at the clubhouse. A silent and live auction accompanies an award ceremony, too.
For more information and to inquire about a registration form, contact Doug Egger at 941-741-6125.
-- Jason Dill, Herald sports writer