Local golf: Naples' Figueroa wins spot in PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open

Edward Figueroa of Saint John Neumann High School. Class 1A-Region 6 golf tournament at Hideout Golf Club.  Community School and St. John Neumann boys teams were will be favorites.

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Edward Figueroa of Saint John Neumann High School. Class 1A-Region 6 golf tournament at Hideout Golf Club. Community School and St. John Neumann boys teams were will be favorites.

Naples' Ed Figueroa won the American Junior Golf Association's Puerto Rico Junior Open over the weekend, winning a spot in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open from March 5-11.

Figueroa closed with back-to-back birdies to win by a stroke with a final-round 69 for a 4-under-par 212 total. It's the second AJGA title for Figueroa, who has verbally committed to Florida Gulf Coast University.

"It means so much in so many ways because my family is from San Juan and we visited them every day this week," the 18-year-old said on the AJGA website. "It will be awesome for them to be able to come here and see me play."

The field featured 79 boys, ages 12-18, from 15 countries and 18 states, as well as eight from Puerto Rico.

Figueroa birdied Nos. 8, 11 and 13, to grab a one-shot lead with five holes to play. After a three-putt bogey on No. 16, he made a five-footer for birdie on No. 17, and two-putted on the par-5 18th.

"The birdie before (No. 18), I wasn't even trying to make birdie there, but that led on to the birdie on the next hole. It was so nerve-racking," Figueroa said. "I was trying not to think about the exemption because that's huge, I was about to cry. I was just trying to not think of anything and just hit my shot and concentrate on my game."

Figueroa held off Jorge Garcia and 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Jim Liu. Naples' Ben Balter tied for 17th, and Spencer Ciesla tied for 50th.

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