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Master Class

Master Class
Matt Ruel '16 claims the title at the prestigious Future Masters Golf Tournament

Jesuit High School golfers are excelling across the country this summer, and the latest is Matt Ruel ’16.

Ruel, who has established himself as one of the Tampa Bay area’s top golfers during his time at Jesuit, took a huge step toward becoming one of the nation’s best prep golfers by winning the prestigious Future Masters Golf Tournament last weekend (June 24-26) in Alabama.

Ruel blistered the Dothan Country Club course with a 67-67-67 for a 9-under 201. After starting the final round four strokes back, he surged into a tie for the lead on the front nine and was rock-steady in the clutch to prevail over a field of more than 200 competitors.

With all four players in the final group tied for the lead at 8-under heading to the back nine, Ruel birdied No. 10 and then grinded out eight straight pars for the victory.

“To go bogey-free on the final day here to win is huge,” said Ruel, who has been named first-team All-County the past two years at Jesuit. “I’m glad it all came together. It's a dream come true."



Matt Ruel hugs his mom, Maureen, upon winning the Future Masters, then sports the champion's blue jacket.

The Future Masters, a 66-year-old event for elite youth golfers ages 15-18, had the feel of a southeastern championship, as the final four contenders hailed from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. Past participants include U.S. Open champions Hubert Green and Jerry Pate, Masters winner Larry Mize, PGA champions Bob Tway, Mark Brooks, and Shawn Micheel, and British Open winner Ben Curtis.

Click here to read a Tampa Tribune feature about Ruel, Click here to read about Ruel’s triumph in the Dothan (Ala.) Eagle, and click here for more about the Future Masters event.

Ruel has two more big events on tap this summer. Next up is the Florida Boys Junior Amateur from July 7-9 at Black Diamond in Lecanto, followed by the U.S. Junior Amateur from July 20-25 in Bluffton, S.C. near Hilton Head, another major national event. Ruel qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur by winning the local qualifier June 18-19 at Dunedin Golf Club, shooting a record 6-under 66 in his opening round. 

A pair of Jesuit golf alums also distinguished themselves earlier in June. Anthony Maccaglia ’11 concluded his brilliant college career at Oglethorpe University by winning the illustrious Jack Nicklaus Award.

And Mike Finster ’83, a father of five who golfs part-time, defied the odds by not only qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open last week in California, but by making the cut in the prestigious event, one of the four Senior Majors. Click here for a story about Finster in the Sacramento Bee.

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