Jacksonville Sports Day

JAGA NOTES: Club Team Championship set for Nov. 18 at Deerwood

The JAGA Club Team Championship will be Nov. 18 at Deerwood with a big extra: trick shot artist and World Golf Hall of Fame member Dennis Walters will give a clinic following the awards luncheon.

The tournament is co-sponsored by JAGA and the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA. Teams must consist of a PGA pro employed at a JAGA-member club, and three players with an established handicap at the club.

It’s a 9 a.m. shotgun with lunch and the clinic to follow. Signup is through either the PGA or JAGA website.

Scholarship Trust

The annual JAGA Scholarship Trust fundraiser is Nov. 4 at Queen’s Harbour and chairman Adair Roberts said spots may still remain. It’s a 4-person scramble with a morning shotgun and details are at jaxareagolf.org.

First Coast Amateur

JAGA has confirmed the dates and a new home for the 2020 First Coast Amateur. The fourth annual event will be played Jan. 18-20 (Martin Luther King holiday weekend) at The Conservatory at Hammock Beach in Palm Coast.

A few highlights:

• World Amateur Golf Ranking points available

• 96-player field

• Last year’s event had representation from 26 colleges and universities, 16 states and eight countries outside of the United States

• The Conservatory is a Tom Watson Signature Design.


Death: Ed Witten, 1984-85 JAGA president. He represented Beauclerc and, after that course closed, moved to Baymeadows … New JAGA directors are Skip Small, Jax Beach, and Dr. Tom Tomlin, Sawgrass … Timuquana presented a Scholarship Trust check for $4,780 at the October Board meeting at Fernandina Beach …. Pablo Creek has closed for renovation … The TPC Stadium course will be closed for several weeks as preparations start for the Players Championship … All tickets will be mobile only for the 2020 tournament, plus parking will be at a premium due to the new PGA Tour headquarters building taking up so much space. There also are several new seating opportunities. Details are found HERE (https://jaxareagolfassn.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eedb491fb8467f8fd6f44ddd9&id=17f6866f8d&e=74dc6ccad0) … The Florida State GA’s early 2020 schedule shows one championship in Northeast Florida, the Senior Four-Ball at The Amelia Island Club in September.


• The JAGA-sponsored First Coast Amateur again will be played over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend (Jan. 18-20.) The field will be expanded from 78 to 96 players. To view the information page and to register click HERE (https://jaxareagolfassn.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eedb491fb8467f8fd6f44ddd9&id=91234cfa76&e=74dc6ccad0) .

• North Florida Section pro Jennifer Borocz teamed with amateurs Darlene Deo, Cynthia Hastings and Jane Rollinson to win the Amelia National Pro-Am. Runners-up were pro Kurt Valley of the PGA Tour Performance Center with amateurs Joe Scibana, Bill DeRahmes and Leroy Valley. Valley was low pro.

• Shirley Budden won the Mary Burnside Memorial at NAS with 79. Low net went to Judy Kontny. Gross flight winners were Chris Hunt, Darlene Deo, Ann Halton, Donna Carman, Kathleen Walker, Cynthia Hastings, Barb Jacobi, B.J. Murphy and Betty Metz. Net winners were Carrie Parmer, Athena Ballas, Cindy Peterson, Debra McDermott, Susan Mackert, Nina Hemmelgarn and Joyce Moore.

• University of Cincinnati freshman Ty Gingerich failed to qualify for a collegiate event so he drove nine hours to play in the St. Augustine Amateur. With only four hours sleep, he shot a tournament record 62 for the first-round lead and held on to win with a 10-under 200. Tied for second at 203 were Chrisopher Stutts of Maitland and Canadian Sudarshan Yellamaraju. St. Augustine’s Juan Iturra was fourth.

• Kirk Irvin of St. Johns G&CC won the Mid-Am division of the St. Augustine Amateur with 211, one better than Duke Butler IV of the TPC. Behind by three going into the final hole, Irvin holed out from the fairway for an eagle two and then watched Butler plug his second shot into a greenside bunker and make double. Paul Tesori of St. Augustine and Mike Smith of the TPC tied for third.

• David Denham of Athens, Ga., won the Timuquana Cup’s Mid-Am division with 5-under 211, one ahead of Rusty Mosley of Vidalia, Ga. Matt Kleinrock was the low Northeast Florida finisher in 10^th.

• In the Timuquana Cup’s Senior division, Doug Hanzel of Savannah won in a playoff with Jack Hall, also of Savannah. Bill Hardaker led locals in fourth place.

• Dr. Jim Carley of Ormond Beach won the Timuquana Cup’s Super Senior division in a playoff with Curt Knorr of Atlanta. Scott Sheftall of Timuquana was ninth.

• Numerous local players advanced into Stage 2 of the Korn Ferry qualifying tournament. The list includes past Jacksonville Amateur champions David Wicks and Sean Dale plus Philip Knowles, John VanDerLaan, Mitchell Green and Conner Godsey. They move to the next round early in November.

• Peter and Meg Kuchar hosted the Ronald McDonald Charity event benefiting sick kids at TPC Sawgrass on Oct. 14. The event raised more than $100,000. Ten-year-old lefty Miles Russell of Jacksonville G&CC, who recently qualified for The Masters Drive, Chip and Putt for the second time, hit the opening shot.

• Ponte Vedra has confirmed that the Gate Senior will not be held this year due to renovation of the Ocean Course but Director of Golf Jim Howard, in a letter to former contestants, says both the Gate Invitational and Gate Senior will be played next year.

JAGA Directors

Results of the directors tournament following the Board meeting at Fernandina Beach:

129: Jon Thompson, Timuquana; Larry Stark, Jax Beach; Skip Lunsford, Jacksonville G&CC; Tom Tomlin, Sawgrass.

134: Joe Grippi, Deerwood; Ken Hicks, Deerwood; Ron Jerin, Palatka; Price Poole, Fernandina Beach.

138: Arch Copeland, Deercreek; Jack Morehead, NAS; Charlie Kicklighter, Fernandina Beach; Nathan Powell, Fernandina Beach.

Jacksonville G&CC reopens

From JAGA Directors Skip Lunsford and Wayne St. Clair:

“JGCC began construction on the golf course renovation April 17. The project was contracted through MacCurrach Golf and overseen by our superintendent, Nate Maurer. After a dry first month, Mother Nature cooperated nicely and the grow-in accelerated. The greens were returned to their original designs with some minor sloping changes. Significant enhancements were also made to bunkers, tee boxes, fairways, and irrigation systems.

“During the closure, several other clubs shared excellent reciprocal arrangements with our members and we thank them all for their hospitality.

“The grand re-opening took place Saturday, Oct. 5 and the new golf course was thoroughly enjoyed by the membership. Patience during the 5 1/2 month process has paid off as we enjoy one of the finest golf courses in Northeast Florida.”

Who is Lanto Griffin?

The latest Northeast Florida resident to win on the PGA Tour is 31-year-old Lanto Griffin, who took the Houston Open by one shot in October.

JAGA Director Duke Butler III of TPC Sawgrass provides this:
After college he began playing minitours but missed six straight cuts in 2014 and was broke. Fellow professional Will Wilcox, who he had met on the Hooters Tour, invited him to caddie for him in the Greenbriar Classic, where he tied for fourth and paid Lanto $17,000, which enabled him to continue pursuing his dream. The $1,350,00 he won in Houston should help.
Griffin was born in California but grew up in Blacksburg, Va. He attended Virginia Commonwealth and, with financial help from members at the Blacksburg CC, tried the Tour.

He now lives in Jacksonville Beach and works with Todd Anderson, the head of the PGA Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass. His fiancee, Maya Brown, is an attorney in Charlotte.

Clay County Women’s Invitational

There will be a new event on the women’s amateur golf schedule as the Clay County Women’s Invitational is set January 18-20.
JAGA is partnering with Clay County Tourism and Airstream Ventures to bring some of the top female amateurs from around the country for a 54-hole event at Eagle Harbor Golf Club.
The Clay County Women’s Invitational becomes the 12th championship sanctioned by JAGA and is the third new JAGA event in the last four years and the second women-only event on the schedule.
Registration in the event is open via the tournament website for female amateurs with a handicap of 4.0 or better. To register click HERE (https://jaxareagolfassn.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eedb491fb8467f8fd6f44ddd9&id=f5e7728fe2&e=74dc6ccad0) .

New Sawgrass Professional

Stefan Brunt is the new director of golf at Sawgrass Country Club. He replaces Ron Philo, who is now at a private club in Indiana.
Brunt formerly was head pro at Sawgrass and then went to a country club in South Florida. He returned to this area last year as head pro at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club.

Hopkins Honored

Devin Hopkins of Jacksonville Beach has been named the Florida State GA’s Amateur and Mid-Amateur of the year.
Hopkins won the FSGA’s Mid-Amateur Stroke Play title and placed well in other state events. He also reached the quarterfinals of the USGA Four-Ball with Matt Kleinrock.


Nov. 2-3: Golf Channel Tour, World Golf Village.

Nov. 4: JAGA Scholarship Trust tournament, Queen’s Harbour.

Nov. 4: JU Golf teams benefit, Marsh Landing.

Nov. 4: Daniel benefit, Timuquana.

Nov. 10: First Tee/NFJG benefit, World Golf Village.

Nov. 11: North Florida Section “Day of Giving,” various courses.

Nov. 14-17: PGA Tour RSM Classic, Sea Island.

Nov. 18: JAGA/PGA Club Team Championship, Deerwood.

Nov. 21: Northern Chapter PGA meeting, Palencia.

Dec. 2: First Tee benefit, Timuquana.

Dec. 8-9: Monique Burr Foundation benefit pro-am, Palencia.

Dec. 9: North Florida PGA annual meeting, Reunion.

Dec. 10: JAGA Board, Julington Creek.

Dec. 18: Northern Chapter PGA Pro-Am, TPC Sawgrass.

Dec. 19-20: Gator Bowl Pro-Am, Timuquana and San Jose.

Jan. 8: JAGA Board, Timuquana.

Jan. 18-20: First Coast Amateur, Hammock Beach Conservatory..

Feb. 6: Celebration of Golf Banquet, TPC Sawgrass.

Feb. 12: JAGA Board, Mayport.

Feb. 17-18: Underwood Cup, Timuquana.

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