Miami Sports Day

JAGA: Match Play Set for Atlantic Beach May 20-22

The Jacksonville Area Golf Association’s (JAGA) tournament schedule moves into a higher gear starting with the May 20-22 Match Play at Atlantic Beach. A qualifier set the 32 places. Joe Fitzgerald of the host club is the chairman with assistance from Tom Bozzuto of Hyde Park.

• The First Coast Women’s will be June 4-5 at Deerwood chaired by Billy Drake of Hyde Park and Jim Kavanaugh of St. Johns G&CC. Brooks Rehab is the major sponsor.

• PGA pro Tim Peterson needed golf balls for his middle school project and we sent the word to JAGA board members. Result: Peterson had more than enough within one week and a total of more than 2,000 eventually were donated. The rest went to the junior program at Blue Cypress, The First Tee facility in Jacksonville and pro Rhonda Ferguson’s PGA junior program.

• Prediction for the next class to be inducted in our World Golf Hall of Fame: Davis Love III, Ian Woosnam, Lorena Ochoa, Meg Mallon and British writer Henry Longhurst. Next ceremony is in St. Augustine next May. Then a year off, then a ceremony in Pebble Beach.

• The Florida Azalea Amateur is one of the state’s biggest with 208 players this year at the Palatka muny. That stretches the hotel rooms in the Northeast Florida community and this year it was really jammed as a national bass fishing tournament came to town. Filled motels in St. Augustine, 25 miles away.

• Ernie Shad aced the 12^th at last month’s JAGA Director’s meeting at The Palatka Golf Club.

• This month’s JAGA board meeting is May 24 at Queen’s Harbour. Directors will get a look at this year’s JAGA Amateur course (the tournament is July 29-31) and a guest will be defending champ Andy Alligood. The meeting starts at 10:30 a.m.

• Ponte Vedra’s golf shop merchandise is now emphasizing the snazzy seahorse logo on clothing instead of the club name spelled out.

• The JAGA Scholarship Trust got a nice boost recently: $3,000 from the Hyde Park Men’s Golf Association, $500 from the Orange Park Senior MGA.

• More good golf club food: a local farmer has taken over the restaurant at the St. Johns Golf Club. How fresh? His farm is only two miles away.

• The recent JAGA Senior had a defending champion for about 10 minutes. Last year’s winner, Tom Gross of Jacksonville G&CC, went to the range and promptly hurt his shoulder.

• Canadian PGA Tour qualifying: Colin Monagle of Sawgrass is exempt through the first portion of the season, Timuquana’s Jamey Salmon has conditional status. First event is June 2-5 in Victoria, British Columbia, about as far west as you can go on this continent.

• Timuquana has landed the 2019 USGA Women’s Four-Ball. The USGA’s last visit here also was at Timuquana, the 2002 Senior Men’s Championship.

• Pretty good month for Sawgrass pro Greg Lecker. Within 30 days, he played Augusta National, Seminole and Oakmont.

• St. Augustine Tour caddy Paul Tesori (once with Vijay Singh, now with Webb Simpson) is another who didn’t quite make it as a player but makes a good living in another way on the Tour. Tesori once finished second in the Florida Amateur to Chris Couch here at Sawgrass.

• South Hampton GM Jim Houston asks that you consider participating in the annual benefit for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Camp No Limits. It’s Sept. 26 at Marsh Landing and they’ve raised almost $250,000 in the past six years. Info:

• There are 39 exempt players for his year’s Men’s Amateur on July 28-30 at Queen’s Harbour and that’s half the field if all enter. The 39 remaining spots will be filled on a first-come basis so you’d be wise not to wait until near the July 18 entry deadline.

• The World Golf Hall of Fame has some neat new artifacts on display from major championships. The collection includes items from the collections of Phil Mickelson, Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, Sam Snead and Ken Venturi. It’s all in the Masters section.

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(Fred Seely is President, Jacksonville Area Golf Association)

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