Miami Sports Day

JAGA NEWS: TPC Stadium Course Closed at Least Until April

By FRED SEELY and BARNEY POSTON

$12,040. $180,000 and counting. Those are the new numbers from the generous Sawgrass Country Club members, who have supported the Jacksonville Area GA’s Scholarship Trust for the past 25 years.

This year’s check, presented by Sawgrass directors Ray Gottschalk, Randy Nader and Gregg Deibolt, was for $12,040. That makes over $180,000 in the 25 years.

The donations come from the top. This year’s donation came in response for club president Sam Harkleroad, and the JAGA directors encouraged donations.

• There were two more scholarship checks presented at last month’s board meeting at Queen’s Harbour. Joe FitzGerald gave $1,275 from Atlantic Beach Country Club and Skip Lunsford and Tom Joseph presented $1,200 from the Jacksonville G&CC Men’s Golf Association.

• The TPC Stadium course is closed, probably until next April. The greens will be renovated and several holes will get facelifts. The work started immediately after a sponsor’s playday on the Monday after this year’s tournament. The clubhouse and the Valley course remain open.

• Upcoming: the JAGA Father’s Day tournament at Hidden Hills on June 25-26.

• One of Hyde Park’s members recently lost an eye to cancer so they held a One Eye Open on his behalf. Every player had to wear a patch over one eye, creating obvious focusing issues (try it.) There were 65 players and they pulled in $5,600.

• Nice win by TPC’s Mike Smith in the JAGA Match Play at Atlantic Beach. He beat Sam Uland, 3 and 1, in the final. Duke Butler IV took third place over Devin Hopkins.

• The cooperative work between JAGA and the local ladies produced another good First Coast Women’s Championship. Kristen Wagner was the winner at Deerwood with Celeste Valinho taking the Second Flight and Sarah Phillips-Durst winning the Seniors.

• Queen’s Harbour members are getting behind the July 28-30 JAGA Amateur. General Manager Bob Sykora says they’ll encourage residents to participate in the event and have refreshment stations at homes along the course. Deadline for exempt players is July 18.

• Queen’s Harbour’s clubhouse will get some renovations soon. Parent ClubCorp has sent engineers to see what can be done, and expansion of the popular pub is No. 1 on the list.

• PGA pro Rhonda Ferguson has started a junior camp and needs junior clubs. Drop your extras by your pro shop and she’ll get them.

• This month’s JAGA board meeting will be on the 21st at Sawgrass.

• The United States GA has asked JAGA for information on the Amateur in advance of recognizing the tournament as eligible for national player rankings. Chairmen Bob Streightiff of Queen’s Harbour and Jeff Adams of the TPC were glad to help.

• The last of our area’s old miniature golf courses has been plowed under. The Mandarin Mill course at San Jose Blvd. and I-295 is gone for a commercial building. Those of us who remember the old putting courses have one relic remaining: the dinosaur in front of a strip shopping center that once was an obstacle on a course near the old Beach Boulevard Par 3.

• Oddity: the top two in the U.S. Open qualifier at Timuquana are both foreigners and both live here. Medalist Aron Price is from Australia and lives near TPC Sawgrass; Tim Wilkerson is from New Zealand and lives in Jacksonville Beach.

Member clubs are encouraged to send news to either Barney Poston at barneypo@bellsouth.net or Fred Seely at fs4569@comcast.net.

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