Sarasota’s Erik Souchak, the reigning City of Sarasota Amateur champ, heads to Jupiter this week along with the top amateurs in the state of Florida for the 102nd Amateur Championship. The Loxahatchee Club will play host on June 20-23, while Jonathan’s Landing will serve as the co-host. In total, 168 players will compete in 72 holes of stroke play, with a cut to low 70 and ties after 36 holes.
Here are five things to know before the championship begins.
The Florida State Amateur Championship is one of the oldest and most prestigious amateur golf championships in the country, with a rich history dating back to 1913 when A.C. Ulmer won the first of four titles.
Other past champions include: Bob Murphy, Doug Sanders, Gary Koch, Jerry Pate, Buddy Alexander and Blayne Barber. Florida State Golf Association Hall of Fame inductees, Carl Dann Jr. and Don Bisplinghoff are also past champions, with Dann winning five championships and Bisplinghoff securing four wins.
Pub Links Champ Looks For Another Win
After capturing the Amateur Public Links Championship earlier this month, Nicholas Gabrelcik has his eye on another state title. Gabrelcik went wire-to-wire to capture the Amateur Public Links at Orange County National Golf Club and Lodge. It was his second FSGA victory, after winning the Amateur Match Play in 2018. Also in the past 9 months, the University of North Florida Osprey commit has captured three victories on the Florida Junior Tour.
The Amateur Championship consistently draws some of the best college players from the state of Florida, with the last four champions being college players.
The University of Florida will be most represented at this year’s championship, with five members from their 2018-19 squad competing: Fred Biondi, Blake Dyer, Manny Girona, Eugene Hong and Aden Ye.
While four University of South Florida golfers will be in the field: Luke Gifford, Amadeo Figus, Anthony Muttillo and Sarasota’s Erik Souchak.’
University of North Florida, the only Division I program in Florida to advance to the 2019 NCAA National Championships, will have Jordan Batchelor and Michael Saccente, along with commits Gabrelcik, Robbie Higgins and Cooper Smith in the field.
Division II powerhouse, Florida Southern College, of Lakeland, will be represented by Max Coutsolioutsos, Logan Neel and Johnny Tucker.
Past Champions Eye Another Title
Brad Quiri and Ryan Abbate are the two past Amateur Champions in this year’s field. Quiri won the 2004 championship at The Club at TwinEagles, while Abbate grabbed his title in 2005 at Bear Lakes Country Club.
Joining Quiri and Abbate in the field are two past FSGA Amateur Players of the Year, Joe Alfieri and Marc Dull.
Alfieri is a four-time Amateur Player of the Year and a six-time FSGA champion. The Lutz native advanced to the Round of 16 at this year’s Mid-Amateur Championship and most recently finished tied for 10th at the Amateur Public Links.
Dull is the reigning Mid-Amateur Player of the Year and was the 2017 Amateur Player of the Year. The Winter Haven resident tied for 12th at the Public Links Championship and advanced to the round of 32 at the U.S. Four-Ball Championship, with partner Chip Brooke, who is also in the field.
Amateur Championship Heads to Jupiter
The Loxahatchee Club will play host to its third FSGA championship, its first since the 2014 Mid-Amateur Championship. It also served as the co-host for the 2012 Amateur Championship. The Jack Nicklaus’ Signature Design Loxahatchee Club went through an extensive renovation in 2015.
Serving as the co-host for the championship, The Fazio Course at Old Trail recently went through a renovation in the summer of 2018 and will give players an exciting fresh look at a local favorite as the companion course.