GOLF NEWS: Atlantic Beach CC’s Jimmy Ellis is 107th Florida Amateur Champion

 Special to SportsDay

Jimmy Ellis, a relative newcomer to Northeast Florida, won the 107th FSGA Amateur Championship contested at Quail Valley and Bent Pine in Vero Beach. 

The 38-year-old Pennsylvania native fired a final-round 64 to overtake third-round leader and 2022 Jacksonville Amateur presented by Synovus champion Jason Duff of Elkton/UNF and win by four. Duff held onto to second place with recently graduated UNF teammate Brett Schell of St. Augustine and Tyler Gulliksen of Flagler Beach. Ellis plays out of Atlantic Beach CC.
Upcoming for JAGA
            • Entries for the 63rd JAGA Jacksonville Amateur presented by Synovus closed on July 1st. Jacksonville G&CC will host July 18-20 for the first time since 2018. JAGA is pleased to welcome Synovus, the Championship’s first-ever presenting sponsor. Tournament details are available at: 63rd Jacksonville Amateur presented by Synovus
            • Entries for the First Coast Women’s Amateur at The Plantation at Ponte Vedra Beach will soon close – at 5 p.m. ET on July 10th. The championship will be played July 22-24. JAGA provides promotional and administrative support to the FCWA tournament committee. There are four divisions. To enter, click here:
            • JAGA will once again provide sponsorship support for the NFJGT’s Greater Jacksonville Junior, July 16-17 at Eagle Harbor. For details: Click Here
            • After no events in August and September, JAGA’s fall season features four events – Fall Four-Ball at The Plantation (Oct. 28th), Club Team Championship and Scholarship Trust Classic in November, and The Family Championship in December. 
More FSGA Results
            • UNF sophomore One Kashima led the 95th Florida Women’s Amateur championship match at Bear’s Club in Jupiter 4-up through six holes only to see 16-year-old high school rising junior Sophie Dyer fight back to win the title 2-up. 
            Six area players advanced through stroke play to secure a spot in the 32-player match-play competition – Kashima (4th), Nancy Cox (T8), Sofia Rivera (T19), and Sahana Chokshi, Cambree Hodge and Kate Bibby, all T25.
            For complete results, click here:
            • David Anthony of Jacksonville rallied from three down with five holes to play but came up short in the FSGA Senior Match Play Championship at Legacy G&TC in Port St. Lucie. The Marsh Landing member lost 1 down to No. 1 seed and reigning FSGA Senior Amateur champion R.J. Nakashian of Palm Beach Gardens. Anthony was seeking his 15th statewide championship. Four other area seniors were among the 32 who qualified for match play – Jeff Kaufman, Chuck Kirk, John Lobb and Ken Moody.
            •  UNF’s One Kashima and Hibki Adechi placed second in the Florida Women’s Four-Ball at ChampionsGate CC near Orlando. 
            •  Steve Carter of St. Augustine partnered with Jon Veneziano of Orlando to finish fifth in the FSGA’s 40 and over Four-Ball North at Club Adena in Ocala.
            • Fleming Island HS rising senior Emmet Kuhlenkamp was a co-runner-up in the 27th FSGA Public Links Championship at Dubsdread in Orlando. His 4-under-par 206 total was one more than champion Sebastiano Mascia of Orlando.  
            • Emma McKoan of Naples bested Hannah Hall of Rockledge in a playoff to capture the 65th FSGA Girls’ Junior at Pelican GC in Belleair. 
            • The 78th Florida Open will be played July 19-21 at Golden Ocala G&EC and the CC of Ocala. The co-medalists at the Stillwater G&CC qualifier, Jarred Garcia, Lukas Guthrie and Mark Tullo, secured the three available spots. One more local qualifier is set for July 8th at The Palencia Club.
            • The 32nd FSGA Amateur Match Play Championship is Aug. 1-4 at ChampionsGate.
            •  Local PGA members Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth (San Jose CC/teaching professional) and Jennifer Borocz (Senior Director/North Florida PGA Section) competed in last month’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship near Seattle. It was Stephanie’s sixth straight appearance and Jennifer’s third appearance. They missed the cut on the lush and lengthy 6,700+-yard Sahalee CC layout.
            •  Rod Perry of Crane Lakes G&CC won the North Florida PGA Section Senior Championship, outlasting Clint Avret of Southeastern Turfgrass Supply by three shots at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Perry’s 72-69-141 total was 1-under-par. Avret posted a pair of 72s. Bob Wallace of the host club was third at 145.
            •  Phillip Dunham of Ponte Vedra Beach and Ryan Houck of Jacksonville were medalists in their respective U.S. Junior Amateur Championship qualifiers. Dunham shot 66 in Lake Mary and Houck 67 in Bradenton. Charlie Woods, son of Tiger, shot 71 to win the other Florida qualifier in Coral Springs. As 2023 AJGA Player of the Year, Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach is exempt. The U.S. Junior Amateur is July 22-27 at Oakland Hills CC in the Detroit suburbs. 
            •  Playing on a sponsor exemption, Miles Russell made his first appearance in a PGA TOUR event, the Rocket Mortgage Classic, in Detroit. The 15-year-old shot 74-70-144 (even par). He missed the cut by four shots but made a strong impression and received significant national media attention.
            •  Jake Mason of Ponte Vedra Beach/Ponte Vedra HS and Henry Robards of Ponte Vedra Beach/Episcopal HS finished 1-2 in the Boys’ Junior NFPGA Championship at Royal St. Cloud GL to secure the two available spots into August’s National Junior PGA Championship, to be played at storied Congressional CC in Maryland. Mason opened with a 63. In the Girls’ qualifier, Sofia Rivera of St. Augustine/Beachside HS topped recent FSGA Girls’ Junior champion Emma McKoan of Naples by three shots to advance along with McKoan.
            •  After a slow start to his 2024 season on PGA TOUR Champions (best finish T30 through May), Jacksonville native David Duval enjoyed three top-16 finishes in his three starts in May, including a Champions’ best T3 at the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa.
            •  Making his first starts as a professional on the Korn Ferry Tour in June, UNF’s Nick Gabrelcik missed two cuts by one shot in Greenville, S.C. and Norman, Okla., and was T31 in Wichita, Kan.
More News
            •  Flagler sophomores Stella Jelinek and Henriette Stranda were named to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Division-II All-American first team. Junior Jordyn Hodgson earned second-team honors. The Saints finished first in the stroke play portion of the D-II Championship, before bowing in the first round of match play. Jelinek finished the season third in the D-II national individual rankings.
            •  TPC Sawgrass head golf professional Matt Borocz was elected president of the North Florida Section of the PGA of America at the Section’s annual meeting in June in Orlando. Borocz previously served as president of the Section’s Northern Chapter.
            Borocz’s fellow TPCS staff members were honored with North Florida PGA Section awards:
            + Brian Riddle – PGA Golf Professional of the Year
            + Nick Nuzzo – PGA Assistant of the Year
            + Nick Nuzzo – Professional Development Award

•  The Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA held its officer elections for 2024-25. The new leadership is:
            + President – Grace Hurley/The Catapult Group
            + Vice President – Stefan Brunt/Sawgrass CC
            + Secretary – Rich Podwalski/Atlantic Beach CC
            + Education Chair – Nick Nuzzo/TPC Sawgrass
            + Community Outreach – Jackson Cheek/Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
            • Jacksonville native Marshall Collins has joined the golf staff at Sawgrass CC. The former Eagle Harbor GC head professional spent the last few years working at the Performance Center at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort. As First Assistant at SCC, Collins will focus on mentoring his fellow assistants and helping grow the club’s junior program. 
            • UNF women’s golf coach Joanne Berglund has stepped down, leaving the program she started from scratch in 2011. According to a UNF statement, the three-time ASUN coach of the year will be starting a new women’s program at an unidentified D-I school.
            • With LSU star Ingrid Lindblad’s decision to turn professional and after enjoying a strong Spring season of her own, rising FSU junior Lottie Woad is currently No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for women.
            •  Moore-Myers Children’s Fund of Jacksonville has been selected one of 81 organizations to receive a grant from the golf industry’s “Make Golf Your Thing” campaign. For more, click here:
            • Correction – With his June move to Teugega CC in Rome, NY, former Yards head professional Zach Vinal’s new title is “Director of Golf and Instruction.”
by JAGA directors Fred Seely and Jeff Adams.


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