Team Set for Southeastern Challenge
The Florida team for the 2015 Southeastern Challenge Match, a tri-state biennial competition between Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, has been selected. The Southeastern Challenge was created to promote goodwill and competition between the best amateur players, playing as a team, representing their state. The first match was conducted in 1989 at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando. This year's matches will be held at Willow Point Golf and Country Club in Alexander City, Alabama. The format is a Ryder-Cup style competition with four-ball, foursome and three-ball individual matches.
Each state's team consists of 12 players: two players 55 years of age and older, two players 50 years of age and older, seven players 25 years of age and older, and one player 21 years of age and older. Gordon Marshall, of Sarasota and Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale will be representing the 55+ division. The 50+ division includes Kelly Gosse, of Inverness and Tim Hume, of Crystal River. Joe Alfieri, of Lutz, Bob Campione, of Palm Coast, Jeronimo Esteve, of Windermere, Stephen Anderson, of Hobe Sound, Jimmy Jones, of Tampa, Brian Keenan, of Tampa, and Paul Royak, of Tampa will be representing the 25+ division, while Will Davenport, of Palm City will be playing in the 21+ division. The team consists of four veterans defending the Championship after a win in 2013, including Jimmy Jones, Jeronimo Esteve, Rick Woulfe, and Gordon Marshall (2013 Team Florida pictured to the right).
Florida will be represented by a team full of talent and experience. As for the senior division, Gordon Marshall and Rick Woulfe mesh as teammates after winning the Senior Four-Ball in 2014 and competing on the South Team in the Florida Cup during the same year. Marshall captured the Senior Amateur Championship earlier this year while Woulfe was seven time Senior Player of the Year. Woulfe was named Senior Player of the year from 2005-2008 and then again from 2010-2012. The two other seniors to be on the team, Kelly Gosse and Tim Hume, won the Mid-Amateur Four-Ball North Championship as partners in June.
The Mid-Amateurs include three members that have represented a team in the past. Bob Campione, Jimmy Jones, and Jeronimo Esteve all played in the Florida Cup in 2014. Esteve played for team Puerto Rico in the USGA State Team and the World Amateur Championship in 2014. Brian Keenan and Paul Royak finished medalists in the 2015 U.S. Four-Ball Qualifying as teammates. Joe Alfieri, 2015 Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Champion, was named Player of the Year in 1999 and 2001. Stephen Anderson recently won the 2015 Mid-Senior Championship and was named Amateur Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011. The youngest member of the team, Will Davenport, recently graduated from Yale University where he was captain of the golf team and earned All-Region honors his senior year. Davenport finished Medalist at U.S. Open Local qualifying this year.
Team Florida, led by Captain Jack Pultorak, travels to Alabama to defend their title and keep the trophy in the Sunshine State, October 17-18.