100th Amateur heads to Jack’s Clubs
Over the past 102 years, a countless number of great players have competed in throughout the state. Past Champions include: Blayne Barber (2009), Jerry Pate (1974), Gary Koch (1972), Bob Murphy, Jr. (1965 & 1966), Carl Dann (1933, 1934, 1937, 1938 & 1949) & A. C. Ulmer (1915, 1918, 1921 & 1922). Then to have the Championship contested at two clubs that 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus calls home and designed will just put it over the top.
The Bear’s Club was founded in 1999 by Jack and Barbara Nicklaus. The club affords members world class golf and a fine club experience. While walking through the clubhouse one will find all kinds of unique items from Jack’s career. The course is annually touted as one of the top in the state, and boasts fine practice facilities and is home to numerous PGA & LPGA Tour Stars including Rory McIlory, Luke Donald, Ernie Els and Michele Wie. 2017 will be the second Amateur Championship contested at The Bear’s Club. Chase Seiffert, of Panama City captured the 2012 Championship. The Florida State Grad now plays on the Mackenzie Tour- PGA Tour Canada.
Lost Tree Club is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design and the community is also where Jack calls home. The club boarders the Atlantic Ocean in North Palm Beach on Singer Island and was founded in 1961. It was redesigned by Nicklaus and re-opened in 2002.
More than 1,000 golfers will attempt to qualify at 14 Qualifying Sites throughout the state, between May 22 & June 9. The final field of 168 competitors to tee it up on Thursday, June 22 & Friday, June 23 playing one round at each course. The field will then be cut to the low 70 and ties with the final two rounds on Saturday, June 24 & Sunday, June 25 at The Bear’s Club.
The Centennial is already creating a buzz among the top amateurs in the state. The past three Champions have all indicated they have put the event on their schedule.
"The week is going to be really special to me, being the defending champion of such a longstanding event and to attempting to defend on a great course. There are so many great players who have their names on this trophy and being able to see my name on that trophy will be a special feeling throughout the whole week." remarked defending champion Jacob Huizinga.
2015 Amateur Champion, University of South Florida junior, Jimmy Jones, Jr of Tampa, already has the championship circled on his summer schedule, looking to put his name on the Clarence Camp trophy a second time, after coming close in 2016.
“I am looking forward to playing in the most prestigious amateur championship in Florida, and trying to win the centennial at The Bear’s Club makes it that much more special” said Jimmy Jones, Jr
Jones will have another former Champion joining him in pursuit of a second. 2014 Amateur Champion Gabriel Lench, a sophomore at Liberty University, is also looking forward to The Bear's Club;
2014 champion Gabriel Lench - "I'm very excited to play and compete at one of the best courses in Florida for our State Amateur title. No better course than The Bear's Club for the 100th Amateur. It should be a great experience."
Other notable players that have already indicated they plan to play include:
- 2015 Boys' Junior Player of the Year, Auburn commit, Brandon Mancheno
- 2016 Boys' Junior Champion and Boys' Junior Player of the Year, Fred Biondi
Entries are now open and will be accepted through May 11th, at 11:30 PM.