October 12, 2017

Southeastern Challenge Team Preview

12 men look to retain the title for "The Sunshine State" for the fourth consecutive time

Beginning October 21st, twelve of Florida's most decorated amateur golfers will tee it up with the sole goal of winning the Southeastern Challenge title for the fourth consecutive time. This prestigious event is a battle between amateur men golfers from Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Playing on home soil this year, the Southeastern Challenge heads to The Bear's Club in Jupiter where players will be tested to their maximum capability. The Bear's Club, designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus, has hosted numerous FSGA events with the most recent being the 100th Amateur Championship. The challenging layout and unforgiving landing areas forces players to be accurate off the tee while the undulating greens will test even the best green readers. 

The format of the Southeastern Challenge 

The 12 Members of Team Florida for next month's Southeastern Challenge Match have been confirmed. Six players (five Mid-Amateurs and one Senior) earned automatic selection based on the Two-Year Points List & Senior Two-Year Points List, while six received selection from the FSGA's Championships Committee.

Mid-Amateurs (Age 25 & Over)

Chip Brooke - Altamonte Springs, Fla. 

Brooke was the 2016 Mid-Amateur Champion, Low Amateur at 2017 Florida Open, Semifinalist at 2017 USGA Four-Ball, Semifinalist at 2017 Mid-Amateur, and Quarterfinalist at 2017 Amateur Match Play. He too, like Nicklaus, competed in the 100th Amateur Championship at The Bear's Club. Brooke's dominating summer brings him momentum coming into the SE Challenge. 

Marc Dull - Winter Haven, Fla.

Dull was the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur Runner-Up, Semifinalist at 2017 U.S. Four-Ball with Chip Brooke, Semifinalist at the 2017 Amateur Match Play, and Quarterfinalist at the 2017 Mid-Amateur. Dull's summer was highlights by being a semifinalist, along with fellow Southeastern Challenge partner, Chip Brooke, at the U.S. Four-Ball Championship.

Joe Alfieri - Lutz, Fla. 

Alrieri was the 2015 & 2016 FSGA Player of the Year, 2016 Concession Cup Team Member, Semifinalist at the 2016 & 2017 Mid-Amateur, Runner-Up at the 2017 Four-Ball, and the 2016 Amateur Public Links Champion. He has competed on multiple Southeastern Challenge Teams with the most recent being the 2015 Southeastern Challenge where Team Florida was victorious. 

Christopher Carlin - Plantation, Fla. 

Carlin was the 2016 Amateur Match Play Champion, 2016 Four-Ball Champion, and the 2017 Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Champion (South). Carlin, the Head Men's Golf Coach at Nova Southeastern University, finished in a tie for seventh at the 2017 Florida Open after shooting three consecutive rounds under par. 

Robert Bechtol - Tallahassee, Fla.

Bechtol won the 2017 Mid-Amateur Championship. Finishing the stroke play rounds of the Mid-Amateur in seventh place, Bechtol went on to defeat some of his fellow teammates in match play to hoist the trophy after the final match.

Kelly Sellers - Lakeland, Fla.

Sellers won the 2017 Four-Ball Championship after defeating multiple Team Florida members. Sellers qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in 2016 and has won or finished runner-up in multiple FSGA Winter Series events. 

Tyler Shook - Jupiter, Fla.

Shook was the runner-up at the 2017 Mid-Amateur Championship after falling to fellow team member, Robert Bechtol. Shook finished in a tie for 22nd at the 100th Amateur Championship after shooting a final round, one over-par, 73. Shook, in the 2017 Mid-Amateur, cruised through match play before meeting Chip Brooke in the semifinals. Prevailing after needing 20 holes to clinch te victory, Shook faced Bechtol. 

Gary Nicklaus - Jupiter, Fla.

Nicklaus finished tied for 22nd at the 100th Amateur Championship along with Shook. He made his final round charge up the leaderboard after posting a final round, one under-par round of 71. Nicklaus finished runner-up twice at the Mid-Amateur Four-Ball (South) Championship and captured the Mid-Senior Four-Ball Championship back in 2011. 

Seniors (2 - Age 50 & Over, 2 - Age 55 & Over)

Peter Wegmann - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Wegmann was the 2016 Senior match Play Champion in 2016 and finished runner-up in 2017. He won the Senior Amateur championship in 2016 and finished alone in fourth place in April. Before going to England to compete in the British Amateur Championship, Wegmann finished in a tie for 33rd at the 2017 Florida Open Championship after posting a two-over par tournament total of 218. 

Owen Joyner - Bonita Springs, Fla. 

Joyner won the 2017 Senior Amateur Match Play Championship, defeating fellow team member and defending champion, Peter Wegmann, in the final match. He finished in a tie for ninth place at the Senior Amateur Championship in April then finished in a tie for eighth at the Florida Senior Open Championship after shooting a final round, six under-par round of 66. 

Rick Woulfe - Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 

Woulfe was the stroke play medalist at the Mid-Amateur Championship and finished in second during the stroke play rounds of the Senior Amateur Match Play Championship. He qualified for the 2016 U.S. Senior AmateurChampionship and has been named FSGA's Player of the Year three times and FSGA's Senior Player of the Year nine times. He is the veteran of Team Florida at the Southeastern Challenge as this year is his 15th time competing in the event. He has not missed a Southeastern Challenge since 1991. 

R J Nakashian - Palm Beach, Fla. 

Nakashian won the 2016 Mid-Senior Championship, the 2016 Mid-Senior Four-Ball Championship, and the 2016 Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Due to weather, Nakashian has not been able to attempt to defend his title at the Mid-Senior Championship this year. Nakashian competed for Team Florida for the 2010 Southeastern Challenge and helped lead Florida to another victory. 

In all, the Team Florida for the 2017 Southeastern Challenge team is stacked with talent and there is no shortage of accolades between these twelve men. Each of the twelve men that make up the Florida squad are coming to The Bear's Club having seen the course before at the 100th Amateur Championship. With this, they will have a definite advantage over Teams Georgia and Alabama. The 2017 Southeastern Challenge will begin with four-ball matches in the morning of October 21st with foursome three-ball matches wrapping up in the afternoon. Sunday, October 22nd, will feature morning three-ball matches before a champion is crowned. 

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