March 01, 2018

What It Takes to be a Senior Amateur Champion

Becoming a Senior Amateur Champion is no easy feat.

In it's 57th year of existence, The Senior Amateur Championship has created a rich history of past champions and memorable moments. Seen as an integral part of the Senior Championship schedule yearly, the tournament holds high standing within the amateurs of the State. Always played at a top level facility, the Championship boasts high level competition that usually ends with impressive scores. This years event will prove to be no different, as the field plays host to a number of past champions and very skilled amateurs, and is being conducted at the popular Mayacoo Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach.

Mayacoo Lakes, a Jack Nicklaus design, was first opened in 1972. Immediately the course become a local and National favorite with its secluded fairways and perfectly rolled greens. The 6th hole, a short par-4 which slightly doglegs left is one of the courses most popular holes. Why? It features a two putting greens, that can change hole locations from day to day. The par-71 course is sure to play a tough host to our Seniors competing this year, however not very many courses have been a match for our champions in past years. In the past ten years, only three times have the winners finished over par for the Championship. 

Lets take a deeper look into some of the facts surrounding the Senior Amateur Championship.

  • The Championship has been played at 41 different sites acorss the State

  • The site that has hosted the event the most is Vero Beach Country Club, who hosted the Championship five times (74-77, '14)

  • Lowest 54-hole score:
    - Jim Carley - 208 (-8)
    - Ritz Calrton Members Club, 2011

  • Lowest 18-hole score (dating back to 2008)
    - 66 - Gordon Marshall
    - 67 - Jim Carley
    - 67 - Pete Williams
    - 67 - Gordon Marshall

  • 54-hole scoring average: 224.62

This years field features six of the last ten champions, including Florida Cup captains Doug LaCrosse, of Tampa,  and Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale. When asked how one past champion feels about the Senior Amateur, Doug LaCrosse had this to say: "Yes, it (The Senior Amateur) is for the older guys, but somehow the same names, same faces, older looking but still competitive, come together again. We still laugh at the same jokes, tell the same stories, stretch the truth, but enjoy getting together again. I do believe we all have different goals within the tournament, but after some 40 years we all have something in common; golf, friendship, and that competitive feeling." 

Past champions are exempt from the event, and do not have to go through the qualifying series. Qualifying for this years Championship takes place at six different sites throughout the State, and will begin in the coming weeks. Once the field of 144 players is set, competitors will arrive in West Palm Beach to the luxurious Mayacoo Lakes Country Club and be welcomed by a player's dinner the evening before the first round. The competition throughout the three day tournament is stout and extremely fun to watch. This year should prove to be no different, as Mayacoo Lakes is a tough test that is eagerly awaiting the chance to prove its worth against the best Seniors in the State. 

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