September 14, 2004

Florida Team Named for 2004 Southeastern Challenge Matches

Twelve of Florida's top amateurs selected to represent state in the biennial Ryder Cup format competition.

Andy Purnell, the 2003 Florida State Player-of-the Year, leads a group of 12 amateur golfers selected to represent Florida in the 2004 Southeast Challenge Matches against teams from Alabama and Georgia. The Matches will be played at The Club at TwinEagles in Naples on October 16-17.  

The Southeast Challenge Matches is a biennial match play competition pitting twelve man amateur teams from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. The Matches consist of four-ball, foursome and individual matches over two days, with one point awarded to the winning team for each match.  One-half point is awarded to each side for halved matches.  

Purnell, of Jacksonville, was named along with the 2002 Player-of-the-Year Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale. Also named to represent Florida were Mid-Amateurs: David Anthony, of Jacksonville, Michael Nealy, from Boca Raton, Doug Snoap, of Apopka, Frank Strafaci, of Davie, David Sutton, of Maitland, and Bret Voisin, of Orlando. The top seniors selected to represent Florida are Joseph Cristillo, of Crystal River, Steve Earsley, of Stuart, Curt Madson, of Mount Dora, and Bruce Scamehorn, from Winter Haven. 

Purnell won the 2003 Match Play Championship and finished second in the 2003 Florida State Amateur Championship. In addition, Purnell and partner Steve Carter won last year’s State Mid-Amateur Four-Ball North Championship. Along with teammates Rick Woulfe and Michael Nealy, Purnell represented Florida at last year’s USGA State Team Championship in Massachusetts. As captain of the North team in the 2003 Florida Cup matches, his team came out victorious and tied the series at two each. This will be his first Southeast Challenge Matches. 

Also representing Florida is Michael Nealy, of Boca Raton, who finished second in the 2003 Player-of-the-Year rankings. This year, Nealy advanced to the semifinals of the Match Play Championship for the second straight year. He was also the runner-up in the 2002 Florida State Amateur Championship. This will be Nealy’s second Southeast Challenge Match appearance.  

Woulfe, a former President of the Florida State Golf Association, is playing in his fifth Southeast Challenge Matches. He finished 7thin this year’s Florida State Amateur Championship and with Strafaci, was the runner-up in the State Four-Ball Championship. Woulfe recently placed fifth in the Mid-Senior Championship and was medalist in qualifying for the Mid-Amateur Championship. He has qualified for many USGA National Championships and was a member of the 2001 and 2003 USGA State Team.  

Anthony, the 2002 Mid-Amateur Champion, was 7th in this year’s Mid-Senior Championship. Anthony has won numerous four-ball titles including the 1997 State Four-Ball Championship and played in the 2000 Matches.  

Strafaci has partnered with Woulfe to win the 1995 State Four-Ball title and place second in this year’s Championship. He has also qualified for many State Championships.  

Snoap recently finished fourth in the Mid-Senior Championship and in the Mid-Amateur Four-Ball North Championship with partner and teammate Curt Madson. 

Sutton placed in the top five in the 2004 Mid-Senior Championship while also being the 2002 State Four-Ball Champion.  

Voisin has two titles under his belt this year. With partner Jeff Robinson, he won the State Four-Ball Championship and won the Parent-Child Championship with his son, Bryce.  

The current State Senior Champion Bruce Scamehorn is playing this year as well as the 2000 and 2002 Senior Champion Joseph Cristillo. Cristillo and Scamehorn have both played in previous Matches. In addition to winning this year’s Senior Championship, Scamehorn won the 1995 State Match Play, 1993 Mid-Amateur and 1992 Mid-Senior Championships.

Steve Earsley is ranked number two in the GolfWeek senior amateur standings while Curt Madson has placed in many state and national events and represented Florida in last year’s Florida Cup Matches and the 2002 Southeast Challenge Matches. 

Georgia won the Matches in 2002 with 26 ½ points, Florida 19 ½ points and Alabama finished with 17 points at The Ledges. Florida leads the series with 5 wins, Georgia has three wins and Alabama won the Matches once.   

Media and the public are invited to watch the state’s best amateur golfers compete in this competition.

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