Mid-Amateur Championship

Sara Bay Country Club - Sarasota
October 8-11, 2015

Round of 32 matches kicked off Friday afternoon at Sara Bay Country Club after the final round of stroke play was completed to determine the 32 seeds. Number one seed, Jon Veneziano, advanced straight to the Round of 16 with a default win against Matthew Lindhal, number 32 seed. T J Shuart (4th seed), who dominated in match play format winning the 2015 Match Play Championship, moved on to the next round with a four and three win over Steve Sponder (29th seed). Joe Alfieri, fifth seed, defeated Steve Carter, 28th seed, to face Bill Casteleman, 21st seed, in the Round of 16. Matthew Giovannelli was seeded in the second spot but could not hold on to advance further being beat by Kyle Thomas, 31st seed in the first round of matches. Will Sprague and Drew Bleakley, number 27 and 30 seed respectively advanced to the Round of 16 after winning matches lasting longer than 18 holes.

Sixteen players arrived at Sara Bay early Saturday morning to play the first match of the day followed by the Quarterfinal matches in the afternoon. Veneziano continued his winning streak and moved on to the Quarterfinal matches where he would defeat Edward Kenny, two up, to advance to the Semifinals. T J Shuart followed in the same pattern and was faced with a tough match against Alfieri in the Quarterfinals. Shuart moved forward with a one-up win over Alfieri to play on Sunday. Brian Armstrong, of Tampa, played 21 holes to earn a victory over Ryan Abbate in the Round of 16 and beat tough competitor Rick Woulfe in the Quarterfinals, three and two. Drew Bleakley and Will Sprague each won their Round of 16 match to meet in the Quarterfinals where Sprague would advance after a 26 hole battle.

The Semifinal Matches began Sunday with the first seed, Jon Veneziano, against fourth seed, T J Shuart. In the lower bracket number seven seed Brian Armstrong would square off against 27th seed Will Sprague. Shuart started the round with a one-up lead after the second hole and Veneziano could not seem to catch up. Shuart seized his spot in the Finals after two birdies on holes ten and eleven to lead him to a six and five win. The Armstrong and Sprague match saw Armstrong dominating from the first hole. Armstrong did not let the lead out of his sight and finished the match on the 14th hole with a five and four victory. Shuart and Armstrong would face off at 12:00 PM to crown the Mid-Amateur Champion.

The Finals was marked by an up and down match for the first nine-holes. Armstrong took the early lead after a birdie on the first hole but the match would go to all-square after Shuart birdied the third hole. The match remained even up to the ninth hole when Shuart carded a birdie and sealed a one-up lead heading into the final nine holes. The tenth hole was won with a par by Shuart ,who would play the next three holes two-up, and a birdie by Armstrong on the 14th hole reduced Shuart’s lead to one-up. Another par by Shuart won the sixteenth hole and Armstrong would enter the final two holes two-down. Shuart sealed his victory with a birdie on the final hole, number 17, versus a bogey by Armstrong. A three and one victory for Shuart, of Fort Lauderdale, makes him match play king winning both the 2015 Match Play Championship and Mid-Amateur Championship.

Stroke-Play Recap

Full Match Play Bracket

Tee Information

Tee Yardage / Info
Blue Tee 6,904 yds., 74.4 / 136

Par: 72

Weather Information

Description Temp
PartlyCloudy 5-10 mph breeze 86 °F
Tournament Results
Position Name Rd.1 Rd.2 Total Score Points
1 Jon Veneziano 69 71 140 0
T2 T J Shuart 78 67 145 0
T2 Robert Bechtol 70 75 145 0
T2 Matthew Giovannelli 74 71 145 0
T5 Derek Camps 73 73 146 0
T5 Joe Alfieri II 74 72 146 0
T5 Brian Armstrong 72 74 146 0
+ View Full Results

$85 per competitor ($75 with GHIN handicap) 
Carts are included, and mandatory, at qualifying and the championship

The 34th playing of the Mid-Amateur Championship is heading to the historic, Donald Ross designed, Sara Bay Country Club in Sarasota. An estimated 300+ mid-amateurs (25 years of age and older) will attempt to qualify for this premier championship which is ranked by the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Click here to see the results from 2014.

Championship Format

  • 84 players in the championship field
  • 36 holes of gross individual stroke play. Low 32 scores advance to match play
  • There will be a hole by hole play-off to determine the last qualifier's place in the Championship immediately - All other ties for seeds will be broken randomly
  • The match play round of 32 will begin Friday afternoon
  • The round of 16 will be played on Saturday morning and the quarter-finals will begin Saturday afternoon
  • Semi-finals will be played on Sunday morning and Championship match will be played on Sunday afternoon.


  • Male amateurs must be age 25 or older as of October 8, 2015, and be a member of the FSGA.

Entry Fees

  Qualifying Fee Championship Fee  Exempt Fee
 75.00  125.00  175.00
 Non-GHIN  85.00  125.00  185.00
  • Qualifying Fee: Qualifying Fee includes entry fee and cart fee.
  • Championship Fee: Fee paid by those individuals who advance to the Championship through qualifying. Includes tee gifts, course fees, and range balls for each competitive round.
  • Exempt Fee: Exempt Fee includes Championship Fee and Entry Fee for those individuals eligible for exemption.

Late entries will be accepted subject to a $10 late entry fee should the entrant gain acceptance into the qualifying field. 


Those individuals who advance to the Championship through qualifying must pre-register and remit an additional $125 online at www.FSGA.org under the "My Account" section, which can be located in the top right hand corner of the web-page.  Payment must be received by Thursday, October 1st by 3:30 pm, or the individual will be withdrawn from the Championship.

To Pre-Register:

  • Log on to the FSGA website at www.fsga.org using your email address and password
  • Click on "My Account" in the upper right hand corner of the homepage
  • Under "My Tournaments", click on the "Pre-Register" button to the right of the tournament name
  • Enter your credit card information and then click the "Charge My Card" button on the bottom right hand corner of the page

Refunds, Notice of Withdrawals

Requests for qualifying entry refunds received prior to entry closing date will be honored (less $20 per entry administrative fee). Requests received after the closing date will be honored (less 50% of entry fee). No requests will be honored within 48 hours of the first scheduled tee time.

Requests for refunds of Exempt or Championship fees prior to the pre-registration deadline will be honored (less $20 per entry administrative fee). No requests will be honored after the pre-registration deadline.

Course Set-Up

The golf course will be set-up at approximately 6,800-7,100 yards.


Qualifying rounds are 18 holes of gross individual stroke play at 7 qualifying sites.  During qualifying, each player must use a golf cart.  Caddies are acceptable, but he/she may not ride in a golf cart or carry the player's clubs.  Players are responsible for cart fees for all practice rounds.

Defending Champions

Thad Hudgens, of Longwood, defeated Don Bell, of Port Orange, in the final match with a dramatic hole-in-one on the 17th hole to win the the match 2&1 and capture the 33rd Florida State Mid-Amateur Championship which was held at the The Loxahatchee Club in Jupiter.

Practice Round Cart Fees

Players are responsible for practice round cart fees at qualifying sites. Rates and instructions on how to arrange your practice round will be posted on the player information sheet here.

Championship Practice Rounds and Practice Facilities

Practice rounds are available on one week prior to the championship and after 12:00 PM the weekend prior on a space available basis.  The cost of a practice round is $30 plus tax.  Starting times for your practice round can be arranged by calling the club.  You may not make your practice tee time before groupings are made.  Groupings will be made shortly after the final qualifier and faxed to the club. Sara Bay's telephone number is 941-355-6544.


Players in the following categories will be eligible for exemption provided they meet all entry and eligibility requirements.

NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the FSGA for players who become exempt after the close of entries

  • Last five year's Mid-Amateur Champions

  • Last year's Mid-Amateur Championship Semifinalists

  • Last year's Amateur Player of the Year

  • Last five year's Amateur Champions

  • Current year's top five and tied Amateur Championship finishers

  • Current year's Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Champion

  • Last year's Senior Amateur Player of the Year

  • Current year's Senior Amateur Champion

  • Current year's Amateur Public Links Champion

  • Current year's Amateur Match Play Champion

  • Current year's Mid-Senior Champion

  • Current year's Florida Open Low Amateur

  • Current year's final Winter Series Senior (55-64 Age Division) Points Leader 

  • Current year's players selected to the USGA State Team (even years only)
  • Players qualifying for the current year's US Mid-Amateur Championship

Exemptions Earned from this Tournament


  • Next five Mid-Amateur Championships
  • Next three Amateur Championships
  • Next three Amateur Match Play Championships
  • Next year's Florida Open


  • Next year's Mid-Amateur Championship
  • Next year's Amateur Championship
  • Next year's Amateur Match Play Championship

Players making match play

  • Next year's Senior Amateur Championship

Other Policies

  • Spectators and Spectator Cart Policy - Click here.
  • Caddies - If a player employs a caddie, the caddie MUST walk and player's clubs must remain on the golf cart.
  • Championship Pace of Play Policy - Click here.
  • Local Rules and Conditions of Competition - Click here.
  • Championship Policies - Click here to read the withdrawal, dress code, and other policies.
  • Procedures for Alternates - Click here for information on how alternates may gain entry into this Championship.
  • Conditions/ Schedule - The FSGA Championships Committee/on-site Rules Committee reserves the right to alter any of the conditions, provisions and/or schedules. The decision of the Championships Committee/on-site Rules Committee in any matter will be final.

Host Hotel and Accommodations

Hilton Garden Inn - Sarasota/Bradenton Airport
8270 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34243

$109 per room per night, 1 King Bed or 2 Queen Beds

The Garden Grille & Bar serving Breakfast, Dinner and Cocktails. Just minutes from Sara Bay!

Booking Link


Sara Bay Country Club
7011 Willow Street
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 355-6544

Click here for directions

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