Sammy Schmitz (left) and Jesse Polk
at the 2014 Minnesota Four-Ball (Minn. G.A. photo)
PALM CITY, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2016) – Sammy Schmitz,
who’s headed for Augusta National in a couple of
months, teamed with Jesse Polk to win the mid-
amateur division of the 60th annual International
Four-Ball on Sunday at The Fox Club.
And in the senior division, Keith Decker won the first
year he was eligible upon turning 55 after winning
mid-amateur titles, with some “heavy lifting” from
partner, Matt Sughrue.
Minnesotans Schmitz, 35, of Farmington, and Polk,
of Lakeville, fired a final round of eight under par 63
to finish three shots ahead of the field at 16 under
197. They had 69-65 the first two days, finishing with
21 birdies in 54 holes with two bogeys each Friday
and Saturday, one on Sunday.
Schmitz qualified for the Masters in April after
the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in October at
John’s Island Club in Vero Beach. It was there that
hit what could easily be argued to be the shot of the
year anywhere in golf, an ace-albatross on the par-4
15th hole that put him 3-up with three holes to play,
but icing the victory (he would win 3-and-2). The
landed left of the flag on the 260-yard hole and
around on the sloping green before falling in.
Schmitz and Polk have a good partnership going --
the pair won the Minnesota State Four-Ball in 2014
and were the runners-up last year.
“We figured if we got to eight under today, we would
have a chance,” said Polk, who birdied the par-5
with a driver, 4-iron and two putts from 20 feet to
their target score. “But we didn’t know how we stood
until we finished,” added Schmitz, a regional sales
manager for a health care company.
Decker and Chris Reeves of Jupiter won the younger
flight here in 2010 and 2014. “Reeves knew I would
be too old this year and already had another partner
lined up. I contacted Sughre and I’m glad he could
play. He did most of the heavy lifting this
Decker, 55, of Martinsville, Va., and Sughre, 56, of
Arlington, Va., opened Friday with a double bogey on
their first hole, the par-4 10th, bogeyed the same
Saturday but got most of it back when Decker eagled
the par-5 eighth Sunday. They also finished at 16
under 197 on rounds of 65-64-68 to win by two.
The four-ball stroke play event drew 22 mid-amateur
teams, ages 25-54, 33 in the senior division ages 55-
and seven Legends players 65 and older. The latter
was won Saturday by Ron Waeghe and Tom Blank of
Rochester, N.Y., with 68-70—138.
-- courtesy Larry Bush
View results for International Four-Ball Golf Tournament
ABOUT THE International Four-Ball
The International Four-Ball is one of the most
prestigious amateur events in the Nation. The 59 year
old Championship includes Mid-Amateur, Senior and
Legends Divisions. All divisions compete in a Four-Ball
Stroke Play format which is contested over 3 days and
54 holes. The tournament boasts a storied past with
famous champions such as Jack Nicklaus, Bruce
Fleisher, and Tommy Armour III. - courtesy Fox Club
View Complete Tournament Information