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Batchelor becomes latest UNF player to claim Jacksonville Am
Jordan Batchelor (JAGA photo)
Jordan Batchelor (JAGA photo)

Jordan Batchelor of Jacksonville, Fla., carded rounds of 68-69-71 for an 8-under 208 total at Sawgrass Country Club to win the 58th edition of the Jacksonville Amateur Championship on Saturday by two strokes over Michael Smith of Ponte Vedra Beach.

Batchelor, whose career as a member of the University of North Florida golf team ended in May after the NCAA Championship, became the eighth Osprey to claim the Jacksonville Area Golf Association’s (JAGA) showcase event. Past champions from the Jacksonville-based school include Batchelor’s former teammates, Travis Trace (2014) and Andrew Alligood (2015), plus Steve Carter (2002), Michael Young (2003), Michael O’Neal (2007), Major Forbess (2010) and Sean Dale (2011).

Batchelor and Trace are the only two players to win both the JAGA Amateur and Match Play titles. Batchelor won the Match Play title in 2013, Trace in 2015.

Finishing third, six shots back, was former Ivy League champion Chris Condello from Columbia University and a Winter Garden, Fla. resident.

In an incredibly rare achievement, Kevin Slayden made two holes-in-one over the three rounds, on Nos. 6 and No. 15.

Batchelor held a two -shot lead over Smith entering the final round. His lead grew to five through eight holes, only to see it shrink to one with four to play. As the two reached the 54th hole, Batchelor was up by two. Both players proceeded to hit the fairway. Forced to go for the par-5 green in two, Smith tugged his second into the water easing the pressure on his opponent.

Batchelor then hit his approach on the front of the green. Three putts later the 23-year-old who was born in Texas before coming to Jacksonville at age six was the 58th winner of North Florida’s signature tournament. As is JAGA tradition, the trophy will reside for the next year at the champion’s home club. In Jordan’s case, San Jose Country Club.

“Growing up, this was always a tournament I wanted to win,” Batchelor said. “It’s nice to put my name on the trophy with a few of my teammates.”

The Bolles School graduate led wire-to-wire; by three and two shots, respectively, after the first and second rounds. In three trips around the 7,049-yard Sawgrass CC layout he carded 11 birdies and just three bogeys.

Smith jumped into the mix with a 68 in Friday’s second round. The Nease High School and James Madison University graduate closed with a 70 on Saturday to finish at 6-under par.

Defending champion Davis Roche of Jacksonville Golf and Country Club finished T14 on scores of 75-71-74—220 (+4).

The championship featured 78 players, with 15 from outside the JAGA footprint of North Florida, including three from outside the state of Florida (Georgia, Maryland and Illinois).

Details from Garry Smits and the Florida Times-Union are used in this recap

ABOUT THE Jacksonville Amateur

54-hole stroke play tournament with a 36-hole cut to the low half of the field plus ties. Open to those players with an index of 6.0 or less. There will be a maximum of 78 players in the field. The majority of players reside in JAGA’s North Florida region, with entries accepted from up to 15 players who reside outside the region (in Florida and elsewhere).

View Complete Tournament Information

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