Two key Florida events appeal to top players on same weekend

By Ron Balicki

Can two tournaments, both appealing to the same high-caliber amateur, succeed only miles apart and with overlapping dates?

This December, two events -- one a year-end mainstay for nearly a century, the other a start-up -- will go head-to-head the week before Christmas in South Florida.

The 81st Dixie Amateur will be played Dec. 19-22 at Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs and Woodlands Country Club in nearby Tamarac. Meanwhile, the South Beach International Amateur will debut Dec. 20-23 at Miami Beach Golf Club and Normandy Shores Golf Club on Miami Beach.

Their goals are ambitious and perhaps mutually exclusive: attract 240 of the world’s best amateurs. Of course, those 240 can’t be in two places at once, even if separated by only about 35 miles of Florida’s Turnpike.

Something has to give.

ABOUT THE Dixie Amateur

Open to former Dixie Amateur champions, tournament committee invitees and qualifiers of major amateur championships. Traditionally strong field due to college break, the Dixie has a past- champions list that includes many PGA Tour players as well as top-ranked amateurs like Peter Uihlein (2010 champion).

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