TAMPA, FL (March 2, 2006) -- More than 330 entries were received for the 2006 Senior Amateur Championship at Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand on April 11-13. Qualifying will begin this month as competitors attempt to advance to the Championship.
Since the number of entries received has always surpassed the capacity of the Championship, a qualifying stage was instituted last year. While 73 players earned exempt status through a variety of different means, over 260 competitors will attempt to qualify to complete the 156 player field. Qualifying begins this month at six sites across the state as competitors play 18 holes of stroke play hoping to advance to the Championship. Pelican Preserve GC in Fort Myers, Hombre GC in Panama City Beach and CC at Deer Run will host qualifiers on March 8 with three additional qualifying sites continuing through March 15. Participants must be 55 or older to participate in the Championship and enter one of the age divisions, 55-64 and 65 & over. Competitors play 54 holes of stroke play over the course of the three-day Championship.
The Senior Amateur Championship features an outstanding field including five past Senior Champions. Defending Champion, Edward Craig, of Orlando, will join the 2004 Champion Bruce Scamehorn, of Winter Haven, and two-time Senior Champion Joseph Cristillo, from Crystal River, as they vie for another title. The 2001 Champion Jim Applegate, of Palm City, and 1995 Champion Chuck Smith, of Naples, is also competing at Victoria Hills. The 2004 Player-of-the-Year and 2005 Senior Player-of-the-Year Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale, is attempting to better his performance last year after finishing as the runner-up. The field also includes some top Seniors on the Golfweek/Titleist Senior Amateur Rankings. Tim Miller, of Venice, currently ranked first, and Steve Earsley, of Hobe Sound, and Russ Berkoben, from Naples, ranked third and seventh respectively, will be competing at Victoria Hills.
Victoria Hills Golf Club, in DeLand, is just 35 miles north of Orlando. Designed by Ron Garl, Victoria Hills is home to the Stetson University golf team and has hosted many FSGA and USGA events. The course was ranked in Golfweek’s “America’s Top 40 Best New Courses.”