2022 First Coast Amateur champion Ty Gingerich
played in the Jacksonville Area Golf Association’s inaugural First Coast Amateur as a 16-year-old in 2017 and has made it a point to return every year since. Now 21, the Indiana native’s persistence paid off for a two-shot victory at the Tom Watson-designed Conservatory course at Hammock Beach Golf Resort and Spa.
Going into the final round, Gingerich (69-74) found himself tied for fifth, six shots back of leader Troy Vannucci (66-71) of Marlton, NJ. His closing 69 proved to be the best score on a very windy and brisk day in Flagler County.
The University of Cincinnati redshirt sophomore finished with a 4-under-par 212 total to outlast Florida Southern’s Sam Rogers
, who also closed with a 69. Rogers’ performance allowed him to move 11 spots up the leaderboard and take runner-up honors at 214.
Vannucci was cruising through two rounds (66-71) and held a four-shot advantage as the final round began. But the tables turned on the 29-year-old as he recorded a 79 over the 7,081-yard layout, dropping him to fourth place. His downfall came during a seven-hole stretch in the middle of the round which he played 8-over par.
With Vannucci going backward, the eventual champion carded a 33 on the front side to take command. Two groups ahead of Gingerich was Rogers, who matched his outward 33. Bogeys by Rogers on Nos. 13 and 14 proved to be the difference.
Jacksonville’s Moses Compaan’s
steady play (71-73-71) in the difficult conditions resulted in a third-place finish. The 19-year-old was one back of Rogers.
of Purdue who was in second place by himself after two rounds and four back of Vannucci, suffered a final-round 81.
With much of the eastern half of the United States experiencing cold and plenty of snow, Northeast Florida was not immune from its effects. After a comfortable, balmy first round, things changed prior to the second round when the storm’s front reached Palm Coast. Morning rain and all-day winds of 20-30 mph created havoc for the field.
The average score jumped from 74.94 on day one to 77.29 on day two. Monday’s finale turned clear and crisp but there was no break from the heavy winds. Scores increased to 77.88, with only seven players posting rounds of par or better.
of Jacksonville and the University of North Florida was the third player to shoot 70 on Monday. He finished tied for sixth.
The low-round of the tournament was a first-round 65 by Max Green
of Hilton Head Island, S.C. and the University of West Virginia. It equaled the tournament record set last year by winner Trevor Hulbert.
Gingerich has one other national-level win on his resume which took place nearby at the 2019 St. Augustine Amateur. The Carmel, Ind. resident led the Bearcats in scoring average (72.23) as a redshirt freshman in 2020-21. He is a finance major.
The champion’s performance in the First Coast Amateur has improved every year. Beginning with his and the tournament’s first year (2017), Gingerich’s finishes have improved almost every year – 74th, T-32, T-15, T-18, T-5 and now a win.
The 96-player field included a pair of past champions, Brandon Mancheno
(2017) and Cole Bradley
(2018, 2020). They finished tied for 11th.
Top finishers in the JAGA First Coast Amateur receive World Amateur Golf Ranking points for the sixth year. The strength of field has improved every year as has tournament interest. In addition to the field of 96, there were 93 players on the waiting list.
Players from 22 states and 36 colleges/universities participated, and 16 countries were represented. Purdue University topped the field with 10 players in Palm Coast. Thirteen schools had multiple entries.
In addition to Hammock Beach Resort, the tournament was supported by the Palm Coast and Flagler Beaches tourism office. They hosted Monday’s Awards Luncheon in addition to supporting the accommodation needs of players and family members in the run-up to the event.
“Contestant interest and popularity in the JAGA First Coast Amateur continues to reach greater heights,” said co-chairmen John Milton and Jeff Adams. “We’re excited about the future of the tournament and anticipate more and more of the nation’s top amateurs will look to enter in 2023. JAGA thanks everyone who made this year’s event our best ever, with Hammock Beach Golf Resort and Spa and the Palm Coast and Flagler Beaches tourism office at the top of the list.”
The First Coast Amateur was sponsored and conducted by JAGA, which annually promotes Jacksonville’s top-level amateur competitions and has since 1954. It is the only JAGA-run event that is promoted nationally and features multi-state and multi-national participants.
Jeff Adams, Special to AmateurGolf.com
ABOUT THE First Coast Amateur
The First Coast Amateur attracts some of the nation’s
amateur, collegiate and junior
talent, a handful of international players, and many
of the best golfers from North
Florida and other Florida cities. Contestants must be
16 years of age.
The championship is 54 holes of stroke play and
ends on the Martin Luther
The field grows strong each year, and with it the
waiting list. So if you're interested in playing some
wonderful North Florida golf very close the
headquarters of the PGA Tour, we recommend
submitting your entry early. All entries are subject to
approval by the tournament committee; a minimum
handicap of 4.0 and resume of tournament
accomplishments is required.
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