St. Augustine Amateur Golf Returns to St. Johns Golf Club
27 Nov 2023
St. John's Golf Club
The St. Augustine Amateur returns to the renovated St. Johns Golf Club December 1-3, bringing an elevated and stellar amateur field to southern St. Johns County.
The 18th St. Augustine Amateur, a 54-hole competition, has been on pause for the last two years while the course work was undertaken using “traditional throwback” architectural features instituted by golf course architect Erik Larsen and Director of Golf/General Manager Wes Tucker to develop a unique par-71, 7,009-yard layout.
In a similar fashion to the course’s successful reinvention, the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) event has stepped up with a large group of elite amateurs. The date has also been moved from its previous October position to early December, getting away from fall college golf schedules and in between fall and spring slates to attract more college players.
Net proceeds, generated through sponsorships, will continue to directly benefit First Tee–North Florida, a local youth development organization.
In collaboration with this year’s dedicated sponsors Titleist, Imperial, Gatorade, Oakley, the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council, MasterCraft Builder Group, Herbie Wiles Insurance, Corner Lot Development Group, The Men’s Club-St. Johns County and Brookes and Cathy Burkhardt, the 2023 St. Augustine Amateur will generate another $25,000, increasing the total support to First Tee-North Florida to more than $400,000 since 2004.
The 80-player field will include 43 current NCAA Division I college golfers, four from NCAA Division II schools and eight nationally ranked junior golfers who have committed to play for NCAA Division I programs next fall.
Additionally, six mid-amateurs and four players from other categories, including international representation, round out the field. The age range of participants is from 13 to 44 and there are 41 different colleges represented by future, current or past golfers.
This year’s field includes the reigning Florida State Golf Association junior player of the year (Darren Zhou, 13, from China and Bradenton, Fla.), the Junior Players Championship runner-up (Phillip Dunham, 15, from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), the 2023 Division II national champion (Andrew Riley at Palm Beach Atlantic, now University of North Florida) and tournament/course-record holder Ty Gingerich from Cincinnati (shot a first-round 62 in winning the 2019 St. Augustine Amateur).
There are 17 past champions since the event started in 2004, led by future PGA Tour players Peter Uihlein (2006), Zach Sucher (2008) and Blayne Barber (2009), Korn Ferry Tour players A.J. Crouch (2011) and Jack Maguire (2012) and PGA Tour Americas player and St. Augustine Amateur defending champion (2020) Sam Anderson who resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and will be assisting at the tournament prior to beginning his 2024 season.
Spectators are welcome to attend the 54-hole tournament Friday through Sunday. The winner will receive the Conquistador Helmet Trophy, symbolic of St. Augustine’s long history. Morning tee times off both nines (approximately 8:30-10:30 a.m.) will be used during each competitive round, preceded by a Thursday practice round.