History to Unfold at 87th SCGA Amateur Championship
Beaufort, SC - Youth vs experience has been the mantra of recent memory for the annual battle of the South Carolina Golf Association’s Amateur Championship. However, it’s more, much more. This championship is about highlighting South Carolina’s top players. Perhaps it’s a youngster taking the early lead after a stellar opening round, or a veteran-competitor withstanding the grueling four-day competition. Whichever way it unfolds, a champion will be crowned and will join others in history like Bill Haas, Lucas Glover, Mark Anderson and DJ Trahan.
The 87th SCGA Amateur Championship is set to begin Thursday, August 2nd and the competition is sure to be intense. The scene will play out over one of the best kept secrets in the Lowcountry - Dataw Island Club. The Club’s Cotton Dike Course will provide just the test for a steady, consistent and well executed game plan in which the field will most certainly deliver some excitement.
Teeing it up and having experience in the winner’s circle will be reigning champion, Gregg Jones. Jones, a former Clemson Men’s golfer and All-American, captured the championship on his home course at Florence Country Club last year. Jones’ experience on tight fairways should be an edge for him as Dataw Island’s Cotton Dike course requires strategy and accuracy off the tee. With experience earlier this year in the winner’s circle at Dataw, Daniel Azallion, a Hilton Head native and 2018 SCGA Junior Champion will have the knowledge needed to make a surge to the top of the leaderboard. Azallion fired an opening round seven under, 65 to set the stage for his victory and will use his experience and knowledge of the course to his advantage.
Joining reigning Amateur and Junior champion will be the 2018 Senior Champion, Rich Weston. Weston, who just months before winning the Senior Championship was awarded his amateur status, is one to watch. With experience not only in elite tournaments, but also on the Tour, look for Weston to be lurking around the top of the leaderboard early. A premier pairing during the first and second round of the championship will be Jones, Azallion and Weston where youth and experience will collide.
While course knowledge is crucial, experience in the Amateur Championship is just as important. Not only is the reigning Amateur Champion competing, but two others join the field of competition as well. Lee Palms (2008 Champion) and Austin Reeves (2011 Champion) will bring the upstate contingency to the Lowcountry.
Dataw Island is pleased to have four members in the field: resident members Mark Everson and Steve Dietz, and Dataw Island Country Club members Patrick Mitchell and Matt O'Quinn.
Graduating Beaufort High School (BHS) Senior Tommy Holloway was invited to compete in the Championship as a recipient of one of the Dataw Island Club's exemptions. Holloway, a class AAAA All-State player, is no stranger to Dataw Island, having been on the BHS golf team, whose "home course" is Dataw Island.
Other notables include: 2017 Senior Champion (held at Dataw Island Club) Geno Berchiatti, Florida State University Men’s golfer Jake Carter, Gamecocks Men’s golfer Caleb Proveaux, and SCGA Qualifier Medalists Gene Zeigler (Florence), Seth Robertson (Inman), Andrew Orishack (Hilton Head) and Cal Brock (Greenwood).
Notable locals include: From Dataw Island: Mark Everson and Steve Dietz; Dataw Island Country Club members: Patrick Mitchell and Matt O'Quinn; from Beaufort: Keaton Butler, Chris Jones, Matthew Campbell, Rob Simmons, Turner Wegener, and Tommy Holloway; from Hilton Head: Andrew Orischak, Travis Mancill, Kyle Putkonen, Nick Russell, Christian Garruppo, Jake Williams, Gavin Lindstrom and the SCGA Junior Champion Daniel Azallion; and, from Bluffton: Charlie Spencer-White, Connor Moore, Tony Nimmer, Matt Lehman, Alec Weary, Drew Weary, and JD Patterson.
Play begins for the 87th SCGA Amateur Championship at Dataw Island Club on August 2nd with tee times starting at 7:30am of 1 and 10 tee.
Best of luck to all the players!
For pairings, live scoring and championship results - 87th SCGA Amateur Championship Results.