Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Notebook; Full Schedule on First Coast in December

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Notebook; Full Schedule on First Coast in December

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

The First Coast golf community takes no breaks for the holidays.

Three significant events will be held at area courses, beginning this week. Participants include a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, winners on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour, college All-Americans and some of the best junior players in the world.

The crowded schedule begins Monday with the Gate Petroleum Senior Invitational, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club Lagoon Course, with a field composed of the top senior amateur players in the area. After one round at the Lagoon, the players will move to the Ocean Course on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday will be the first round of the Henry Tuten Gator Bowl Pro-Am, which this year could be called the Donald Ross Open. The tournament will be played at Timuquana on Thursday and San Jose on Friday, two of the area's most historic courses, both designed by Ross. Among the professionals scheduled to play are Hall of Fame member and three-time major champion Vijay Singh of Ponte Vedra Beach; 1988 Players Championship winner and 10-time Tour winner Mark McCumber; past PGA Tour winners Frank Lickliter, Leonard Thompson, Billy Kratzert and Woody Blackburn; Champions Tour winner Bob Duval; and Nationwide Tour winners Jeff Klauk, Matt Every and Bubba Dickerson.

Singh may have the team to beat. In addition to his son Qass, his amateur partners are Jacksonville University player Bobby Fredeking and Ponte Vedra High School standout David Novakoski.

McCumber's amateur partners are active college players Tyler McCumber (Florida), Kevin Phelan (North Florida) and Blayne Barber (Auburn). Other past and current UF players in the field are Steve Melnyk, Paul Tesori, Tyson Alexander, Nick Gilliam and incoming Gators freshman A.J. Crouch.

For the first time, an LPGA player is in the Gator Bowl field with Chella Choi leading a Deercreek team. Also, another foursome of all women will compete, Rhonda Ferguson, Tama Caldabaugh, Gennifer Menendez and Theresa Quinn. …

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