Jacksonville Sports Day

2019 First Coast Amateur to be Played at Hidden Hills Golf Club

2018 FCA winner, Cole Bradley of Purdue University. Cole's dad, Rob, coaches the Purdue golf team. Rob was assistant golf coach at UNF from 2009 to 2012

The Jacksonville Area Golf Association (JAGA) announced  the 2019 First Coast Amateur will be played Jan. 19-21 and return to the Arnold Palmer-designed Hidden Hills Golf Club in Jacksonville, Fla.

The championship is 54 holes of stroke play and ends on Monday, Jan. 21, the Martin Luther King holiday.

All competitors will vie for the First Coast Amateur title. A separate tournament within the tournament for mid-amateurs, those age 25 and older, will also be contested.

This will be the third edition of the First Coast Amateur, which attracts some of the nation’s top 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 by Jan. 19, 2019 to enter.

The top finishers receive points from the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

The inaugural First Coast Amateur was played in January 2017 at Amelia National Golf and Country Club in nearby Fernandina Beach, Fla. and won by Brandon Mancheno of Jacksonville, who went on to share medalist honors at this past May’s NCAA Championship and earn Second Team All-America honors in his freshman year at Auburn University.

The 2018 championship was moved to Hidden Hills and saw Purdue University’s Cole Bradley claim the title by one shot. Chase Baldwin of Jacksonville took the Mid-Amateur title.

Both tournaments had full fields of 78 entries. In 2018, there were 14 states, six countries and 26 colleges/universities represented at Hidden Hills.
Hidden Hills Golf Club is an Arnold Palmer Signature layout Mr. Palmer once co-owned. In the early 1970s it played host to the PGA TOUR’s Greater Jacksonville Open, the forerunner to THE PLAYERS Championship. Among the TOUR winners at Hidden Hills were Gary Player, Tony Jacklin and Don January.

Hidden Hills stretches to 6,900 yards and is known for its elevation and intriguing curves, contours and rolling fairways, a setting unique in Florida. The fairways are lined by majestic pines and oaks. The owner and general manager of Hidden Hills is Russ Libby, who served as President of the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA in 2017 and 2018.

The First Coast Amateur is sponsored and conducted by the Jacksonville Amateur Golf Association, 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.

“The first two years of the JAGA First Coast Amateur clearly met and exceeded our expectations,” said Don Gilmore, President of JAGA. “With full fields and up to 10 names on this past year’s waiting list, we think the First Coast Amateur has become a meaningful addition to the national amateur golf scene. North Florida is a rich golf area and we are proud to share it and all greater Jacksonville has to offer with the players and guests who accompany them. Our sincere thanks to Russ Libby and the fine staff at Hidden Hills for all they do to make the three days in January special.”

Players who wish to enter the JAGA First Coast Amateur may do so by going to www.jaxareagolf.org and clicking on “2019 First Coast Amateur” under the schedule on the home page.

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