John Lobb defends JAGA Senior Amateur, wins third title in four years

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John Lobb got up and down for par from 40 feet on the 54th hole to capture a one-shot victory and his third JAGA Senior Amateur Championship title in four years.

The former Naval Station Mayport executive officer sealed the win April 30 at St. Johns Golf & Country Club with a two-footer moments after Scott Ray of Central City, Kentucky, missed from 6 feet for par. 

Lobb shot rounds of 73-70-75-218 – 218 (3-over par) for his three trips around the 6,495-yard, par-72 golf course. The runner-up Ray recorded 76-71-72 – 219 (3-over par). Another shot back in third place was Jim Loftin, a JAGA director representing The Palencia Club in St. Augustine. The former Columbus (Georgia) State University teammate of Jim “Bones” Mackay posted 72-76-72 – 220 (4-over par).

The champion got off to a slow start bogeying the first two holes, then birdied Nos. 3 and 4. Beginning the final round up by four shots, Lobb’s lead at the turn was only two over Ray, who went out in 35. Loftin also shot 35 and was two back.

Lobb’s four bogeys on the back nine were offset by birdies on Nos. 15 and 16. Ray and Loftin both shot 37 on the back nine and could not overtake the 55-year-old Lobb.

Lobb won his first Senior Amateur at Windsor Park Golf Club in 2016 and his second in April 2018 at Eagle Harbor Golf Club. The Frank Rogers Trophy will once again return and be on display for the next 12 months at his home club, Jacksonville Golf & Country Club.

The top 10 finishers were as follows: 

1       John Lobb (Jacksonville, Florida)          73-70-75—218 +2  

  2       Scott Ray (Central City, Kentucky)            76-71-72—219 +3  

  3       Jim Loftin (St. Augustine, Florida)          72-76-72—220 +4  

  4       Michael Vallencourt (Orange Park, Florida) 75-75-76—226 +10 

  T5     Bob Macmillan (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) 76-78-74—228 +12 

  T5     Glenn Przybylski  (Frankfort, Ilinois)    76-79-73—228 +12 

  7       Billy Lodise (St. Augustine, Florida)          73-80-76—229 +13 

  8       Richard Holmes (St. Johns, Florida)      78-78-74—230 +14 

  9       John Felice (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida)         80-80-73—233 +17 

  T10   John Milton (Jacksonville, Florida)        79-76-79—234 +18 

  T10   Bill Hardaker (Atlantic Beach, Florida)      79-75-80—234 +18

Super Seniors (Ages 60-69)

Retired Naval intelligence officer and Ponte Vedra Beach resident David Houghton, representing Sawgrass Country Club, captured a five-shot win in the Super Seniors competition for players ages 60-69. 

The 2014 Massachusetts Senior Amateur champion fired rounds of 72-69 to post a three-under-par 141 total. Gary Blackwell, representing St. Johns Golf and Country Club, finished runner-up after recording a pair of 73s on his home course. The Super Seniors layout played 5,993 yards.

The top five Super Seniors were as follows: 

1     David Houghton (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) 72-69—141    -3    

  2     Gary Blackwell (Jacksonville, Florida) 73-73—146    +2    

  T3   David Hawkins (Jacksonville, Florida) 78-76—154   +10   

  T3   Wen Bray (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) 77-77—154   +10   

  5     Kenny Robshaw (St. Augustine, Florida) 78-77—155   +11

Grand Seniors (Ages 70+)

The age 70+ Grand Seniors saw Brian Newberry of Newberry, Florida, and University of Florida Golf Club defended his 2018 title. His 75-77-152 total bettered runner-up Charles Smith of Ponte Vedra Beach and Sawgrass Country Club by two. Smith shot 75-79-154. The golf course was set up at 5,557 yards.

The top five Grand Seniors were as follows: 

1     Brian Sachs (Newberry, Florida)         75-77--152 +8   

  2     Charles Smith (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) 75-79--154 +10  

  3     Danny Daniels (Kingsland, Georgia) 81-74--155 +11  

  T4   Rocky Russell (Atlantic Beach, Florida) 85-74--159 +15  

  T4   Randy Simmons (Jacksonville, Florida) 77-82--159 +15

The three gross champions received engraved sterling silver money clips from Underwood Jewelers and gift certificates to PGA TOUR Superstore. 

The winners in the net competitors were as follows: 

Seniors –  NA

Super Seniors – Mark Kotny (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida)

Grand Seniors – Rocky Russell (Atlantic Beach, Florida)

First played in 1958, the JAGA Senior Amateur is the oldest continuously played golf tournament in North Florida and features contestants who are age 50 and above. It was sponsored for the third year in a row by European Street Cafe.

Visit www.jaxareagolf.org/ for more information on JAGA. 

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