Ponte Vedra’s Loeb wins 55th Jacksonville Amateur Golf Championship


Ponte Vedra Beach resident Philip Loeb took home the trophy at the 55th Jacksonville Amateur Golf Championship last weekend.

Loeb, an Elon College sophomore, birdied holes 15, 17 and 18 to catch John Lobb of Jacksonville at the end of regulation play and added another on the first playoff hole to claim the title at the championship, held at Queen’s Harbour Yacht & Country Club. Loeb’s win served as an extra special gift to his mother, who was celebrating her birthday and among those following her son along with her husband.

Loeb (70-76-68) and Lobb (72-71-71) finished the 54-hole championship with 2-under-par 214 totals. Finishing third with a score of 218 was first- and second-round leader Julian Rippert (76) of Munich, Germany and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Rounding out the top five were Jalen Ledger (70), also of Palm Beach Gardens, at 218 and Duke Butler IV (73) of Ponte Vedra Beach at 219.

After a tee shot in the right rough on the par-5 fifth hole on Friday, Loeb took nine more strokes before retrieving his ball from the cup. The 20-year-old, who plays out of TPC Sawgrass, hung in the rest of the way, carding a ,respectable 76 to begin the final round only four shots off the 36-hole pace.

A birdie by Loeb on No. 9 on Saturday completed a front nine of 35. With Rippert stumbling and the retired former Mayport Naval Station commander Lobb in the lead midway through the back nine, Loeb reeled off birdies on three of his last four holes to catch Lobb.

With the tees moved up to 290 yards on Queen’s Harbour’s 18th, the champion nearly pitched his second shot in the hole from just off the green for an eagle in the overtime. Moments later Lobb would miss from 15 feet for birdie, making his younger competitor the 55th Jacksonville Amateur champion.

Lobb, a Jacksonville Golf & Country Club member, was seeking to win a JAGA (Jacksonville Area Golf Association) double by capturing both the JAGA Senior Amateur (April) and the Amateur Championship in the same season. The 53-year-old now sets his sights on competing in the Aug. 11-14 U.S. Senior Open Championship at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, where Jack Nicklaus learned to play the game. Lobb qualified for the USGA event last month in Ocala.

Rippert, who plays on the University of the Pacific golf team, held the lead going into the back nine, only to hit his tee shot out of bounds on No. 10, resulting in a double bogey that was followed by another and two bogeys on Queen's Harbour's incoming stretch.

The Jacksonville Amateur Championship has been conducted by JAGA since 1962.