Pro-junior tournament raises $10,000 for The First Tee of North Florida


PGA Tour player Len Mattiace’s Len’s Friends Foundation and Jacksonville-based sports consulting agency Michael Huyghue & Associates recently joined forces to organize a pro-junior tournament at TPC Sawgrass that raised more than $10,000 for The First Tee of North Florida.

Held at Dye’s Valley Course Dec. 18, the first-time event matched current and former pro golfers and teaching pros with the best junior golfers in the region. Entry fees for the tournament and donations from companies in the Jacksonville area contributed toward the larger donation for The First Tee, a nonprofit youth development organization that focuses on strengthening youth core values and life skills through the context of golf.

LPGA Tour player Amelia Lewis and her junior Spencer Schindler took home the first-place prize, finishing with a combined team score of 63. Pro Vince Covello and his junior Mason Battreall also finished with a combined score of 63 and finished second, according to United States Golf Association scoring playoff rules.

In addition to Mattiace, participating pros included Fred Funk, Russell Knox, Morgan Hoffman, Scott Hend, Steve Wheatcroft, Frank Lickliter, Kaitlyn Price, Justin Heuber and J.C. Horne. Former PGA Tour and Champions Tour players Bubba Dickerson, Mike Hulbert, Joe Inman, Morris Hatalsky, Todd Demsey and Bob Dickson as well as former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman also competed.

Top juniors that participated included Florida state champions Cody Carroll and Erika Smith. Tampa, Miami and Ocala area high schools were also represented. Sophie Membrino, Sarah McKevitt, Reni Janscik, Mason Batreall, and Davis Lee represented Ponte Vedra High School. Junior Trevor Madridejos recorded the only hole-in-one on the day on his first swing of the day at the fifth hole. College players that competed included Phillip Loeb and Logan Membrino from Elon, Davis Roche from Valdosta State, Taylor Funk from Texas and Osten Waite from North Florida.

There was a $14,000 purse for pros, while the juniors’ prizes included $7,000 worth of merchandise from golf manufacturers, restaurants and local Jacksonville golf courses. Bono’s Pit BBQ donated $3,500 for a skins game – a format in which each of the holes is assigned a different monetary value and the golfer with the best outright score wins the money for that hole.