Representatives of 15 charities competed on Monday in THE PLAYERS Charity Challenge, a long-standing tradition that is part of THE PLAYERS Media Day. THE PLAYERS 2018 champion Webb Simpson ultimately helped reigning JAGA Amateur Champion Davis Roche win the event and claim the $10,000 first prize for the JAGA Scholarship Trust.
Hosting other PGA TOUR professionals, local celebrities and representatives chosen by each charity, the challenge took place on the famed Island Green 17th hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. Each charity’s player hit two consecutive shots followed by Simpson trying to land one on the Island Green. The closest of the three was recorded for each charity. Roche, a 23-year-old graduate of Valdosta State University where he played four years on the golf team, was closest to the pin in Round 1. The $10,000 prize goes to the JAGA Scholarship Trust, which was established in 1974 and has generated approximately $1.75 million in college scholarships for 350 young men and women affiliated with JAGA’s 40-member clubs in North Florida.
Billy Horschel, five-time PGA TOUR winner, 2014 FedExCup champion and Ponte Vedra Beach resident, was closest to the pin in Round 2, winning $5,000 for Feeding Northeast Florida.
The results were as follows:
1. JAGA Scholarship Trust, Davis Roche, JAGA Amateur Champion – 5 feet 4 inches
2. Walk Off Charities, Frank Frangie, 1010XL – 5 feet 11 inches (round 1), 12 feet (round 2)
3. Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Stephen Joost, Firehouse Subs – 6 feet 4 inches (round 1), 26 feet 9 inches (round 2)
4. Feeding Northeast Florida, Billy Horschel, five-time PGA TOUR winner and 2014 FedExCup champion – 10 feet 7 inches (round 1), 8 feet 6 inches (round 2)
5. The First Tee of North Florida, Josh Scobee, former Jacksonville Jaguar – 11 feet 1 inches
6. Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Aron Price, Web.com Tour member – 12 feet 3 inches
7. Tesori Family Foundation, Toby Ragland, College Golf Fellowship – 12 feet 11 inches
8. Boselli Foundation, Tony Boselli – 13 feet 9 inches
9. K9s For Warriors, Brett Simon, K9s for Warriors – 19 feet
10. North Florida Junior Golf Foundation, Mike Broderick, Head Golf Professional, Sawgrass Country Club – 19 feet 6 inches
11. Epilepsy Florida, Jeff Klauk, former PGA TOUR member – 19 feet 10 inches
12. St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation, Ben Hayes, former US Naval Academy Golf Team Captain – 23 feet
13. Special Olympics of Duval County, Ryan Luck, Special Olympics Participant – 23 feet 3 inches
14. Champions for Hope, Gary Williams, Golf Channel – 27 feet 4 inches
15. Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, Curtis Dvorak, First Coast Living host – 38 feet 4 inches
During the Challenge, Firehouse Subs co-founder Robin Sorensen also thanked THE PLAYERS for a $50,000 grant given to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation after the 2018 tournament. The donation allowed them to award a grant to the Jacksonville Beach Fire Department to purchase life-saving equipment.