How fitting that the Jacksonville Area Golf Association’s first appearance in the PLAYERS Championship “Charity Challenge” Feb. 11 resulted in besting 14 other North Florida charities to win the top prize, $10,000 for the JAGA Scholarship Trust.
Jacksonville Amateur champion Davis Roche, 23, and defending PLAYERS champion Webb Simpson teamed up against local celebrities such as Tony Boselli, Billy Horschel, Josh Scobee, Curtis Dvorak and Frank Frangie in a format which each charity having one golfer hit two shots from 121 yards to a front, middle hole location at the famed island par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass, with Simpson on hand to hit a third team shot. The closest to the hole of the three counted for the team.
As the first group to play, Roche hit two shots on the green, both roughly 20 feet from the hole, before Simpson struck his wedge to 5’ 4”. Thirteen groups and a total of 42 more shots would follow in the first round, with Frank Frangie and his Walk Off Charities coming the closest at 5’ 11”.
Once the Roche/Simpson duo claimed first prize in the first round, the three runners-up played a second round for $5,000. Five-time PGA TOUR winner and Ponte Vedra Beach resident Billy Horschel nailed his shot to 8’ 6” in support of his charity, Feeding Northeast Florida.
JAGA was well represented with a number of JAGA directors in attendance, including current president Randy Nader (Sawgrass CC) and past presidents Barney Poston (Hidden Hills GC), Fred Seely (Timuquana CC) and Bob Streightiff (Queen’s Harbour Y&CC).
The JAGA Scholarship Trust 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.
The 15 charities and their respective golfers were:
• BOSELLI FOUNDATION – Tony Boselli
• CHAMPIONS FOR HOPE – Gary Williams
• EPILEPSY FLORIDA – Jeff Klauk
• FEEDING NORTHEAST FLORIDA – Billy Horschel
• FIREHOUSE SUBS PUBLIC SAFETY FOUNDATION – Stephen Joost
• JACKSONVILLE AREA GOLF ASSOCIATION SCHOLARSHIP TRUST – Davis Roche
• K9s FOR WARRIORS – Brett Simon
• NORTH FLORIDA JUNIOR GOLF FOUNDATION – Mike Broderick
• SPECIAL OLYMPICS OF DUVAL COUNTY – Ryan Luck
• ST. VINCENT’S HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION – Ben Hayes
• TESORI FAMILY FOUNDATION – Toby Ragland
• THE FIRST TEE OF NORTH FLORIDA – Josh Scobee
• TOM COUGHLIN JAY FUND – Curtis Dvorak
• WALK-OFF CHARITIES – Frank Frangie
• WOLFSON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL – Aron Price