Gingerich completes wire-to-wire St. Augustine Amateur win

St. Augustine Amateur

Gingerich completes wire-to-wire St. Augustine Amateur win

Ty Gingerich (Carmel, Ind.) shot a final-round 1-over 71 at St. Johns Golf Club to cruise to a three shot victory at the St. Augustine Amateur.

For Gingerich, it was the best of what looked to be an unfortunate situation when the week started. The University of Cincinnati freshman had hoped to make the travel team for the upcoming Hoosier Invitational, but he missed out in qualifying.

So Gingerich made a last-minute, nine-hour journey to Florida, arriving at his hotel at 3:00am, just shy of six hours before his 9:18am tee time. After getting just four hours of sleep, he established a new course record with a bogey-free 8-under 62 in the first round.

He pushed his lead from four shots to six with a 3-under 67 in round two, despite making his first bogey of the tournament on the final hole.

On Sunday, Gingerich just needed to avoid big mistakes, and he did exactly that, making 15 pars and a birdie against two bogeys. His stress-free 71 gave him a 10-under 200 total, good for a three-shot win.

Michael Smith (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), who entered the day solo second, shaved one shot off of Gingerich’s lead with a birdie at the first, but bled shots the rest of the round and fell out of contention.

Sudarshan Yellamaraju of Canada, who played with Gingerich in each of the final two rounds, made six birdies en route to a 67 and a runner-up finish.

Christophe Stutts (Maitland, Fla.) had the round of the day, a 6-under 65, to post 7 under and tie Yellamaraju for second.

Juan Iturra, an Argentinean who finished his Flagler College career earlier this year, closed with a 68 to finish fourth at 6 under.

The real drama surrounded the race for the low mid-amateur prize. With Smith fading, the chase became wide open. Duke Butler IV and Paul Tesori, who caddies on the PGA Tour for Webb Simpson, started the day four shots behind Smith, with Kirk Irvin another shot behind. The three chasers played in the same threesome in the final round.

Tesori never could get anything going, posting a 75, but Butler caught and passed Smith on the back nine and looked to have the low mid-am honor locked up as he stood on the tee, three ahead of Irvin. But a shocking four-shot swing on the final hole — Butler watched Irvin hole out from the fairway for an eagle two, then proceeded to double-bogey the hole — gave Irvin the mid-am title by a single shot.

For Irvin, a former First Tee of North Florida Board member, it was a sweet ending to an event run by his former organization. He finished three rounds at 1-over 211, good for a ninth-place tie in the overall competition.