Gingerich takes St. Augustine Amateur lead with course-record 62

St. Augustine Amateur

Gingerich takes St. Augustine Amateur lead with course-record 62

Ty Gingerich’s domination of the St. Johns Golf Course began with his attempt to qualify for the Crooked Stick Collegiate Invitational.

Once he didn’t qualify for the 36-hole collegiate tournament in Indianapolis, the University of Cincinnati freshman made the nine-hour journey to the Ancient City for the St. Augustine Amateur.

Despite arriving in town shortly before 3 a.m., getting less than four hours of sleep and being at the No. 10 tee at the St. Johns Golf for his first shot a 9:18 Friday morning, the 19-year-old shot a tournament-record 62.

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“I birdied (Nos.) 10 and 11,” Gingerich said. “I felt like I had put up some good momentum and confidence and tried to keep going.”

Gingerich made a four-foot birdie at No. 9 to break a tournament record set by U Minn Woon during the first round of the 2018 St. Augustine Amateur.

He leads Canadian Sudarshan Yellamaraju (4-under) by four strokes. Ponte Vedra Beach resident Michael Smith and Nocatee resident (and PGA Tour caddie) Paul Tesori are tied for third at 3-under.

Gingerich carded a bogey-free round on his first time playing the course. His tournament-record was four shots better than the best competitive round of his life.

He played 36 holes on Thursday, caught a flight at 5:45, landed at Dulles International, left Washington D.C. for Orlando at 10:30, landed in the City Beautiful at 12:30 a.m. Friday and drove to St. Augustine.

“I just tried to go play and do the best I could,” Gingerich said. “I was kind of bummed I didn’t qualify for the college tournament on Monday (and) Tuesday. I wanted to come down here and play well.”

Gingerich birdied Nos. 1, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 17 to take command of the tournament. He leads a field of 73 golfers that are a combination of mid-amateurs, like Tesori and Smith, high school golfers and collegiate golfers.

The 16th St. Augustine Amateur featured Canadians, a Russian (Egor Zubov, 7-over), a Scotsman (Gary McDonald, 2-over) as well as a French teenager (Theodore Reitter, 1-under). But, the day belonged to Gingerich.

Afterward, he had no idea he was in line to shoot a 62. He knew he had a chance for 8-under, but forgot par was 70 instead of 72.

″It set up nicely,” Gingerich said about the St. Johns Golf Course. “It gave me a lot of wedges and short iron shots. I feel that’s a strength of my game, iron play. I felt like I drove the ball well and I set myself up in good shots out of the fairway to have good iron shots to help me in that regard.”

By Will Brown of the St. Augustine Record