Anyone planning on putting together a team for the First Coast’s holiday golf tradition needs to get moving.
The field for the 41st annual Henry Tuten Gator Bowl Pro-Am will be reduced to 28 teams, with the first round on Dec. 14 at the Timuquana Country Club and the second round the following day at the San Jose Country Club.
As many as 36 teams have played the best-ball tournament in the past but the decision was made to reduce the field to make it easier to get the teams around the courses — and leave enough daylight in the case of a playoff.
The first 28 teams (one professional and three amateurs) to complete the entry forms and pay the fee are in the tournament. Forms are available at area clubs and the host sites.
The amateurs on the defending team, Luke McCain, Len Schonfeld III and Mike Smith, won’t have their pro back but they may have a more than adequate replacement.
Jared Wolfe is playing on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica (where he is fourth on the money list), where he will be competing through most of December. He could be replaced by Sam Saunders, who shot 59 on Sept. 28 at the Web.com Tour Championship at Atlantic Beach.
Past professionals on winning teams have included Mark McCumber, Jeff Klauk, Harold Varner, Kenny Perry, Rocco Mediate, Bob Duval and Steve Melnyk.
Dunham posts memorable rally
Phillip Dunham not only shaved 10 shots off his first-round score in last week’s North Florida Junior Tour event at the Slammer & Squire, but he did it in spectacular fashion.
Dunham opened play in the boys 10-12 division in the Hall of Fame Invitational with a 76. But in the second round he birdied five of his first six holes and nine of his first 12, going on to shoot a 66 that gave him his age-group title at 2-under-par 142.
Dunham also had a streak of 19 holes in a row without a bogey.
He wasn’t the only player in the tournament go on birdie streaks. Katherine Jakeway had six birdies during a first-round 71, and she matched that in the second round to finish at 2-under 142 to win the girls 13-18 division by 14 shots.
Lucky No. 3
Larry Houser aced the third hole at the Blue Sky Golf Club less than a month apart.
Houser got his first hole-in-one at No. 3 on Oct. 13, using a 9-iron from 89 yards out. On Nov. 7, 25 days later, he did it again, this time with a pitching wedge from 87 yards away.
Dickey aging well
Former University of Florida football coach Doug Dickey enjoyed his second week in a row in which he beat his age of 85 twice at the San Jose Country Club.
Last week Dickey had rounds of 81 and 82.
Nice second shot
Double eagles are rare enough but Keith Satterwhite had an unusual two on a par-5 hole last week in which he hit his second shot further, with a shorter club.
Satterwhite, playing the senior tees at the Deerfield Lakes Golf Club, had 388 yards at the par-5 15th hole. He used a driver off the tee and hit it 188 yards, leaving himself 200 yards to the hole.
But that’s the distance he covered with a 5-wood, with the ball running onto the green and into the cup for his albatross.