A talented field has once more been assembled to partake in the Men’s Dixie Amateur, set to be played at TPC Eagle Trace and Heron Bay Golf Club. The first round of the 72-hole event begins on Monday the 19th and continues through Thursday the 22nd.
Over the course of four days the contestants from 23 different countries will split their time between the two tracks. For the first two days both courses will be utilized before TPC Eagle Trace is used for the third round and Heron Bay GC hosts the final round. A 36-hole cut will be made after the completion of play on Tuesday.
Each year the Men’s Dixie Amateur attracts many of the best players in the amateur game and 2016 is no different. Some past winners of the event
Doug Ford, Jesper Parnevik, Hal Sutton, Lanny Wadkins and more recently Peter Uihlein (twice) and Daniel Berger.
Here is a look at some of the top contenders for 2016:
Barry Babbitt (Rollins College, Sr.)- From Orlando, FL, Babbit is in the midst of his final season at Rollins College where in three events his best finish was a tie for sixth at the Kiawah Island Invitational.
Zack Justice (Richmond, Fr.)- A resident of Orlando, FL, Justice qualified for and competed in the 2016 U.S. Amateur. So far during his first collegiate season, Justice has broke into the top-10 once, earning a tie 10th at the Waterville Intercollegiate.
Jason Langer (South Florida commit)- The son of two-time Masters winner Bernhard Langer, Jason will be heading to South Florida next fall. Two years ago the Langer’s paired together to win the PNC Father/Son Challenge. Bulls head coach Steve Bradley is among the coaches that will be on hand throughout the tournament.
Linus Lo (Western Kentucky, RS Fr.)- Originally from Hong Kong, Lo moved to Florida in 2011 and he is now a resident of Heathrow. After redshirting as a freshman Lo has played in three events this year at Western Kentucky.
Caleb Proveaux (South Carolina, Fr.)- A top junior performer, Proveaux was the No. 2 ranked junior in South Carolina. The Lexington, SC resident reached the Round of 32 in the 2015 U.S. Amateur and played in three U.S. Junior Amateur’s.
Trent Wallace (Illinois State, So.)- In four events this year Wallace, from Joliet, IL, best finish came in at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic were he tied
for fourth at 1-under.
Heron Bay GC, the site of the final round, should set up for an exciting final day. “That is where the main scoreboard is located and you can walk out the backdoor of the Marriott and you are right on the course,” tournament director John Hand said. “The reason we did that is because the last couple of years we finished at TPC
Eagle Trace and everybody wanted to get back to the hotel and even though it was only six miles away they wanted to leave and pack up and get ready for
their flight. But at Heron Bay we always get a crowd because everybody is right there.”
Late on the back nine Heron Bay GC has two holes that will test the mettle of any player in contention. First up is the par-3 15th that will play close to 200
yards and then comes the challenging par-4 final hole. The hole can be stretched to 450 yards and the layout includes a dogleg to the right, water on the
right and bunkers on the left which brings a lot of different numbers into play.