Scotland international, Gavin Dear, has won the Dixie Amateur at Heron Bay Golf Club in Florida’s Coral Springs, etching his name on a trophy that managed to elude Tiger Woods during his amateur career. Dear took the title by two shots ahead of Vaughn Snyder and Paolini Brinson of the USA and France’s Romain Wattel.
As a result of his victory, the Scotsman earns an exemption to The Amateur Championship, to be held at Formby and West Lancashire Golf Clubs in June and enters the WAGR Top 50, up 16 places to WAGRanked 43. Snyder, Paolini and Wattel also make progress, moving up to WAGRanked 122, 394 and 400 respectively.
A week later, still in Florida, WAGR newcomer Mathias Schjoelberg of Norway took the Junior Orange Bowl at The Biltmore Hotel Golf Course. Edging out third round leader Stiggy Hodgson of England, Schjoelberg carded a final round 64 (6 under par) to win by one shot. Finishing fourth was Portugal’s Pedro Figueiredo, winner of 2008 Boys Championship and currently WAGRanked 51, 1659 places ahead of Schjoelberg who enters the ranking at WAGRanked 1710. The Norwegian looks like he’ll be one to watch in 2009.
The WAGR Top 5 remains the same with New Zealand’s Danny Lee heading the pack. The coming season promises to provide a great deal of movement, however, as things are tight at the top; less than 90 WAGR points lie between Mike Van Sickle in 4th place and Matt Savage in 20th.
Here’s to a great year.