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Chuck Kirk hangs tough at Sawgrass Country Club to win the 65th Jacksonville Senior Amateur

Churk Kirk of Middleburg won the 65th annual Jacksonville Area Golf Association Senior Championship on May 23 at the Sawgrass Country Club.

Churk Kirk of Middleburg won the 65th annual Jacksonville Area Golf Association Senior Championship on May 23 at the Sawgrass Country Club.

Chuck Kirk won the 65th Jacksonville Area Golf Association Senior Championship on May 23.

Pinch him. He’s still not sure he believes it.

Kirk built a three-shot lead over the defending champion Mark Spencer entering the final round at the Sawgrass Country and at a course fraught with danger in windy and rainy conditions, his closing 77 was enough to beat Spencer (80) by six shots at 4-over-par 220.

“I’m shocked I beat this talented field,” the champion said. “Even with a nice lead, it was really tough to hang on out there at the end to win.”

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Kirk, a retired JSO officer and now a Middleburg resident, bested a field that also included past Senior Amateur champions Spencer, Ken Moody spirit David Anthony. He opened with rounds of 71-72.

Moody (73) shot the low round of the final day to move into solo third at 11-over. Moody and Anthony are also past JAGA Amateur champions. Todd Mudge of Lakeland (79) was fourth at 17-over and Anthony (75) and Billy Lodise (81) tied for fifth at 18-over.

Kirk is a bit of a roll. He’s won the Eagle Harbor club championship three years in a row and combined with Kim Bruce to win the Jacksonville Women’s Golf Association Mixed Couples title at the Jacksonville Golf and Country Club.

Scott Carnahan of Jacksonville (80) won the super-senior division by one shot over Keith Cromline (80) at 10-over 154.

Charles Smith (80) won the grand senior title on his home course at 11-over 155, beating Frank Perry of Ponte Vedra Beach (82) and Bruce Moskovciak of Jacksonville (79) by three shots.

Jax Amateur registration set

Players can begin registration for the 62n.d annual Jacksonville Area Golf Association Amateur Championship July 20-22 at the San Jose Country Club.

The 54-hole tournament is open to male or female amateur players residing in North Florida, and up to 15 non-residents of First Coast counties. The maximum verifiable handicap is 6 for men and 0 for women. The field is limited to 81 participants, with World Amateur ranking points awarded.

The registration deadline is July 10.

The First Coast Women’s Amateur registration opens on May 29.

The tournament will be July 24-26 at Dye’s Valley, the first time the tournament has been played on either of the TPC Sawgrass courses.

Registration for both events and other information is available by visiting

Stepnes leads qualifiers

Former University of North Florida player Joe Stephens of Atlantic Beach shot 4-under 67 at Jacksonville Beach to lead a Florida State Amateur qualifier on May 7.

Also qualifying were Chase Carroll (70) of Jacksonville, Carson Brewer (70) of Ponte Vedra Beach, Devon Hopkins (71) of Atlantic Beach, Cameron Goldknopf (71) of Ponte Vedra and Thomas Brennan (71) of Atlantic Beach.

The 106th Florida Amateur is June 8-11 at the Turtle Creek Club in Tequesta and the Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter.

Double eagles

Tom Moore too St. Augustine had a day recently at the Halifax Plantation in Daytona Beach.

Moore made two eagles on par-4 holes in one round. The first came at the 364-yard seventh hole, where he used a driver off the tee and knocked a rescue club into the hole.

The second was at the 290-yard 15thth. Moore used a driver off the tee again and holed an 8-iron.

He shot 81 for the round. And in one of golf’s cruel cosmic jokes, he four-putted one green – the same number of strokes he hit on two holes.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Chuck Kirk holds on in final round at Sawgrass to win Jax Senior Am