This past weekend at the challenging Naples National Golf Club in Naples, Florida the club kicked off its Terra Cotta Invitational. This tournament has been held since 1996 and is ranked 79th in the world in men’s amateur events.
Being an invitational, the club makes it clear that it encourages applications that are carefully reviewed by the selection committee. They look at things such as world amateur rankings as well as college tournament performances. This year, with a little help from Gardiner’s Bay Country Club member Bryan Hanypsiak and the cub’s golf professional, Leigh Notley, Shelter Island’s Jay (Jake) Card III secured one of the 75 invitations for the tournament.
Last summer, Jake qualified for the United States Golf Association’s oldest tournament, the United States Amateur Championship. With all of Long Island’s finest players competing for this honor, only three were chosen from the region.
The Terra Cotta in Naples is played over three rounds of the weekend. For the first two rounds, shooting a pair of 75s, Jake was a total of 6 over par. For the third and final round, he tied for the low round of the day with an unbelievable 4 under par 68.
In that final round only two players shot in the 60s — Jake and Jake Brown from Carmel, Indiana. In the Islander’s final round he had 6 birdies with four in a row on the back nine.
If he could have saved two strokes somewhere in those three rounds, Jake would have won the tournament.
Speaking of winning, while Jake was playing in Florida, another Shelter Islander, Matthew Feinstein, was playing in one of the oldest and most prestigious golf tournaments in Virginia, the Belle Haven Four Ball Invitational.
Matthew and his partner, Eli Thrasher, shot 1 over par under some very tough conditions in the Mid-Atlantic section to win the Junior Division of the Belle Haven. Juniors are considered anyone 18 years old or younger.
Congratulations to Matthew Feinstein and another fine performance by Jake Card.