2017 Southeastern Challenge Match
Event DateOct 21, 2017
Team Georgia wins Southeastern Challenge Match
JUPITER, FL. --- Georgia continued its stellar play on Day 2 to compile a total of 23 points on the weekend and win the 2017 Southeastern Challenge Match. Florida placed second with 21 1/2 points while Alabama finished third with 18 1/2 points. The 16th playing of this three-state competition took place at The Bear's Club, October 21-22.
During Sunday's three-ball singles matches, Team Georgia earned ten points. The big scorers were Vance Embry of Dalton, Justin Connelly of McDonough, and Doug Hanzel of Savannah who led the way with each earning 2 points on the day. Taylor Smith of Convington, Bob Royak of Alpharetta, and John Engler, Jr. of Augusta all picked up one point.
With the Victory, Team Georgia has now won 7 Southeastern Challenge Matches (1990, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2017).
Team Georgia Roster
Justin Connelly (22, McDonough) currently ranks 2nd on the GSGA Player of the Year rankings and is the 2017 Georgia Amateur Champion. He set the Georgia Amateur Championship scoring record with a score of 267.
David Denham (35, Athens) currently ranks 3rd on the GSGA Player of the Year rankings and is the 2017 Georgia Mid-Amateur Champion. Denham also won the Georgia Amateur Championship in 2004.
Vance Embry (38, Dalton) currently ranks 24th on the GSGA Player of the Year rankings. Finished 3rd in the 2017 Georgia-Mid Amateur Championship.
John Engler, Jr. (38, Augusta) currently ranks 17th on the GSGA Player of the Year rankings. Engler won the 2016 Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship and most recently qualified to play in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
David Noll, Jr. (44, Dalton) currently ranks 4th on the GSGA Player of the Year rankings. Noll Jr. won the Georgia Amateur Championship in 2003 and 2011 and has won the Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship four times in 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2012. He was the winner of the 2007, 2012 and 2014 Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship.
Taylor Smith (28, Covington) currently ranks 9th on the GSGA Player of the Year rankings. He finished top 5 at the 2017 Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship and top 10 at the 2017 Georgia Amateur Championship.
Kyle Stiles (31, Athens) currently ranks 12th on the GSGA Player of the Year rankings. He finished top 25 at the 2017 Georgia Amateur Championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship.
Chris Waters (30, Athens) currently ranks 1st on the GSGA Player of the Year rankings. Waters won the 2014 and 2016 Georgia Public Links Championship as well as the 2015 Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship.
Jack Hall (60, Savannah) currently ranks 3rd on the GSGA Senior Player of the Year rankings. Hall and Doug Hanzel are the two-time defending champions of the Georgia Senior Four-Ball Championship. Hall won the 2015 Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship and the 2013 Georgia Senior Championship. He was also the 1978 and 1983 Atlanta Amateur Match Play Champion.
Doug Hanzel (60, Savannah) currently ranks 2nd on the GSGA Senior Player of the Year rankings. Hanzel and Jack Hall are the two-time defending champions of the Georgia Senior Four-Ball Championship. Hanzel has won the Georgia Senior Championship three times in 2012, 2014, 2015 and won the USGA Senior Amateur Championship in 2013. He was also the winner of the 2004 Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship.
Bob Royak (56, Alpharetta) currently ranks 1st on the GSGA Senior Player of the Year rankings. He won the 2017 Georgia Senior Championship and teamed up with Doug Hanzel to capture the 2006 Georgia Four-Ball Championship.
Wright Waddell (55, Columbus) currently ranks 6th on the GSGA Senior Player of the Year rankings. Waddell is a 2018 Georgia Golf Hall of Fame inductee and winner of the 2017 Georgia Senior Match Play Championship. Waddell won the Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship twice in 1990 and 1999. He was a two-time runner-up in the Georgia Amateur Championship. Four times he won the Georgia Four-Ball Championship in 1991, 1995, 2003, and 2004 with partner Carter Mize.