The Southeastern Challenge Match is an annual competition among male amateur golfers representing the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia in odd numbered years and female amateur golfers representing the same states in even numbered years. The teams consist of eight mid-amateur and four senior golfers selected by their respective golf associations. The host site rotates among the three states.
Saturday-Sunday will see Alabama host the men’s matches at scenic Willow Point Golf & Country Club in Alexander City.
Team Alabama is as follows: Hunter Bronson, Matt Johnson, Matt Gourgeot, Richard Douglas, Vic Kyatt, Jeff Taylor, Freeman Fite, Woodie Eubanks, Robert Nelson, Mike Greer, Joey Holley and David Hancock.
Georgia fields Chris Hall, Doug Hanzel, Jack Hall, Billy Mitchell, Cameron Hooper, Scotty Scott, Stan Gann, Jr., Bob Royak, Bobby Brent, David Noll, Jr., Mike Cromer and Cres Dodd.
And Florida’s team is Gordon Marshall, Rick Woulfe, Kelly Gosse, Tim Hume, Bob Campione, Will Davenport, Brian Keenan, Paul Royak, Joe Alfieri, Jimmy Jones, Steve Anderson and Jeronimo Esteve.
The Men’s Southeast Challenge Match debuted at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., in 1989 as an event intended to promote goodwill and competition between the best amateur players, playing as a team, from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. The inaugural playing of the Women’s Southeastern Challenge Match took place in 2012 at The Country Club of Ocala in Ocala, Fla., with the 2014 matches at Reynolds Plantation, Great-Waters, Eatonton, Ga. and next year’s matches will be hosted by Alabama at Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear.
The Ryder Cup format has been well received by all the players; it gives them an opportunity to compete as a team while representing their state, something not often done in the individual sport of golf. It also provides them an opportunity to play foursomes, a format very popular in the British Isles but rarely played in the U.S.
The men’s series now stands at six wins for Florida, five for Georgia and a single win for Alabama. Florida won the first two women’s matches.
The format is as follows:
Saturday morning – Four-Ball Match Play
Saturday afternoon – Foursomes Match Play
Sunday morning – Three-ball Match Play