Montague back to defend RGA Amateur crown
Tournament hasn’t had repeat winner since 2011-12
The 93rd edition of the Richmond Golf Association Amateur championship will begin at The Dominion Club in Henrico County on Thursday.
Last year’s tournament featured some history as teenager Jack Montague, then a rising senior at Collegiate, beat St. Christopher’s senior Drew Brockwell for his first victory in the event.
Montague, who is headed to the University of Virginia in the fall, is back to defend his title this year and will be the top seed for match play by virtue of his triumph last year. Brockwell, who is going to Virginia Tech in the fall, also is in the field.
Montague will be trying to become the first player to claim back-toback titles since Nick Austin posted victories in 2011-12.
“I’m excited to come back and try to defend this week,” said Montague, who graduated from Collegiate in May. “There are a lot of great players in the field and I look forward to the challenge. I feel as though my game is starting to get into pretty good shape.”
Whoever wins will have to deal with the endurance-test format of the event. Following the 18-hole strokeplay qualifying round on Thursday, the low 32 scorers will be placed in the championship flights. Match play follows with two matches a day on Friday and Saturday, concluding with the scheduled 18-hole final on Sunday.
Though there are plenty of young players in the field, midamateurs (age 25 and older) are well-represented and headlined, in part, by Midlothian residents Steve Serrao and Jordan Utley, as well as Richmonders Alex Sleeker and Kevin South
and Glen Allen’s Rusty Breeden, among others.
The Dominion Club, which hosted the RGA Amateur in 2002 and has welcomed other RGA events since then, is a good course for match play. The layout features a host of risk-reward elements, including at the par-5 finishing hole. It’s reachable in two, but water guards the right side of the hole, ready to ensnare a wayward shot.
The list of past champions reads like a who’s who of central Virginia golf and includes former winners turned PGA Tour players Robert Wrenn (three City Amateur victories), as well as the brother combination of Bobby and Lanny Wadkins. Lanny, a threetime winner of the City Amateur, also is part of the World Golf and Virginia Golf halls of fame. Nelson Broach won the tournament a record 11 times during a four-decade span between 1947 and 1974. Nine of his victories came between 1953 and 1966.
Jack Montague defeated Drew Brockwell in last year’s RGA Amateur championship. Montague graduated from Collegiate in May and is headed to the University of Virginia in the fall.
Jack Montague (left), who accepted last year’s championship trophy from the RGA’s Greg Bales, knows the field again will be a challenge in this year’s tourney at The Dominion Club.