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Melnyk’s Friendly Gathering Comes of Age

Timuquana Country Club

Sixty-nine-year-old Steve Melnyk has made his mark in golf in so many ways. First and foremost, he was a player. After winning the 1965 Georgia Open as an 18-year-old amateur, for example, he anchored the University of Florida team that won the 1968 NCAA Championship.

The next year, Melnyk captured the U.S. Amateur on the spectacularly difficult Oakmont Country Club layout, and then followed that victory by taking the 1971 British Amateur over the equally tough links at Carnoustie.

Melnyk was also a part of two Walker Cup teams, in 1969 and 1971, and finished as low amateur in the 1970 Open Championship and the 1971 Masters.

Melnyk turned pro in 1971, but an elbow injury that he sustained in a fall at the 1982 Phoenix Open led to his starting a second career in television, first for CBS Sports and then for ABC and ESPN. And he excelled in that realm as well, earning plenty of praise for his work over the next two decades as a reporter and analyst before deciding to hang up his headphones.

More recently, the Brunswick, Ga., native and father of two sons has taken on a different role in golf, that of a tournament organizer. And the event he runs, the Timuquana Cup, is fast becoming a fixture on the so-called cocktail party circuit.

Contested for the first time in 2012, the 54-hole, stroke-play competition takes its name from the place where it is staged, the Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.

“The idea came from a simple desire to share Timuquana with the outside world,” says Melnyk, who became a member of that venerable, 290-acre retreat in 1982. “It is such a special place, founded in 1923 and with a golf course originally designed by Donald Ross and then carefully restored in the mid-1990s. The USGA played its Senior Amateur there in 2002, and we thought it would be fun to bring together players to Timuquana for some friendly competition on an annual basis.”

Melnyk emphasizes the word “friendly” as he describes the tournament. ….. READ FULL ARTICLE



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