Written by: Jeff Adams - Jacksonville Area Golf Association | Photo credit: Jacksonville Area Golf Association
JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Former Jacksonville University star David Wicks of Bexhill, England defeated Devin Suri of St. Augustine, FL 2 &1 on Sunday to claim the 8th Jacksonville Area Golf Association (JAGA) Match Play Championship played at the famed TPC Sawgrass PLAYERS Stadium course.
Other than losing to a Suri birdie on the first hole, the 24-year-old Wicks was never down again after he birdied the second hole to get back to all square. Wicks won Nos. 4, 5, 6 and 9 to take a 4-up lead heading to the back nine. Suri cut Wicks' lead in half with wins on the 14th and 15th holes. The duo matched birdies on the par-5 16th and pars on the renowned island 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, resulting in Suri extending a congratulatory hand shake to the Englishman. Wicks, who graduated from JU in 2017 and is currently working toward an MBA at the school, played the 17 holes of the championship match in 1 over on the 6,906-yard layout.
For Suri, it was a repeat of his runner-up finish in last year's JAGA Match Play tournament. The 22-year-old who plays out of Southampton Golf Club and Sawgrass Country Club fell last year to another golfer with JU roots, rising senior Sam Uhland, 1 up. With semifinalist Matt Kleinrock electing not to play the third- vs. fourth-place match, Duke Butler IV claimed third place, with Kleinrock taking fourth. Defending champion Uhland won his first two matches before bowing to Butler, 4&2, in the quarterfinals. Wicks enjoyed an impressive career at JU, playing for the Dolphins from 2015 through 2017, after completing two years at Midland Junior College in Texas. Among his college accolades are:
- 2017 Honorable Mention All-American Team (GCAA)
- 2017 ASUN Golfer of the Year
- 2017 Palmer Cup / European Team Member (Atlanta Athletic Club)
- 1st in JU Career Scoring Average (71.33)
- T1 in JU Low 54-Hole Score (202)
- T2 in JU Most Career Titles (4)
- 3rd in JU Most Rounds of Par or Better (4)
Midland Junior College
- First Team NJCAA All-American (2014 and 2015)
- PING All-American (2014 and 2015)
- Individual Runner-up (lost in a playoff), NJCAA Nationals (2014)
Wicks plans to turn pro in September and attempt to qualify for the Web.com Tour.
The Championship began on Friday afternoon with 32 seeds. The matches were set up based on the results of JAGA's May 20th qualifier in which 63 players competed at St. Johns Golf & Country Club.
Wicks posted the second-best score (67) at St. Johns. Michael Smith's 66 led the pack. With Uhland and Suri exempt from the qualifier and seeded Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, Wicks was No. 4. Smith, the 2016 Match Play champion, was seeded No. 3. He was defeated in the second round. The first three rounds of matches on Friday and Saturday were played on the Dye's Valley course at TPC Sawgrass, with Sunday's semifinals and championship matches held on PLAYERS Stadium. Afternoon storms on Friday and Saturday forced both days' matches to be suspended and completed the following mornings.
Complete tournament results may be found at jax.bluegolf.com or www.jaxareagolf.org.