By JOSH FRYE
Poarch Creek Indians tribal member and Poarch native Jerry Sanchez Jr., 30, is set to begin his trip to the 2019 Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championships, which will be held at the PGA National Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach, Fla. on September 17-20.
Sanchez first began playing golf just over six years ago.
“Golf has helped keep me on the straight and narrow,” Sanchez said. “After I was saved by Christ, I discovered my love for the sport after playing with some friends.”
During his first attempts at the sport, Sanchez admitted that he was not the greatest. But over time and with practice he has fallen in love with the game, and his skills have improved.
The Golf Channel AmTour, sponsored by NBC Sports, is a nationwide organization that is made up of flights, or leagues, from different areas around the country.
Sanchez has risen through the ranks of the Gulf Coast Area flight with two tournament wins at the Preserve Classic, recently held in Vancleave, Miss., and at the Winddance Classic, held recently in Gulfport, Miss.
The pair of wins, incorporated within the mandatory seven tournament competitions, have helped secure his spot in the national championship.
“The tournament is going to be a fun challenge,” Sanchez said. “The best of the best from all around the country will be competing and, hopefully, I can pull out a win.”
More than 650 players form the flights of the Golf Channel AmTour. The group will converge on South Florida during the tournament.
The PGA National Resort and Spa is one of the PGA’s most exciting courses and will offer an exciting new challenge and opportunity to the Poarch native.
The National Championship is an individual, 72-hole stroke-play tournament. In the 16-year history of the tour, no Alabama native has ever won a national championship within his or her flight.
“I will be grouped in the Snead flight,” Sanchez said. “Each flight will have one national champion and hopefully I can add my name to the list. The game of golf is a blessing to me, and I am excited to be blessed with the opportunity to play.”
Sanchez will depart for West Palm Beach a few days prior to the start of the tournament as players have the opportunity to fit in practice rounds.