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Terra Cotta Invitational, one of the top amateur golf events, tees off in Naples

Quentin Debove, a University of Florida golfer, won the 27th annual Terra Cotta Invitational at Naples National Golf Club on Sunday, April 16, 2023. Debove edged Jonathan Bale, a native of Wales, by one shot.
Quentin Debove, a University of Florida golfer, won the 27th annual Terra Cotta Invitational at Naples National Golf Club on Sunday, April 16, 2023. Debove edged Jonathan Bale, a native of Wales, by one shot.

One of the top men’s amateur golf tournaments in the nation tees off this week in Naples.

The 28th edition of the Terra Cotta Invitational features an impressive field of 75 junior, mid-amateur and collegiate golfers. The 54-hole stroke play event starts Friday and runs through Sunday at Naples National Golf Club.

Among this year’s competitors are 20 of the top 25 golfers in the Rolex American Junior Golf Association rankings, including seven of the top 10. Nine of these golfers were AJGA first-team All-Americans in 2023.

“It’s an outstanding junior field,” said Denny Glass, the tournament’s director since 2006.

In addition, defending champion Quentin Debove, a senior at the University of Florida, will be back to defend his 2023 title. The native of Paris, France won last year’s tournament by one stroke over three golfers, including Jonathan Bale of Wales, who is also returning. In all, golfers from 19 states and 13 countries will compete at the Terra Cotta.

From 2023: UF golfer Quentin Debove wins Terra Cotta Invitational by one stroke

That includes Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Minh, who won last year’s Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, the first golfer from his country to do so. Minh, who is ranked 132nd in the latest World Amateur Golf Rankings, is flying directly from Hanoi to Fort Myers to play in the event.

“That’s a new one for us to have somebody to come that far to play,” Glass said. “It’s a pretty cool story.”

There are a pair of local golfers in the field: Naples High School senior Jake DeBroux, who finished tied for 18th at the 2023 FHSAA Class 2A state golf tournament, and mid-Amateur Andrew Fogerty, a Naples native.

Glass said he turned down more than 300 applications from golfers hoping to play at the Terra Cotta, which is recognized as one of the top 100 amateur golf tournaments in the world.

“The tournament has really gotten quite well known so the interest is definitely there,” Glass said. “All the members, they love having the tournament here which isn’t always the case at a lot of clubs.”

A number of current pro golfing luminaries have appeared at the Terra Cotta, including two-time Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

The public is welcome to attend the Terra Cotta Invitational. Admission is free and the tournament will once again be making a donation to a Naples-area children's charity.

Friday's Round 1 pairings

Hole 1

7:30 a.m.: Matt Moloney, Clark Van Gaalen, Darren Zhou

7:40 a.m.: Jackson Herrington, Brooks Simmons

7:50 a.m.: Michael Katsman, James Lee, Alex Long

8 a.m.: Luke Colton, Ryan Downes, Jimmy Ellis

8:10 a.m.: Jake Albert, Carson Bertagnole, Ryan Shellberg

8:20 a.m.: Henry Guan, Ethan Paschal, Jack Roberts

8:30 a.m.: Sterling Hurd, Aidan Thomas, Michael Weaver

8:50 a.m.: Nicholas Gross, Will Hartman, Jay Leng Jr.

9 a.m.: Blades Brown, Billy Davis, Tyler Watts

9:10 a.m.: Jonathan Bale, Marc Dull, Chad Wilfong

9:20 a.m.: Andy Fogarty, Walker Grant, Bobby Leopold

9:30 a.m.: Quentin Debove, Nick Maccario, Jack Wall

Hole 10

7:30 a.m.: Wilmer Edero, Parker Sands, Smith Summerlin

7:40 a.m.: Rylan Shim, Charlie Wylie, Eric Zhao

7:50 a.m.: Gerardo Gomez, Billy Reid, Evan Vo

8 a.m.: Chase Kyes, Byungho Lee, Gunnlaugur Sveinsson

8:10 a.m.: Jon Hopkins, Alexander Yang, Daniel Zou

8:20 a.m.: William Ma, Michael Riebe, Sihan Sandhu

8:30 a.m.: Phillip Dunham, Wheaton Ennis, Clemente Silva

8:50 a.m.: Jake DeBroux, Joshua Kim, Ugo Malcor

9 a.m.: Boston Bracken, Tyler Mawhinney, Grayson Wood

9:10 a.m.: TingWei Chang, Hamilton Coleman, Mykhailo Golod

9:20 a.m.: Matthew Berrisford, Jimmy Dales, Cody Paladino

9:30 a.m.: Kihei Akina, Bowen Ballis, Jackson Byrd

9:40 a.m.: Joe Alfieri, Nguyen Anh Minh, Le Khanh Hung

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Terra Cotta Invitational includes some of the nation's top junior golfers