Jefferson Cup begins today at Birdwood with title up for grabs

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Dustin Groves took home the hardware last summer at Birdwood, but will not be defending his Jefferson Cup title this weekend.

The Jefferson Cup golf championship at Boar’s Head Resort’s Birdwood course returns this weekend, but without the familiar names of the past.

Not a single former champion is in the field for the three-day, stroke-play event beginning this morning. Many of the amateur tournaments around the state have experienced smaller fields in the years following the worldwide pandemic, and Central Virginia is no different.

Birdwood’s tournament is only the third local tournament to be played in 2022, joining the Faulconer Invitational at Lake Monticello and the Kenridge Invitational at Farmington Country Club. The Greene Hills Invitational, the Cannon Cup at Spring Creek and the Charlottesville City Championship at Meadowcreek were all canceled.

“I would say the Jefferson Cup is definitely wide open for the taking,” said Birdwood director of golf Martin Winters.

Last year’s champion, Dustin Groves, is not defending his title after running away with the tournament last August. That’s when Groves strung together rounds of 69-65-66—200, which was 13-under par, as the former Wake Forest golfer blew away his competition, winning by an eye-popping 18 shots over Preston Burton and AJ Stouffer.

Groves actually was a back-to-back champion, having claimed the Jefferson Cup in 2018. Birdwood was closed for construction in 2019, when Davis Love and his team completely redesigned the golf course. Covid and construction halted the 2020 event.

“The course is in incredible shape and continues to get rave reviews,” Winters said about the Love team’s work. “We’ll have three divisions: championship, senior and super senior.”

Stouffer returns to the field, and could be a threat to win the event this weekend.