PATRIOT ALL-AMERICA INVITATIONAL AND WEB.COM TOUR’S
AIR CAPITAL CLASSIC EXTEND SPONSOR EXEMPTION AGREEMENT THROUGH 2020
PHOENIX, Ariz. (September 19, 2017) – Champions of the next three Patriot All-America Invitational collegiate golf tournaments will receive a sponsor exemption into the Web.com Tour’s Air Capital Classic (ACC) thanks to the two tournaments extending their exemption agreement through the 2020 ACC.
“We’re thrilled to extend our sponsor exemption agreement with the Air Capital Classic through the 2020 tournament,” said Karen Conway, executive director, Patriot All-America Invitational. “As we see Patriot All-America alumni win major championships and compete on golf’s highest levels, we’re grateful to the Air Capital Classic for affording Patriot All-America champions the opportunity to play in their outstanding event. The experience gained by competing in this tournament is invaluable and will help launch professional careers.”
In the first year of the sponsor exemption agreement, 2016 Patriot All-America Invitational champion Cameron Champ of Texas A&M University earned the exemption into the 2017 Air Capital Classic. Champ, however, qualified for the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills which meant 2016 Patriot All-America Invitational runner-up Zach Olsen of Oklahoma State played in the Air Capital Classic. Olsen finished tied for 27th at the Air Capital Classic after firing a final round 7-under 63 – the lowest final round by anyone in the field.
The Patriot All-America Invitational, played at The Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Ariz., December 27-31, is regarded as a top amateur event internationally, attracting PING All-America golfers from all three NCAA Divisions, NAIA and NJCAA rankings as well as from universities outside the United States. The tournament is a collaboration between the Arizona Golf Association (AGA), JDM Partners and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. The 2017 Patriot All-America will be the 7th annual tournament.
The Air Capital Classic will be played June 21 – 24 at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kan., and is part of the Web.com Tour’s schedule of events. Two Patriot All-America alums have won the Air Capital Classic, including 2016 Air Capital Classic champion Ollie Schniederjans (2011 and 2012 Patriot participant) and 2014 Air Capital Classic champion Sebastian Cappelen (2011, 2012 and 2013 Patriot participant and 2012 Patriot champion).
The 2017 Patriot All-America Invitational 54-hole, stroke play competition will be played December 29, 30 and 31 with a champion crowned at approximately 4 PM on New Year’s Eve.
Current PGA TOUR stars who have played in The Patriot All-America Invitational during their college careers, include: 2017 US Open champion Brooks Koepka (2011), 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas (2011), Patrick Rodgers (2011), Daniel Berger (2012) and Bryson DeChambeau (2013).
Past Patriot All-America champions include:
2016: Cameron Champ, Texas A&M
2015 Braden Thornberry, University of Mississippi
2014 Kyle Kochevar, University of Virginia
2013 Kyle Westmoreland, Air Force Academy
2012 Sebastian Cappelen, University of Arkansas
2011 Cory Whitsett, University of Alabama
Invitations to The Patriot All-America are primarily based on individuals earning PING All-America honors the previous season in NCAA Divisions I, II and III as well as the NAIA and NJCAA Divisions I and II. Additionally, a member from each of the United States Military Academies will be invited as well as GCAA national award recipients, members of the most recent Arnold Palmer Cup Teams and AJGA All-Americans and Toyota Junior Golf World Cup participants currently enrolled in their freshman year of college.
In its seventh year, The Patriot All-America continues to receive tremendous community support by a variety of local businesses and organizations including the West Valley Mavericks and The Thunderbirds, host organization of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
In cooperation with the Folds of Honor Foundation, the golfers in The Patriot All-America will continue the tradition to represent a fallen soldier. Every participant will receive a golf bag at the event’s opening ceremony with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they shall represent. At the conclusion of the tournament, the golf bags will be shipped to players’ schools and auctioned with all proceeds benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while in active service.
About The Air Capital Classic
In 2017, the Air Capital Classic celebrated its 28th anniversary. The mission of the Air Capital Classic is to significantly impact the economy, quality of life and charitable organizations in the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County and the State of Kansas by hosting a Professional Golf Association (PGA TOUR) tournament and related events. From the 2017 tournament $190,000 was donated to local charities – the highest in tournament history. Each year, the event has a $6.5 million economic impact to the Kansas economy.
About Wigwam Golf Club
The Wigwam’s three 18-hole championship golf courses offer a diversity that cannot be matched by any other Arizona resort. Here, the golf enthusiast has their pick of not just one or two courses, but three 18-hole courses – 54 holes of championship golf including two courses designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The Gold, Blue and Red Courses each offer unique challenges that adds spice and variety to one’s stay at this timeless and relaxing retreat. In December 2009, The Wigwam (including the golf courses and resort property) was purchased by JDM Partners, led by sports icon Jerry Colangelo.
The Gold Course hosts many signature tournaments, including U.S. Open Qualifiers, U.S. Amateur Qualifiers, several NCAA Regional Championships and the annual Patriot All-America Invitational, one of the top amateur competitions in the world. The 7,430 yard, par 72 course has also received various industry awards and accolades since opening in 1965, including being named one of the “Top 100 Golf Courses in America.” For more information, please visit www.wigwamgolf.com.
About Arizona Golf Association
The Arizona Golf Association has been serving amateur golfers in Arizona since 1923 when it held the first State Amateur Championship. Today, it is licensed by the United States Golf Association to provide handicapping and course rating services to member clubs, to provide tournament and rules expertise and to oversee the application of amateur status.
About Golf Coaches Association of America
Established in 1958, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) is the professional organization of golf coaches. The GCAA’s mission is to support its member coaches by creating educational opportunities, providing resources, and promoting its members with the purpose of enhancing their overall performance as coaches, mentors, and teachers. The GCAA also recognizes the excellence and achievements of its members and their student-athletes in academic, athletic and civic endeavors.