GARRETT MAY LEADS AFTER FIRST ROUND OF
2017 PATRIOT ALL-AMERICA INVITATIONAL
LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. (December 29, 2017) – Under sunny skies and a high near 75 degrees, Garrett May shot an opening round 5-under par 65 to lead The Patriot All-America Invitational at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz. University of Arizona Senior George Cunningham, playing in his fourth Patriot All-America Invitational, is one shot back with a 4-under par 66. Five players are tied for third with 3-under par 67s, including: Patrick Fishburn from BYU, Mason Overstreet from the University of Arkansas, Alejandro Tosti from the University of Florida, Ryan Gronlund from the University of Oregon and Luke Schniederjans from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
May, a junior from Baylor University, shot a bogey-free round that included three birdies on his front nine (the course’s back nine) on holes 12, 14 and 15, and two birdies on his back nine, holes 2 and 7.
Reigning NCAA Individual Golf Champion and 2015 Patriot All-America champion, Braden Thornberry sits five-shots back after firing an even par 70. Thornberry, a junior at Ole Miss, is currently ranked 2nd in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Now in its seventh year, The Patriot All-America Invitational features a field of 84 PING All-America golfers from all three NCAA Divisions, NAIA and NJCAA rankings as well as from U.S. Military Academies and universities outside the United States. Current PGA TOUR stars who have played in The Patriot All-America during their college careers, include: 2017 US Open champion Brooks Koepka (2011), 2017 PGA Championship winner and FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas (2011), Patrick Rodgers (2011), Daniel Berger (2012) and Bryson DeChambeau (2013).
What separates The Patriot All-America from other collegiate golf tournaments is participants play
for more than themselves or their school. Each golfer honors a fallen or severely injured soldier by carrying a golf bag bearing the name of that soldier. Before the tournament, participants receive a card with the soldier’s story, so they can be familiar with who that person was, what they represented and how they were killed or wounded in action. At the conclusion of the tournament, the golf bags are 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.
Second round action will begin at 9:30 AM off both the 1st and 10th tees. For more information, visit www.patriotallamerica.com.
Top 10 Results From 1st Round:
Pos. Name 1st Round Score
1 May, Garrett -5 (65)
2 Cunningham, George -4 (66)
T3 Fishburn, Patrick -3 (67)
T3 Gronlund, Ryan -3 (67)
T3 Schniederjans, Luke -3 (67)
T3 Tosti, Alejandro -3 (67)
T3 Overstreet, Mason -3 (67)
T8 Cootes, Roy -2 (68)
T8 Eckroat, Austin -2 (68)
T8 Paysse, Andrew -2 (68)
Patriot All-America Invitational
1st Round Quotes
Garrett May from Baylor University:
Five-under par 65, what was working for you?
I started pretty fast to be honest. I stripped it on the front nine, the back nine (which was) my front nine. I think all of my birdies on the backside, three of them were within five feet. What was nice it wasn’t just wedges either, I was hitting my irons, mid-irons really well. Same with the front nine too, I just played really solid. I had two really key up and downs on my second hole, 11 and then on hole 6. I had short-sided both holes. I just went upstairs, hit a big flop shot and got up and down both times which were momentum savers. The putter worked when it needed to, but honestly I just hit the ball really well today day.
One of the only bogey free rounds in the first round…
Yeah, the bogey free part was definitely the putter. I had some par saves from 8-10 feet that I made today, which was nice.
George Cunningham, University of Arizona:
Opening round 66, matches your lowest round on this golf course…
Yes, my very first year I shot a 66 in the final round to force a playoff, so it does tie my best round here.
What was working today?
Really everything…my putting really brought it together. I made a few putts outside of 10-15 feet which kinda brought it together. My only mistakes, go figure, were with my putter as well. I had one three-putt from off the green and one three-putt which were my only two bogeys today. That was kind of a bummer coming in. But bogeys happen out here, the course is playing tough. I didn’t do anything poorly, I hit a lot of greens today, kept it near the pins. I didn’t cross any water hazards, which is big out here.
What’s your plan going into the weekend?
Same thing as today. This golf course, if you get your ball on the green, you can make a putt. The greens are rolling so pure right now. Other than a few holes, if you get above it, they’re a little tough. If I can keep my ball in play, put it in the fairway, put it on the green, I think I’ll have a real good chance going into the last two rounds.
Patrick Fishburn, Brigham Young University
Five Birdies on the front…
The front nine felt really good. I haven’t really played in about a month and a half, because of Utah, there’s a lot of snow. But, I expect to play well. I played really well on the front nine and then the back nine…I had a second shot into No. 10 and I had one of those winter swings came out and I hit in the water. Kinda got on a bogey train for a while, but I’m really glad with the way I finished, made a couple of birdies coming in. I birdied 15 and 18. Overall I feel pretty good with the way I played. You can’t win it on the first day, but hopefully I should be somewhere near the lead and then kinda go from there.
Tell us about your birdies on the front.
I was hitting the driver pretty far so I had a lot of short wedges on the front nine. I think I had a couple of tap-ins and I was able to make a longer putt on the par 5, No. 4. I made about a 30-footer there. But everything else was probably 6-7 feet and in. I was hitting really well and getting it pretty close to the hole.
First time playing the course, your thoughts.
First time playing the course and I love it. It’s a great course. It’s a course that’s very fair but it’s also very punishing. I think it’s very challenging around the greens. That’s kinda what happened to me on the back nine. I found myself short-sided a lot and if you get short-sided out here you have very little chance of getting up and down. But the course is amazing, the greens are phenomenal, great shape, the fairways, the entire place is great. It’s a really great event.