Patriot All-America Champion Crowned 4:30 PM New Year’s Eve!
Collegiate Golf’s “Bowl Game Experience”
LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. (December 30, 2019) – As the weather warmed up so did the tournament action at The Patriot All-America presented by Valley Toyota Dealers at The Historic Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona. The sounds of freedom from F-35 fighter jets could be heard in the distance in between the roars of the crowd as David Perkins from Illinois State University, (honoring Army Major Christopher J. Splinter) and Mason Andersen from Arizona State University (honoring Sergeant First Class Johnathan B. McCain ) approached the 18th green in stride tied for first, in search of a birdie. That elusive birdie would have broken the three way tie with Noah Norton from Georgia Institute of Technology (honoring Army First Sergeant Michael S. Curry) for first and set one atop of the field all alone.
David Perkins – 5-under-par (135)
On today’s round – Today was not my best day, grinded, didn’t hit it very well but made some putts that kept me in it. It’s not going to affect me going into tomorrow, I’m proud that I stayed in it so I am going to let this day go and take it day by day.
On his plan going into the final round – I’m going to stick to the same game plan, hit my spots on fairways and greens, give myself opportunities, trust my game, and it should work out well. The greens were firmer today making it a little tougher if you are shortsighted but its pretty ideal conditions. Just gonna need my battle buddy tomorrow, he helped me today, had some tough areas.
Mason Andersen – 5-under-par 135
On today’s round – Hit the ball well, I missed 3 putts inside 5′ for birdie, kinda disappointed but made some long ones for par so it evens out in the end. It was a great ball striking day, it had the potential to be something better than it was if I had made a few more putts. That’s that’s the way it goes, looking forward to tomorrow.
On his plan going into the final round – I’m gonna stick to my game plan I feel like they set up this course with pins that are very one sided. If you miss it on one side you’re completely out of it, if you miss on the other side you’re fine and can still make par or birdie. I’m going to play it safe, and step on the ones that I can pull off.
What does this tournament mean to you? – This is my favorite tournament of the year, we get to represent more that just to play for ourselves. We get to play for a fallen soldier that lost their lives protecting us so we can live in peace, and carry on with our everyday lives; it’s an honor to pay tribute.
Gregg Grost – Executive Director, Golf Coaches Association of America
On The Patriot All-America –The Patriot All-America is is really special for the college players because for the first time during the course of their collegiate season they get to play for something besides their school or themselves. That’s what the whole idea was about when we created this event 9 years ago and why it’s been successful. It reminds them that freedom is never free and we owe a lot to those fallen soldiers.
Ed Gowan – Executive Director, Arizona Golf Association
On The Growth Of The Patriot All-America –The Patriot keeps getting better every year, the golf course keeps getting better, the players are getting used to it and it’s really a marvelous expression what collegiate golf is all about; so proud to be part of it. When Gregg and I contemplated this 10 years ago we had no idea it would come close to what it is thanks to Luke Air Force base, The Mavericks, and The Wigwam. Bruce Koepka actually sent us a tweet a few months back saying this was the best tournament he has ever played.
On Players Planning To Attend Next Year –
Some of them are turning pro and we won’t see them again until they are playing in the Waste Management Open or the US Open. It’s an event that certainly has garnered their attention and makes us all very proud. It’s good for Phoenix, brings up another element to the valleys golf scene that makes us unique and special.
On The Patriot All-America 2019 Field As One Of The Strongest –
It’s hard to gauge from year to year because you really don’t know how great some of these kids are going to become. We have 3 or 4 players here who this is their 1st big tournament and they’re shooting 68’s and 70’s unexpectedly; that’s the was the way Koepka was. Nobody knew much about him until he came to The Patriot All-America and finished well here; he didn’t win. Then he goes out and wins three majors so looking in retrospectively they’re all great players.
Now in its 9th year, the Patriot All-America Invitational is a golf tournament unlike any other, as participants play in honor of 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. The Patriot All-America has been honoring fallen or severely wounded soldiers in this unique way since the event’s inception in 2011 and it continues to have a deep impact on the young golfers.
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. The Patriot All-America is a collaboration between the Arizona Golf Association, Golf Coaches Association of America, and The West Valley Mavericks in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation & Pat Tillman Foundation. The Thunderbirds, hosts of the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, volunteer at and support the event.
Final round of The Patriot All-America presented by Valley Toyota Dealers is scheduled to tee off at 9:30AM on Tuesday, December 31th on the Wigwam Golf Club’s Gold Course; winner will be crowned approximately 4:30 PM. The winner of the tournament receives a sponsor exemption into the Korn Ferry Tour’s Wichita Open played June 20-23 at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kansas. For more information and live tournament scoring, visit www.PatriotAllAmerica.Com