LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. (December 29, 2018) – Under sunny skies and a daytime high of 58 degrees, defending tournament champion Mason Overstreet from the University of Arkansas and Isaiah Jackson from the University of Memphis both shot 3-under-par 67s to share the first-round lead at The Patriot All-America Invitational presented by the Valley Toyota Dealers at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz.
Alex Scott from Grand Valley State University is one shot back with a 2-under-par 68. Four golfers sit two shots back at 1-under-par, including Joshua McCarthy from Pepperdine University, Jordan Hahn from the University Wisconsin, Trevor Werbylo from the University of Arizona and Jackson Suber from the University of Mississippi.
Overstreet, a junior at Arkansas, is currently ranked No. 62 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR). Including 2017, Overstreet has four straight rounds in the 60s at the Patriot All-America, including 67, 68, 64 in 2017 and 67 in 2018.
Jackson, a junior at Memphis from Golden, Mississippi, is playing in honor of his great grandfather U.S. Army Private First Class Willie B. McGill. Private First Class McGill was killed in combat action on December 4th, 1944.
Now in its 8th 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, JDM Partners, The West Valley Mavericks and the Golf Coaches Association of America in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. The Thunderbirds, hosts of the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, volunteer at and support the event.
Patriot All-America alumni now playing on the PGA TOUR, include three-time major winner Brooks Koepka (2011 Patriot participant); Justin Thomas (2011); Daniel Berger (2012); Bryson DeChambeau (2013); and Cameron Champ, the 2016 Patriot All-America Invitational champion.
Second round action will begin at 9:30 AM on Sunday (12/30) off both the 1st and 10th tees. The 54-hole, stroke-play competition will conclude on Monday (New Year’s Eve) with a champion crowned at approximately 4 PM MST. The winner of the tournament receives a sponsor exemption into the Web.com Tour’s Wichita Open played June 20 – 23 at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kansas. For more information and live tournament scoring, visitwww.patriotallamerica.com.
Top 10 Results From 1st Round:
Pos. Name School 1st Round Score
T1 Jackson, Isaiah University of Memphis -3 67
T1 Overstreet, Mason University of Arkansas -3 67
3 Scott, Alex Grand Valley State University -2 68
T4 Hahn, Jordan Univ of Wisconsin – Madison -1 69
T4 McCarthy, Joshua Pepperdine University -1 69
T4 Werbylo, Trevor University of Arizona -1 69
T4 Suber, Jackson University of Mississippi -1 69
T8 Cummins, Quade University of Oklahoma E 70
T8 Foley, Robert University of Stirling E 70
T8 Osborne, Charles Southern Methodist Univ E 70
T8 Widing, Tim University of San Francisco E 70
T8 James, Zach Southeastern Oklahoma State E 70
T8 Walsh, Thomas University of Virginia E 70
T8 Wedgeworth, Jackson University of North Alabama E 70
Patriot All-America Invitational
1st Round Quotes
Isaiah Jackson – 3-under-par 67
On his 3-under-par 67 – Started off with a pretty good tee shot. Hit a little left and made a good par on the first hole. Throughout the day, just hit the ball really well. My wedges were on. My speed work around the greens was really good, so that helped not have three putts. You can’t play good golf with a lot of three putts. Just a real solid round. If I got in trouble, I was able to make par and that’s pretty much it.
What was the key to your round? – I believe it was wedge play. I had a lot of wedges into greens and looking at the pin sheets, figuring out where pins are at and where mounds are in front or behind the pin, it really helps controlling spin and able to get it in there close to make easy birdies.
Game plan going into the 2nd round? – Same thing, just try to keep it relatively in the fairway, make sure the wedges are dialed in tomorrow, just keep hitting the ball good and rolling putts.
Mason Overstreet – 3-under-par 67
On his 3-under-par-67 – I got off to a pretty decent start, I was 1-under through 6, after birdieing the par-5 4th. And then, I got a bad break on 7. I plugged it in the front bunker and where that pin was it was just dead. I hit it over the green and ended up making a double. But then, the back nine I played really solid. I hit some good iron shots and some good wedges close and was able to roll in a few putts. And then, to finish up with a birdie there on 18, which was nice.
Being the defending champion, do you have a comfort level knowing you can play well here? It’s nice knowing I’ve won on this golf course before and I know the greens fairly well and where the pins are gonna be, so that’s nice. It’s also a little extra pressure from all the guys that are here. Everyone knows who I am now as the defending champion. But yeah, I think its more of an advantage then it is a disadvantage.
Plans going into the final two rounds – I drove it pretty well today, so it gave me a bunch of wedges from the fairway and I was able to stick some of those close. Today I played fairly safe. Kept away from the pins you couldn’t get close to and then was aggressive with the ones that you could, so I’ll just keep doing that.
Alex Scott – 2-under-par 68On his 2-under-par 68 – Slow start, missed a short birdie putt on 10 (first hole) and I three-putted 11, so it wasn’t a really good start. But, after that I just tried to find a groove and make sure I had some easy pars and go for the birdies when necessary. It’s just tough to be really aggressive on some of these holes. I mean some of the downwind holes, normally you’re thinking downwind easy birdie luck. But some of the downwind holes you’re having a really tough time holding the green. We were on the front nine (my back nine), I had like 86 yards and that’s normally like, alright let’s go…and I’m sitting there like, I have to land it like 76 yards, like I’ve got to land it way short and let it hop back there. It takes a lot of strategy and a lot of focus. Every shot means a lot. You miss greens out here, it’s not easy to get up and down, greens are fast. I just tried to play in front of every hole and have an uphill putt every time and it seemed to work out.