PHOENIX, Ariz. (October 19, 2016) – Defending tournament champion Braden Thornberry from the University of Mississippi, Sean Crocker from the University of Southern California, Will Gordon from Vanderbilt and John Oda from the University of Nevada Las Vegas are among the first commitments to the 2016 Patriot All-America Invitational collegiate golf tournament, to be played at The Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Ariz., December 27-31. A field of 84 top amateur players will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play competition on The Wigwam’s famed Gold Course. Competitive rounds for the 2016 Patriot All-America will be played December 29, 30 and 31with a champion crowned at approximately 4 PM on New Year’s Eve.

Featuring golf’s stars of tomorrow, The Patriot All-America is regarded as a top amateur event nationally, attracting PING All-America golfers from all three NCAA Divisions, NAIA and NJCAA rankings as well as from universities outside the United States. The Arizona Golf Association (AGA), JDM Partners and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) are once again partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation to host the 6th annual tournament.

According to the latest World Amateur Golf Ranking, Crocker (ranked 15th) is currently the highest ranked player in the field, with Oda (21st) and Gordon (43rd) the other top 50 players to commit. The World Amateur Golf Ranking ranks the top amateur golfers in the world on the basis of their average performance in counting events on a rolling cycle over the previous 104 weeks.

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 nation’s military academies are 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.

The winner of the 2016 Patriot All-America Invitational will receive a sponsor exemption into the Web.com Tour’s 2017 Air Capital Classic in Wichita, Kansas. The Air Capital Classic will be played June 8-18 at Crestview Country Club. Two Patriot All-America alums have won the Air Capital Classic, including defending 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).

Collegiate golfers currently committed to play in the 2016 Patriot All-America Invitational – with World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) – include:
Name Institution WAGR SPWAR
Bailey, Braden Baylor 72 72
Ban, Shintaro UNLV 166 116
Biata, Michael Chattanooga
Champ, Cameron Texas A&M 103 127
Choi, Sunwoo Air Force
Cole, Ryan James Madison 115 180
Crocker, Sean Southern California 15 10
Cunningham, George Arizona 111 165
Dawson, Robin Maynooth 338 158
Feagles, Michael Illinois 440 1288
Gil, Tony Houston 596 811
Gordon, Will Vanderbilt 43 47
Greenberg, Mason Vanderbilt 1070 2475
Grehan, Stuart Maynooth 58 86
Heien, Mats Mary Hardin-Baylor 2839 1717
Hodges, Lee Alabama 196 140
Lambeth, Addison Huntingdon 1273 1220
Mathard, Leo Texas Wesleyan 565 1098
McAree, Graham Indianapolis 1016 1127
Mendoza III, Nahum San Diego State 134 38
Oda, John UNLV 21 27
Petefish Chris Georgia Tech 399 330
Pierce, Brandon LSU 123 101
Rainey, William College of Charleston 143 156
Ravetto, David Texas Wesleyan 697 484
Redman, Doc Clemson 249 338
Sienko, Pete St. Thomas (MN) 2454 2869
Soosman, Spencer UCLA 254 1521
Strafaci, Tyler Georgia Tech 521 1158
Sweeney, Kerry Mississippi 567 881
Tallman, Connor Navy
Theegala, Sahith Pepperdine 197 106
Thornberry, Braden Mississippi 99 151
Turner, Nicholas Army
Wood, Adam Duke 128 125
Wrenn, Alex Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 2482 1130
Yoshihara, Hidetoshi UCLA 727 1054
Zucchetti, Federico Texas Tech 205 143

Current PGA TOUR stars who have played in The Patriot All-America Invitational during their college careers, include: Brooks Koepka (2011), Trey Mullinax (2011), Patrick Rodgers (2011), Justin Thomas (2011), Daniel Berger (2012), Brandon Hagy (2012), Ollie Schniederjans (2012), Richy Werenski (2012), Bryson DeChambeau (2013) and JT Poston (2014).

Past Patriot All-America champions include: Braden Thornberry from the University of Mississippi (2015); Kyle Kochevar from the University of Virginia (2014), Kyle Westmoreland from the Air Force Academy (2013); Sebastian Cappelen from the University of Arkansas (2012); and Cory Whitsett, from the University of Alabama (2011).

In its sixth year, The Patriot All-America continues to receive tremendous community support by a variety of local businesses and organizations including 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 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. And, in true Wigwam style, each course – The Gold, Patriot, which just celebrated their 50th anniversaries, and Heritage – offers a unique challenge 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 has hosted many signature tournaments over the years, including numerous 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.