HUFF, VRZICH SET THE PACE TO SHARE FIRST ROUND LEAD AT 2020 PATRIOT ALL-AMERICA
Dueling -5 (65) rounds top a tight leaderboard; 10 players are within three shots of the lead
LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. – Graysen Huff and Joey Vrzich each fired -5 (65) rounds to take the first round lead at the 10th Annual Patriot All-America, presented by Valley Toyota Dealers. Huff and Vrzich lead a stacked leaderboard of 84 of the world’s top amateur players at the Wigwam Golf Club’s Gold Course. View the entire leaderboard here.
“I took a couple weeks off leading up to this, and I haven’t been playing as much taking some family time,” said Huff, a senior at Auburn University from Eagle, Idaho. “So it’s good to come back and put a good round together. I just had a lot of things go my way today, and that’s where the score comes from.”
“I had trouble getting the ball to the hole for a while, then started making some putts,” said Vrzich, a Pepperdine University senior from El Cajon, Calif. “I came off a 65 last year in the final round so it feels good to do that again.”
Huff recorded five birdies in a bogey-free round at the Wigwam Golf Club’s Gold Course, all coming in the first 10 holes. Vrzich, meanwhile, had seven birdies on his scorecard, but four-putted the par-3 6th hole for a lone double-bogey.
“I was kind of mad about that – I bogeyed that hole every day last year,” said a laughing Vrzich, playing in his second Patriot All-America. “I wanted to par it this year and I still couldn’t.”
John Keefer of Baylor University, Maxell Moldovan of Ohio State University, Jacob Skov Oleson of Texas Christian University and Harrison Ott of Vanderbilt University are all one shot behind the leaders after shooting -4 (66), respectively. Another four players are all within three shots of the lead.
Keefer, a Baylor University freshman from San Antonio, Texas, made a hole-in-one on the 191-yard par-3 6th, landing a seven-iron over a greenside bunker and finding the bottom of the cup.
“All the guys around me were like, ‘Oh this is a very getable pin,’” said Keefer, playing in his first Patriot All-America. “I didn’t even see it. I just heard all the people screaming and jumping up and down. I couldn’t even believe it.”
The Patriot All-America honors fallen or severely wounded soldiers in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. The golfers receive a golf bag donated by PING Corporation at the event’s opening ceremony emblazoned with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they shall represent. Participants also receive a card with the soldier’s story so they can be familiar with that soldier.
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.
The Patriot All-America is a collaboration between the Arizona Golf Association, Golf Coaches Association of America, JDM Partners and the West Valley Mavericks in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation and support from the Thunderbirds, the Waste Management Phoenix Open host.
For more information including live stream links, player pairings and schedule of events, visit patriotallamerica.com.
About The Patriot All-America Invitational
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) partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation to host the tournament. For more information visit patriotallamerica.com.
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, with 54 holes of championship golf including two courses designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, Sr. 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 track has also received various industry awards and accolades since opening in 1965, including being named one of the “Top 100 Golf Courses in America.” In December 2009, The Wigwam (including the golf courses and resort property) was purchased by JDM Partners, led by sports icon Jerry Colangelo. 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.