LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. – University of Florida junior Ian Gilligan posted a second consecutive -5 (65) on the Wigwam Golf Club Gold Course Saturday, taking a two-shot lead over two players at -10 overall. University of South Florida star Melanie Green continued her fine form, coasting to a -1 (69) one day after a Patriot All-America Women’s Division record -8 (62) on the Blue Course. She takes a one-shot lead into Sunday’s final round at -9 overall. View the entire 2023 Patriot All-America leaderboard here.

“My driving was pretty solid overall, which helped me to get enough spin into the greens with wedges,” said Gilligan, a Reno, Nev.-native and transfer from Long Beach State, where he won the Big West Conference Individual championship last season. “I wasn’t making every putt, but I kind of made the putts I needed to. Overall pretty solid.”

“I got up and down quite a few times from some spots that I wish I didn’t put myself in, but I kind of got away with some things and got a little lucky here and there,” said Green, a senior from Medina, N.Y. “At the end of the day I’ve got to have faith that everything’s going to kind of work out the way it’s supposed to. I’m going to try to play one shot at a time and just be ‘a kid that plays’ is my goal right now.”

Over at Sterling Grove Golf + Country Club in Surprise, BYU’s Cooper Jones extended his lead by a stroke to two shots at The Thunderbolt with a second consecutive -6 (66), good for -12 overall and ahead of Northwestern’s James Imai, who also shot a second straight -5 (67). Jones made seven birdies only negated by one bogey, while Imai made six birdies and an eagle, only to see three bogeys drop him back to solo second.. View the entire 2023 Thunderbolt leaderboard here.

“I love [Sterling Grove Golf + Country Club] – the greens are good, they’re fun and super entertaining – so yeah I love the course,” said Jones, a freshman on the Cougar golf team originally from Highland, Utah. “I just need to keep doing what I’m doing: not focus on any of the scores. Just try to play the golf course and do as well as I can.”

Playing in his fifth Patriot All-America – the most of any player ever – University of Notre Dame graduate student Palmer Jackson shot a -5 (65) with six birdies and a bogey. He sits T2 at -8 overall with Jerry Ji from the University of Illinois, who has gone 65-67 to put himself into contention in Sunday’s final round. For Jackson, an annual trip to the Wigwam Golf Club to play in the Patriot means so much more than just three days of great weather at one of the top amateur events in the West.

“Ever since I knew I was going to come back for a fifth year, I wanted to play in this event,” said Jackson, a native of Murrysville, Penn. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of this, carrying my soldier for one last lap for him, and just being a part of a really great cause. It’s not necessarily about the golf – you obviously want to play great – but it’s more about what it’s for.”

On the Blue Course, what looked like an opportunity for a wire-to-wire, runaway win for South Florida’s Green, took a turn late on the back nine. Three bogeys in the last four holes saw a four-shot lead shrink to one over Western Kentucky University’s Catie Craig, who recorded the best round of the day with six birdies en route to a -6 (64). Craig played her last six holes of the day in -4, and is primed to make a run at an authentic Bomber Jacket at the end of Sunday’s final round.

“With it getting warmer out, I was able to carry the ball farther, so I was really sure of my carry distances,” said Craig, a junior from Sautee Nacoochee, Ga. “That allowed me to attack more pins and sink more putts.”

All three tournament leaderboards have multiple players in contention, setting up an exciting final round of play. The Men’s Patriot has nine players within five shots of the lead; the Women’s Patriot has five players within five shots of the lead, and The Thunderbolt has six players within five shots of the lead.

Final Round play from both the Wigwam Golf Course and is scheduled for 9:00 am on Sunday, December 31. For more information including player pairings, live leaderboards and schedule of events, visit

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 West Valley Mavericks (Mavericks), The Patriot All-America LLC, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), JDM Partners, and the Arizona Golf Association (AGA) partner with the Folds of Honor Foundation to host the tournament, played December 29-31 annually at The Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield Park, Ariz. For more information visit

About The Thunderbolt

Following the overwhelming success of The Patriot All-America Invitational, organizers implemented a second tournament to the Patriot lineup named The Thunderbolt in 2022. Played at Sterling Grove Golf + Country Club in Surprise, Ariz., it features 72 more of the nation’s top male collegiate players competing in a three-round event on the same dates as The Patriot: December 29-31. Named after the Air Force P-47 Thunderbolt, The Thunderbolt has been added to accommodate those players that met the initial eligibility but did not make it into The Patriot. For more information visit

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

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.

About Women’s Golf Coaches Association
Founded in 1983, the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), formerly known as the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA), began as an organization to promote participation in women’s collegiate golf. The vision of the WGCA since its inception has been to encourage the playing of intercollegiate golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents the finest coaches in women’s golf with a membership of over 650 coaches of Division I, II & III, NAIA and NJCAA collegiate programs.

About The West Valley Mavericks
The West Valley Mavericks Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit) was born of the imagination and vision of a group of community leaders late in 2012. The West Valley Mavericks (or just ‘Mavericks’) is a group led by gentlemen who believe that the West Valley is an incredible place to live, work, and play.  The Mavericks’ charter is to advance charity, culture, community, and commerce in the West Valley of Phoenix. As an organization, we use individual contributions, fundraising events, business sponsorships, ticket sales donations, as well as hands-on community service to raise money to assist children and families, help people in need, and improve the quality of life in West Valley communities. For more information please visit

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 Folds of Honor
Folds of Honor is a nonprofit organization that provides academic scholarships to the spouses and children of military members who have fallen or been disabled while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Educational scholarships support private school tuition or tutoring in grades K-12, as well as post-secondary tuition (two- or four-year college/university, technical or trade school). Since its inception in 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded over 29,000 scholarships totaling over $145 million in all 50 states. Among the students served, 41 percent are minorities.

For Immediate Release
December 30, 2023

Media Contact:

David Bataller, Media Director
(760) 845-6986 | [email protected]