SURPRISE, Ariz. – Following the success of The Patriot All-America Invitational, organizers implemented a second tournament to the Patriot lineup in 2022 named The Thunderbolt. This tournament featured 72 more of the nation’s top male collegiate players competing in a three-round event from December 29-31, 2022, at Sterling Grove Golf and Country Club in Surprise, Ariz.
The inaugural Thunderbolt was such a huge success, it is now a part of the annual Patriot All-America. The players had great things to say about the golf course and the experience. In addition to the three tournament rounds, they had an opportunity to participate in some of the activities organized for the Patriot All-America players at the Wigwam, such as the Opening Ceremonies where they heard an awe-inspiring account from a Folds of Honor recipient who’s father just happened to be one of the fallen soldiers who was honored on a golf bag.
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. The Thunderbolt consists of players who are ranked in the top 1000 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), are PING Second, Third and Honorable Mention All-Americans from Divisions II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA, or are AJGA Second Team and Honorable Mention All-Americans. An invitation to The Thunderbolt does not preclude a player from later receiving an invitation to The Patriot, and all golfers in the Thunderbolt field will be added to the alternate list for The Patriot.
“With the depth of talent in college and amateur golf, it is more and more difficult to receive invitations to elite tournaments,” said Dustin Roberts, Chief Operating Officer of the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). “The Thunderbolt allows those individuals that are just missing out on those invitations an opportunity to compete against quality competition and raise their rankings and profiles. We are proud that the top three returning finishes in the 2022 Thunderbolt will receive invitations to the 2023 Patriot All-America Invitational, providing a path to elite tournament play.”
The Thunderbolt will be played at the same time as the 13th annual Patriot All-America Invitational, which will have 84 top male collegiate players and 66 of the top collegiate women playing at the Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield Park. The Patriot All-America Women’s field in partnership with the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) was added in 2021.For all information on The Patriot All-America and The Thunderbolt, including history and sponsorship opportunities, 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 Patriot All-America LLC , West Valley Mavericks, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), 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 patriotallamerica.com.
About Sterling Grove Golf and Country Club
Sterling Grove Golf & Country Club by Toll Brothers – America’s Luxury Home Builder – have redefined the club experience to give individuals everything they want and nothing you don’t. Located just to the East of the White Tank mountains in Surprise, Arizona, this picturesque community is a unique blend of everyday luxury and authentic charm. Rooted and inspired by West Valley farming and agriculture, Sterling Grove Golf & Country Club combines diverse and timeless architecture, gardens and groves, and an abundance of water, with stunning views of the White Tank Mountains.
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.
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 www.westvalleymavericksfoundation.org.
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.