PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Patriot All-America, now its fifth year, is well regarded as a top amateur event nationally, attracting 84 celebrated golfers from all three NCAA Divisions, as well as others from NAIA, NJCAA, and AJGA rankings. 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 Fifth Annual Patriot All-America Invitational at The Wigwam Golf Club on December 27-31.
The full field of 84 is highlighted by more than 45 golfers from Division I schools with several from the Top-100 and participants will compete individually in a three-day, 54-hole tournament in a bowl-like experience. Highlighting the field is last year’s champion, Kyle Kochevar, a University of Virginia senior playing in The Patriot for the fourth consecutive year. Last year, Kochevar finished the tournament at 1-under 209 on the Gold Course and outlasted University of Arizona golfer George Cunningham in a two-hole playoff to secure the victory. Cunningham is set to return to the field this year, along with 2014 sixth-place finisher Adam Wood of Duke. Other notables committed to play this year are Sean Crocker of University of Southern California, Shotaro Ban and Collin Morikawa of UC Berkeley, Gabriel Lench of Liberty, Carter Jenkins of University of North Carolina, Taylor Hancock of University of North Florida, and Kyle Mueller of University of Michigan, all of whom are ranked in the Top 100 of the World Golf Amateur Rankings. Each of the U.S. military academies will also have representatives compete.
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 United States Military Academies have been invited as well as GCAA national award recipients, members of the most recent Palmer Teams and AJGA All-Americans and Toyota Junior Golf World Cup participants currently enrolled in their freshman year of college.
Tom O’Malley, chief operating officer of JDM Partners, which owns The Wigwam, remains pleased that The Patriot has flourished into its fifth year. “Our vision was to create a bowl-like experience with a national championship-level feel. We are now in our fifth year and feel like our tournament has continued to exceed expectations with each passing year.”
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 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.
“The Folds of Honor is excited to once again partner with this great event in an attempt to bring genuine patriotism back to our nation’s universities through the benevolent nature of the game of golf,” said Folds of Honor founder Major Dan Rooney. “The nation’s top amateur golfers will compete with the name and memory of a service member inscribed on their bags, acknowledging that their sacrifice was valuable and freedom is not free.”
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. The Gold, Patriot, which are celebrating 50 years of golf, and Heritage – offers a unique challenge that variety to one’s stay at this timeless retreat. In December 2009, The Wigwam was purchased by JDM Partners, led by sports icon Jerry Colangelo. Two years later, the resort unveiled the completion of a $7 million rejuvenation project and re-launch under its original name – The Wigwam. 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.