AJGA FJ Invitational Returns To Sedgefield Country Club

Posted by Press Release on June 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm under Professional | Comments are off for this article

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Many of the best junior golfers in the world are set to play in the 13th annual AJGA FJ Invitational beginning Monday, June 9, 2014 at Sedgefield Country Club. Five of the top-15 and 10 of the top-25 players in the May 27 AJGA Polo Golf Rankings will play the FJ this year. In addition, three of the top-10 and eight of the top-23 golfers in the May 23 Golfweek junior rankings are in the field. Following are pre-tournament notes on the 90-player field for the 2014 AJGA FJ Invitational.

AJGA FJ Invitational Alumni Now On PGA TOUR: A number of golfers who played the FJ Invitational early in their careers, including 2013 Wyndham Championship winner Patrick Reed, have gone on to play on the PGA TOUR. Several years from now, some of the golfers playing in this year’s FJ Invitational will also be playing on the PGA TOUR. PGA TOUR golfers who also played the FJ Invitational are listed below; the years they played the FJ follow the names.

Roberto Castro (2002)
Bud Cauley (2006)
Harris English (2005)
Rickie Fowler (2006)
Bobby Gates (2003, ’04)
Luke Guthrie (2008)
Chesson Hadley (2006)
Paul Haley (2004, ’05)
Brian Harman (2002, ’03, ’04)##
Russell Henley (2006)
Morgan Hoffmann (2007)
Billy Horschel (2005)
Ryo Ishikawa (2006)
Chris Kirk (2003)
Colt Knost (2003)
Ben Kohles (2007, ’08)
Scott Langley (2007)
Luke List (2002)
John Peterson (2006, ’07)
Patrick Reed (2006, ’07)
Webb Simpson(‘02,’03, ’04)
Jordan Spieth (2008, ’09)
Kyle Stanley (2005)
Robert Streb (2005)
Brendan Todd (2002, ’03)
Cameron Tringale (2004)
Peter Uihlein (2007)**##

**Peter Uihlein, who won the FJ Invitational in 2007, is playing on the European PGA Tour where he won his first tournament, the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal, last year. He is not currently a PGA TOUR member.

##Won AJGA FJ Invitational

Top North Carolina Juniors will play: Several of the top junior golfers in North Carolina will play this year’s AJGA FJ Invitational. There are no special criteria for North Carolina players to get into the FJ field; they gain entry into the field through the same eligibility standards as the rest of the golfers. They are listed below with the year of their high school graduation and their May 1 Carolinas Golf Association ranking.

Benjamin Griffin, 2014, Chapel Hill, (1)
William Register, 2014, Burlington (5)
William Gordon, 2015, Davidson (6)
Thomas Walsh, 2015, High Point (11)
Jonathan Rector, 2015, Hendersonville (16)
Gray Townsend, 2014, Winston-Salem (41)

Future ACC Players in the field: Some 10 percent of the golfers in the FJ Invitational field have made commitments to play their college golf in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The nine players are listed below with their year of high school graduation and their school. Those with a (v) have only made verbal commitments.

Bennett Baker, 2015, Florida State University (v)
Benjamin Griffin, 2014 North Carolina
Tyler Joyner, 2015, Georgia Tech (v)
Andy Ogletree, 2016, Georgia Tech (v)
Jonathan Rector, 2015, Clemson University (v)
William Register, 2014, North Carolina
Anton Sarafini, 2016, Georgia Tech (v)
Kyle Sterbinsky, 2015, Wake Forest
Thomas Walsh, 2015, University of Virginia (v)

One Player Headed to Elon University: In addition to the nine future ACC golfers in the 2014 FJ Invitational, Jake Leavitt from Woodstock, Md., plans to attend Elon University; he has made a verbal commitment.

The First Tee of the Triad in Junior Am: Like last year, The First Tee of the Triad will have a group in Monday’s AJGA Junior Am Fundraising tournament courtesy of Technology Concepts and Designs, a Piedmont Triad-based company founded in 1988 to provide business and government clients with advanced application and system design services. Today, the company is recognized as a leader in the litigation software and services market, serving many Fortune 500 companies and AmLaw 200 law firms who operate in some of the most complex legal environments in the world. The local kids from The First Tee of the Triad who will play in the Junior Am have not yet been determined.

First Team Rolex Junior All-Americans: Five of the players in the FJ Invitational field are first-team Rolex Junior All-Americans. Austin Connolly from Irving Texas, George Cunningham from Tucson, Ariz., Benjamin Griffin from Chapel Hill and Collin Morikawa from La Canada Flintridge, Calif., were all 2013 first team. In addition, Cameron Champ garnered All-American honors in 2012.

International Players: Six international golfers are in the FJ Invitational field this year: Eduardo Carrete, Queretaro, Mexico; Matt Cheng, Taipei, Taiwan; Luis Gerardo Garza, Leon, Mexico; Cheng Jin, Singapore; Roberto Lebrija, Mexico City; Conor Rodriguez, Kingston Ontario, Canada.

2013 Tournament Recap: Matt Gilchrest of Southlake, Texas, won the 2013 AJGA FJ Invitational by four strokes after a brilliant four-birdie final round that led to a 2?under?par 68 and a 72-hole total of 7?under?par 273. The win at Sedgefield Country Club was his first in a prestigious AJGA invitational. Gilchrest entered the final round one stroke behind 54-hole leader Carson Young of Pendleton, S.C., but Young double?bogeyed both the fourth and fifth holes opening the door for the field. Gilchrest also got off to a shaky start with a bogey on the par three third hole, but from there, he was spectacular going 3?under?par for the rest of his round. George Cunningham of Tucson, Ariz., finished second at 3?under?par 277. Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas who is in the field again this year and Zachary Bauchou of Forest, Va., and Young finished in a tie for third at 1?over?par 281. Benjamin Griffin of Chapel Hill, N.C., finished sixth at 2?over?par 282 and was the highest-finishing North Carolina golfer. Burlington’s William Register finished in a four-way tie for ninth place.

Previous Winners: The AJGA began playing in Greensboro in 1988; the FJ Invitational was created in 2002 by taking an existing AJGA event for both boys and girls and creating a boys-only Major event. The 2013 tournament will be the 13th AJGA FJ Invitational, but only 11 players have won the 12 previous tournaments. Previous winners are:

2002: Steve Han
2003: Brian Harman
2004: Brian Harman
2005: Daniel Woltman
2006: Andrew Yun
2007: Peter Uihlein
2008: Cameron Peck
2009: Justin Thomas
2010: Tanner Kesterston
2011: Billy Kennerly
2012: Matthew NeSmith
2013: Matt Gilchrest

Make the cut: Again this year, the 88-player FJ Invitational will have a cut following the third round of play. The top-50 golfers and ties will advance to the final round. Other AJGA events that utilize a cut make it after 36 holes, but the FJ uses a 54-hole cut so every player is guaranteed at least three rounds. Golfers will play in threesomes on Friday, and a tie after 72 holes will be decided by sudden-death playoff.

Live Scoring and Tournament Results: The AJGA website, www.ajga.org, provides live scoring during tournament play. In addition, after play is complete each day, full-field results, a tournament recap and pairings for the next round are posted on the website.

Wyndham Exemption History: For five years, FJ Invitational winners earned an sponsor’s exemption into the Wyndham Championship. However, when the PGA TOUR changed the structure of its season in 2013, that practice could no longer happen. The Wyndham Championship now not only sets the field for the FedExCup Playoffs, but it also ends the 2013 season. After the Wyndham, the top-125 players in points will enter the playoffs while the next 75 will play four tournaments with the top-75 finishers from the Web.com Tour. When golf resumes in October, the following FedExCup regular season will begin. With PGA TOUR golfers trying to keep their cards, the Wyndham could no longer give an exemption to the winner. The following five FJ Invitational winners took advantage of the Wyndham exemption:

2008: Cameron Peck
2009: Justin Thomas
2010: Tanner Kesterson
2011: Billy Kennerly
2012: Matthew NeSmith

Thank You Volunteers: More than 100 people, many of them Sedgefield Country Club members representing both the Ross and Dye facilities, volunteer at the FJ Invitational. Primary functions for FJ volunteers are live scoring, player hydration, pace of play timing, standard bearers and spotters.

AJGA interns housed at Sedgefield: Each year, AJGA interns manage tournament operations for all AJGA events nationwide. In Greensboro, those interns stay with families who live in the Sedgefield area.

AJGA Alumni: Many of the biggest names in professional golf are AJGA alumni who have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include 2011 Wyndham winner Webb Simpson, 2013 Wyndham winner Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.

FJ Invitational Tournament Schedule:
Monday: Morning practice rounds (8 a.m.); BB&T Junior-Am Tournament at 1:30
Tuesday: First-round tee times 7 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Wednesday: Second-round tee times 7 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Thursday: Third-round tee times 7 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Friday: Final-round tee times 7 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Awards Ceremony following play.

The 13th annual FJ Invitational is set for June 9-13 at Sedgefield Country Club. Admission is free. Practice rounds begin Monday morning, June 9 with the AJGA Junior-Am tournament Monday afternoon. Tournament play begins Tuesday, June 10 and concludes Friday, June 13. For additional information on the event, please visit www.ajga.org.

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