Local FJ Invitational Golf Tournament receives National awards

Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior and FJ Invitational honored by AJGA
Tournaments contributions to grassroots junior golf leads to awards for Charitable Giving

BRASELTON, Ga. — Local organizers of the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior and FJ Invitational have earned the Charitable Giving Award from the American Junior Golf Association. The Charitable Giving Award is given each year to a tournament or tournament committee that exceeds expectations in fundraising and contribution to grassroots junior golf charities, and in 2012, each tournament made more than $42,000 in charitable contributions.

Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual media coverage, Junior-Am fundraising tournament, volunteer base and hospitality. The AJGA also recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year.
The Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior took place at Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland, Ky., June 12-15. As one of the longest running events on the AJGA’s schedule, the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior has won a number of awards, including the Volunteer Award (2001), Junior-Am Award (2008), Tournament of the Year (2009), and the Charitable Giving Award (2011).
The tournament’s focus on helping promote grassroots junior golf is evident in their 2012 donation of $18,000 to local high school golf teams, $2,000 to the Eastern Kentucky Golf Association, $5,000 to the Yancey Scholarship Fund, and more than $17,000 to the AJGA ACE Grant. Over the last six years, the tournament has given more than $195,000 to local charities and the AJGA Foundation.
“Our goal at the NRP Bluegrass Junior is to provide visiting juniors a first-class tournament experience and at the same time give local players the opportunity to match their skills against the best from all over the world,” said Tournament Chairman Jeff Conley. “Hosting the NRP Bluegrass Junior at Bellefonte each year has not only heightened local interest in junior golf but has also given local players incentive to improve their game hoping for the opportunity to play in our event. It was decided early on in the evolution of this tournament that because golf is a non-revenue sport, the best way to promote junior golf and elevate the quality of local players was to help fund area high school programs.”
The tournament will return to Bellefonte Country Club for the 30th consecutive year, June 11-14.

The FJ Invitational, which took place June 11-15 at Cardinal Golf & Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., has been honored in the past, receiving Tournament of the Year (2004) and the Volunteer Award (2007). In 2012, the committee donated $21,000 to the First Tee of the Triad and $21,000 to the AJGA ACE Grant.

“We appreciate FootJoy’s generous support of junior golf and the FJ Invitational,” said Tournament Chairman Mark Brazil. “Because of FootJoy’s sponsorship and the support from all of our other sponsors, we are able to make donations to the AJGA’s ACE Grant and the First Tee of the Triad. These are two outstanding programs that are making a major difference in the lives of many young people. It feels great to be able to help kids achieve their dreams through the ACE Grant and our local First Tee Chapter. We are very proud to be able to support both of them through the FJ Invitational, and on behalf of FootJoy, we are honored to accept this prestigious award.”

The tournament returns to the AJGA schedule in 2013 and will be played June 10-14 at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

For more information, please contact Alexis Witman (awitman@ajga.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (678) 425-1788, or visit ajga.org.

About the American Junior Golf Association

The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,500 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Ralph Lauren became the AJGA’s second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni 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 Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.


2012 AJGA Tournament Awards

Media Randy Wise Junior Open
Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club (Grand Blanc, Mich.)

Volunteers Puerto Rico Junior Open
Trump International Golf Club – Championship Course (Rio Grande, P.R.)

Hospitality E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf
Jones Creek Golf Club (Augusta, Ga.)

Most Improved AJGA Junior at Centennial
Centennial Golf Club (Medford, Ore.)

Junior-Am HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods
The Club at Carlton Woods – Fazio Championship Course (The Woodlands, Texas)

Charitable Giving Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior and FJ Invitational
Bellefonte Country Club (Ashland, Ky.), Cardinal Golf & Country Club (Greensboro, N.C.)

Golf Professional Joe Shershenovich, Grayhawk Golf Club
Thunderbird International Junior (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

Superintendent of the Year Ernie Pock, Grayhawk Golf Club
Thunderbird International Junior (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

General Manager of the Year Bill Hughes (TPC Sawgrass)
The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)

Tournament of the Year Exide Technologies Junior Open presented by Mizuno
The Country Club of the South (Johns Creek, Ga.)

Invitational of the Year Rolex Tournament of Champions
Capital City Club – Crabapple Course (Alpharetta, Ga.)

Newcomer of the Year KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior Open
Bella Vista Village – Highlands Golf Course (Bella Vista, Ark.)