AJGA Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T Pre-Tournament Notes


GREENSBORO, N.C. – Many of the best junior golfers in the world are set to play in the 17th annual Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T beginning Monday, June 11, 2018 at the Sedgefield Country Club Dye Course. The Wyndham Invitational is a “major” on the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) schedule.

Welcome Wyndham Invitational: The Wyndham Championship’s AJGA tournament is now called the Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T. After a two-year tribute to the Haas Family in recognition of its long-term relationship with the Piedmont Triad’s PGA TOUR event, the AJGA event now becomes the Wyndham Invitational. The Wyndham Championship’s strategy is to establish relationships with future PGA TOUR golfers during their high school careers through the AJGA event; naming the tournament the Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T was the logical choice.

Back to the Sedgefield Dye Course: The Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T returns to the Sedgefield Country Club Dye course for the first time since 2012 because the tournament’s usual home, Sedgefield’s Ross course, is recovering from the recent severe winter and the resulting “winter kill.” Several of the Ross course greens were sprigged in April to provide as much time as possible for the greens to be ready for the Wyndham Championship in August.

No. 1 Junior Golfer in the Field: Karl Vilips, the No. 1 golfer in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, is in the Wyndham Invitational field again this year; it is his third-consecutive appearance here. He finished tied for third in 2016 and tied for fourth last year. The Wesley Chapel, Fla. golfer made a verbal commitment to play college golf at Stanford University. The rising high school junior is a native of Australia.

Eugene “The Machine” Returns: After finishing first and second in the last two tournaments, Eugene “The Machine” Hong returns to the Wyndham Invitational to try to make it two out of three. The University of Florida signee won the 2016 tournament and lost in a playoff last year.

Another Strong Field: After graduating from high school, the best junior golfers begin their transition to college golf by playing amateur events and don’t usually play junior events. Seventy-five percent of this year’s Wyndham Invitational field of 72 golfers is made up of rising seniors, juniors and sophomores. Ranked players from each class according to the AJGA Rankings are below:

Class of 2019: 10 of the top 25 Class of 2020: 15 of the top 25 Class of 2021: Five of the top eight

Wyndham Invitational Alumni On PGA TOUR: The 78 PGA TOUR golfers below played the Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T early in their careers, including 2015 Masters champion and FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth, 2011 Wyndham winner and 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson and 2013 Wyndham Championship winner and 2018 Masters Champion Patrick Reed. Several years from now, some of the golfers playing in this year’s Wyndham Invitational will also be playing professional golf. Wyndham Invitational alumni that reached the PGA TOUR are listed below with the years they played here:

? Byeong-Hun An (2007-‘09) ? Mark Anderson (2004) ? Blayne Barber (2008) ? Daniel Berger (2010)

? Zac Blair (2008) ? Bronson Burgoon (2003-’05) ? Brian Campbell (2011) ? Roberto Castro (‘02)

? Bud Cauley (2006) ? Austin Cook (2009) ? John Curran (2003) ? ZeCheng Dou (2012)

? Tyler Dunlap (2010,’11) ? Harris English (2005) ? Doug Fortner (2004) ? Rickie Fowler (2006)

? Bobby Gates (2003-04) ? Taylor Gooch (2008, ’09) ? Cody Gribble (2006, ’07) ? Lanto Griffin (2006)

? Emiliano Grillo (2009-’10) ? Luke Guthrie (2008) ? Chesson Hadley (2006) ? Paul Haley (2004-05)

? Matt Hansen (2010) ? Brian Harman (2002-’04)## ? Russell Henley (2006) ? Morgan Hoffmann 07

? Tom Hoge (2007) ? Billy Horschel (2005) ? Mu Hu (2004-’08) ? Mark Jones (2005)

? Ryo Ishikawa (2006) ? Smylie Kaufman (2009,’10) ? Tee-K Kelly (2012) ? Michael Kim (2009)

? Chris Kirk (2003) ? Kevin Kisner (2003) ? Patton Kizzire (2003) ? Colt Knost (2003)

? Brooks Koepka (2007) ? Ben Kohles (2007, ’08) ? Kelly Kraft (2007) ?Scott Langley (2007)

? Danny Lee (2007) ? Lucas Lee (2004, ’05) ? Richard Lee (2006) ? Alexander Levy 2013

? Luke List (2002) ? Adam Long (2006) ? Lee McCoy (2010 -12) ? Zack Miller (2002)

? Keith Mitchell (2009) ? Grayson Murray (2010-‘12) ? Carlos Ortiz (2007) ? John Peterson(‘06-07)

? Martin Piller (2004) ? Jonathan Randolph (2007) ? Patrick Reed (2006, ’07) ? Wes Roach (2006-07)

? Sam Saunders (2002-’04) ? Conrad Schindler (2005, 07) ?Webb Simpson (2002-04) ? Jordan Spieth (08-09)

? Kyle Stanley (2005) ? Brett Stegmaier (2002) ? Scott Stevens (2014) ? Robert Streb (2005)

? Hudson Swafford (2005) ? Justin Thomas (2008-‘10) ## ? Brendan Todd (2002, ’03) ? Ethan Tracy (07-08)

? Cameron Tringale (2004) ? Kevin Tway (2005, ’06) ? Peter Uihlein (2003-’07) ? Richy Werenski (‘09)

? Bobby Wyatt (2007, ’09) ? Andrew Yun (2006,’08,’09)##

##Won Wyndham Invitational.

North Carolina Juniors will play: Some of the top junior golfers in North Carolina will play this year’s Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T. There are no special criteria for North Carolina players to get into the field; they gain entry through the same eligibility standards as the rest of the golfers. North Carolina golfers are listed below with the year of their high school graduation, hometown and their June 1 Carolinas Golf Association ranking.

Peter Fountain, 2020, Raleigh (2) Fulton Smith, 2019, Pinehurst (6)

Jackson Van Paris, 2021, Pinehurst (4)

Qualifying Tournament: More North Carolina juniors can make the field through the Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T qualifying tournament through which two golfers will make the field. The qualifying tournament is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 9 at Holly Ridge Golf Links in Archdale, N.C., with a maximum field of 80 golfers. The top-two finishers from the qualifier will advance into the Wyndham Invitational field. The full qualifier field is here: https://www.ajga.org/microsite/index.asp?tn=2018048#QualifierField

Future ACC Players in the field: Six of the golfers in the Wyndham Invitational field have made commitments to play college golf in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They are listed below with their year of high school graduation and their ACC school. Those with a (v) have only made verbal commitments.

Trey Davis, 2018, Wake Forest (v) George Duangmanee, 2020, Virginia (v)

Doug Ergood, 2018, North Carolina Peter Fountain, 2020, North Carolina (v)

Carter Pendley, 2019, Clemson (v) Fulton Smith, 2019, Wake Forest (v)

Rolex Junior All-Americans: Twelve of the 72 players in the Wyndham Invitational field received Rolex Junior All-American recognition. Eugene Hong from Orlando achieved All-American status in 2015, ’16 and 17; Nicolas Cassidy, Karl Vilips and Wocheng (Aden) Ye did so in 2016 and ‘17. Others are Fred Biondi, Ryan Hall, Turner Hosch, Charles Osborne, Daulet Tuleubayev, Jackson Van Paris, Alexander Vogelsong, and Sampson-Yunhe Zheng.

International Players: Eighteen of the 72 golfers in the Wyndham Invitational field represent 14 foreign countries. Those golfers are listed below with the country they represent and their current hometown if applicable:

? Fred Biondi, Brazil, Port St. Lucie, Fla. ? Mauricio Cavazos (Mexico)

? Juan Delgado (Dominican Republic) ? Sixian (Tyler) Guo (China), Irvine, Calif

? Bo Jin (China), Encinatas, Calif. ? Luis Antonio Pacheco Jimenez (Mexico)
? Kelvin Lim (Canada), Lake Mary, Fla. ? Shiryu (Leo) Oyo (Japan), San Diego, Calif.

? Joseph Padgin, United Kingdom, Orlando ? Jeewon Park (South Korea), Lake Mary, Fla.

? Hiroshi Tai (Singapore) ? Natheethorn Teacharuangchit (Thailand), Bradenton, Fla.
? Teddy Tetak (Slovak Republic) ? Daulet Tuleubayev (Kazakhstan)

? Karl Vilips, Australia, Wesley Chapel, Fla. ? Artem Yalovenko (Russia), Windermere, Fla.

? Wocheng Ye (China), Lake Mary, Fla. ? Sampson-Yunhe Zheng (China), Orlando

2017 Tournament Recap: Trent Phillips from Inman, S.C., dropped a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win after defending champion Eugene “The Machine” Hong, who will attend the University of Florida, tapped in for par. The Wyndham Invitational win was the University of Georgia verbal commit’s first AJGA victory. The playoff was a fitting finish to a four-round battle between the two. Hong and Phillips battled through the final round with Hong playing in the final group, able to keep an eye on his closest competitor who was playing in the group ahead of him. Neither golfer was able to open a substantial lead. Phillips fired a one-under 69, and Hong shot an even-par 70. Hong had a 20-foot birdie putt to win the Wyndham Invitational in regulation, but the ball slid across the hole giving Hong a par and a berth into the playoff.

Previous Winners: The AJGA began playing in Greensboro in 1988; the Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T was created in 2002 by taking an existing AJGA event for both boys and girls and creating a boys-only Major event. The 2017 tournament will be the 17th Wyndham Invitational, but only 15 players have won the 16 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

? 2014: Austin Connelly ? 2015: Charles Huntzinger ? 2016: Eugene Hong

? 2017: Trent Phillips

Make the cut: The 72-player Wyndham Invitational will utilize a cut following the third round of play. The top-48 golfers and ties will advance to the final round. Other AJGA events that utilize a cut make it after 36 holes, but this tournament uses a 54-hole cut so every player is guaranteed at least three rounds. Golfers will play in threesomes in the final round, and a tie after 72 holes will be decided by sudden-death playoff.

TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Live Scoring and Tournament Results: The AJGA website, www.ajga.org, provides live scoring during the Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T. 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.

Tournament on Twitter: In addition to the tournament’s live scoring, additional tournament coverage is available through Twitter. Follow the Wyndham Invitational on Twitter via @AJGAGolf with the hashtag, #WyndhamInvitational.

? Wyndham Exemption History: For five years, Wyndham Invitational winners earned a 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 sets the field for the FedExCup Playoffs and ends the TOUR’s regular season. After the Wyndham, the top-125 players in points enter the playoffs while the next 75 play four tournaments with the top-75 finishers from the Web.com Tour in the Web.com Tour Finals. With PGA TOUR golfers trying to keep their cards, the Wyndham could no longer give an exemption to the winner of its AJGA tournament. The following five Wyndham Invitational winners took advantage of the 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 Wyndham Invitational. Primary functions for Wyndham 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 Country Club areas.

About Wyndham Worldwide: Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) is one of the largest global hospitality companies, providing travelers with access to a collection of trusted hospitality brands in hotels, vacation ownership, and unique accommodations including vacation exchange, holiday parks, and managed home rentals. With a collective inventory of nearly 130,000 places to stay across more than 110 countries on six continents, Wyndham Worldwide and its 38,000 associates welcomes people to experience travel the way they want. This is enhanced by Wyndham Rewards®, the Company’s re-imagined guest loyalty program across its businesses, which is making it simpler for members to earn more rewards and redeem their points faster. For more information, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

About the AJGA: Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, 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 12-19) of more than 6,900 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2017, adidas joined the AJGA as a Premier Partner, serving as the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.

Wyndham Invitational Tournament Schedule:

Monday: Morning practice rounds (8 a.m.); BB&T Junior-Am Tournament at 1 p.m.

Tuesday: First-round tee times 7 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Wednesday: Second-round tee times 7 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Thursday: Third-round tee times 7 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Friday: Final-round tee times 7 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Awards Ceremony following play at approximately 2 p.m.

The 17th annual Wyndham Invitational is set for June 11-15 at the Sedgefield Country Club Dye Course. Admission is free. Practice rounds begin Monday morning, June 11 with the AJGA Junior-Am tournament Monday afternoon. Tournament play begins Tuesday, June 12 and concludes Friday, June 15. For additional information on the event, please visit www.ajga.org.