Lee University junior Matt Emery has been invited to participate in the upcoming Patriot All-America Invitational which will take place Dec. 29-31 in Phoenix, at the Wigwam Resort. The invitation to play in Arizona comes as a result of Emery being chosen as a NAIA/GCAA All-American at the end of last season. The tournament is only in its second year, but already boasts a very strong résumé.
Invitations are only extended to 2012 collegiate golfers named to Ping All-America teams; 2011 First-Team AJGA All-America golfers currently enrolled as freshmen in GCAA member institutions; Invited members of U.S. Service Academy Golf Teams; 2012 members of GCAA international teams; top-five finishers (including ties) from previous year’s event; and special invitations.
All invitations are issued through the Golf Coaches Association of America.
The field is made up of returning All-Americans from all divisions; NCAA Divisions I, II, and III; NAIA; and NJCAA. The field is limited to 84 players. The tournament format will consist of 54 holes of stroke play. Last year’s champion was Alabama sophomore Cory Whitsett, who shot a tournament-best 64 in the second round then held off a teammate on the final day to win the inaugural Patriot All-America Invitational at the Wigwam Golf Club.
The chairman of the event is Jerry Colangelo, current director of USA basketball and former owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns. Perhaps most importantly, this event goes toward supporting a great cause, the Folds of Honor. The GCAA and Folds of Honor founder Major Dan Rooney have a strong relationship. The Folds of Honor has a commitment to military charities and Folds of Honor provides scholarships and other assistance to families of fallen or disabled soldiers.
At the event Folds of Honor will identify a fallen warrior from each invited player’s home or school to be honored during the event. The player will carry a golf bag donated by Ping embroidered with the warrior’s name. The golf bags will be presented to the players by the event chairman during the opening ceremonies. At the conclusion of the tournament, the golf bags will be sent to the players’ schools where they will be auctioned off to benefit the Folds of Honor Charity.
"I am very excited that Matt has this opportunity to be involved with such an outstanding event,” said Lee golf coach John Maupin. “I want to thank the GCAA and Folds of Honor for putting this together. From what I have heard about the event, it is something the players will remember for the rest of their lives.
“Of course, all of us here will be rooting for Matt and I know he has the ability to compete with anyone, but ultimately this should be about the experience and the cause,” added Maupin.
“Anytime you can be involved with something that supports/honors wounded or fallen soldiers it is special. Matt will be a great representative of our golf program and school this week. I know he is also excited about being able to return and auction off the golf bag he uses as a way to honor a fallen soldier and raise money for the Folds of Honor. Matt's entire family will be with him this week in support and his brother Tyler will be caddying for him. It should be a great time.”