ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Dec. 30, 2013) -- As the new year turns, resolutions are being made. For a field of 128 players at the New Year's Invitational, one of the goals they'd surely like to check off early in 2014 is claiming a major amateur title.
The New Year's Invitational runs Jan. 9-12 at St. Petersburg Country Club and features a field filled with many of game's top amateurs and collegiate players.
Defending champion Toni Hakula of the University of Texas returns to defend against another quality group of competitors. After winning the 2013 event, Hakula went on to place fifth at the Porter Cup and was the runner-up at the British Amateur.
One of Hakula's biggest contenders is likely to be teammate Gavin Hall, who of course, made headlines this past summer by qualifying for the U.S. Open. Ranked No. 20 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com U.S. Player Rankings, Hall also reached the final 16 of the U.S. Amateur and placed 8th at the Porter Cup.
Another hot player in the field will be Sam Horsfield. The Florida teen, who made waves with a deep run at the U.S. Junior, won the Florida State Amateur and Orlando City Amateur titles this year.
Other players likely to contend include Florida Southern's A.J. Crouch, Grady Brame of Southeastern Louisiana, Texas' Hickock Kramer, Florida State's Jack Maguire and Cal's Andrew Morgan.
Held every year since 1927, the New Year's Invitational is the region's oldest continuously-running invitational. Past winners include Peter Uihlein, Brandon Hagy, Jeff Overton and Brandt Snedeker.
First-round action begins Thursday, Jan. 9. Follow full coverage on amateurgolf.com.