Elite field takes aim at Jones Cup
28 Jan 2014
by Benjamin Larsen of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Jones Cup Invitational Golf Tournament, Ocean Forest Golf Club

SEA ISLAND, Georgia (Jan. 28, 2014) -- The Jones Cup originally started in 2001 as the host venue’s official Walker Cup preview. Playing host to the 2001 Walker Cup match, Ocean Forest Golf Club used the inaugural Jones Cup as a way to showcase the type of international golf the world was to see later that fall.

Thirteen years later, the international flavor and Walker Cup implications are still driving the Jones Cup Invitational, which tees off Friday with another field full of the world’s top amateurs.

“The international flavor adds a lot to the event and helps it stay true to what the event is,” said tournament director Kory Reitz, PGA. “For the players that play well, it also shows them what they can do at the next level.”

Past winners, which include Patrick Reed, D.J. Trahan, Kyle Stanley, John Peterson, Luke List and Justin Thomas, have already begun making their impact known at golf’s highest level. After last year’s winner, Sean Dale took his own game to the next level by turning professional, it’s guaranteed there will be a new champion at the Jones Cup.

And, with just a quick glance at the 2014 field, it’s guaranteed that win will be well-deserved.

The best field of the new year, and one of the best in all of amateur golf, will contend.

Followers of NCAA golf will recognize players like Alabama’s Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt. Whitsett, of course, won in impressive fashion at the 2013 Northeast Amateur after placing second at the Sunnehanna Amateur. Along with Wyatt -- and former Jones Cup champ Justin Thomas -- he propelled the Tide to the 2013 NCAA Championship.

Whitsett and Wyatt, who were on the winning 2013 U.S. Walker Cup squad, will be joined by fellow Walker Cuppers Michael Weaver and Brandon Hagy of Cal. The Bears will also be represented by Joel Stalter, a key part of the team’s magnificent 2012-2013 season.

Other U.S. contenders include recent BYU graduate Zac Blair, SMU’s Bryson Dechambeau, Tyler Dunlap of Texas A&M, Michael Johnson of Auburn, South Florida’s Chase Koepka, recent Tennessee grad Richard Lamb, South Carolina’s Matthew Nesmith, Alabama’s Robby Shelton, Florida’s Curtis Thompson.

Some of the nation’s top junior players are also in the field. Sam Horsfield, who recently won the New Years Invitational, leads a contingency that also includes Zachary Bauchou, Brad Dalke, Scottie Scheffler and Austen Truslow, who won last week’s AJGA Puerto Rico Open.

The mid-amateur contingency is, too, well- represented again at this year’s event. U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy and Nathan Smith -- two 2015 Walker Cup contenders -- lead the way.

The event’s international feel is bolstered by numerous elite players. Chief among them is undoubtedly Garrick Porteous, the 2013 British Amateur champion and No. 2-ranked player in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.co m World Player Rankings. TCU junior Julien Brun from France, Arkansas’ Sebastian Cappelen of Denmark, England’s Greg Eason and Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan, a Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team member in 2013, are among the international players who could contend this week.

All told, 18 countries will be represented and eight will send their top-ranked player, according to Reitz.

“As far as rankings go,” Reitz said. “This is by far our best event and best field we’ve been able to get. Walker Cup captains are usually here and this event plays into their selection process.”

The 54-hole event will begin under seasonably comfortable temperatures. But the course at Ocean Forest has taken its fair share of hits from this frigid winter.

“It will play firm and fast,” Reitz added.

Amateurgolf.com will have full coverage of the event, including post-round recaps and results as well as a notebook following the event.

Results For Jones Cup Invitational Golf Tournament
1CanadaCorey ConnersCanada100072-73-73--218
2CanadaAustin ConnellyCanada70072-74-72--218
3KYHunter StewartNicholasville, KY50075-74-70--219
T4DenmarkSebastian CappelenDenmark50073-72-75--220
T4IAMike McCoyW. Des Moines, IA50073-71-76--220

View full results for Jones Cup Invitational Golf Tournament


The Jones Cup was born from a deep commitment to amateur golf by the A.W. Jones family, who founded the Cloister and Sea Island Golf Club in 1928. The Sea Island Golf Club has played host to seven USGA championships. The Jones Cup is yet another extension of the family's strong involvement in amateur golf.

This 54-hole individual stroke-play event, inaugurated in 2001, is played at Ocean Forest Golf Club. The Rees Jones design opened in 1995 and has hosted the 1998 Georgia State Amateur Championship, the 1999 Southern Amateur Championship and the 2001 Walker Cup Match. The Jones Cup brings together many of the finest amateurs from the United States and abroad for this three-day competition.

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