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The Dogwood: Auburn's Michael Johnson leads loaded field
Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson
By Rory Sharrock

ATLANTA - When it comes to pageantry and prestige in golf, few states rival Georgia for its long-standing luster of excellence on the links.

In the pro game, Augusta National serves as hallowed ground with ‘a tradition unlike any other’. For amateurs, one of the sport’s crown-jewel events, The Dogwood Invitational, convenes in Atlanta, claiming residence at Druid Hills Golf Club.

This week, all eyes on the amateur circuit will be focused on this marquee tournament. The action gets underway with qualifying play on Monday. First-round action tees off on Wednesday and runs daily with the champion being crowned following Saturday’s final round.

Since its inception in 1941, The Dogwood Invitational has stood firm as a centerpiece for top-ranked amateurs from across the globe seeking to test their skills amidst a picturesque backdrop with a challenging course layout and pin location.

“The Dogwood Invitational’s field has a history of representing the best of the best amateur players,” said Edward Toledano, tournament chairman of The Dogwood Invitational. “Each year, we find the competition increases, upping the players’ talent as well as their playing ability. Golfers like these make The Dogwood a key amateur tournament to play in and contribute to a long tradition of championship golf.”

This year’s tournament features 83 players from 14 states with foreign representation from Australia and New Zealand. Leading the charge is defending champion, Michael Johnson. The senior from Auburn University established a new record with his performance last year, shooting 8- under in the final round and an overall total of 28-under. The previous record score was 23-under set by Andrew Buckle in 2002.

In addition to Johnson, the field is highlighted by six other competitors who are listed on Golf Week/AmateurGolf.com’s top-100 player rankings: Seth Reeves (Georgia Tech), Chase Koepka (University of South Florida), Anders Albertson (Georgia Tech), Billy Kennerly (Clemson University) and Davin White (Georgia State).

Recent Memorial Amateur champion Cameron Champ (incoming freshman at Texas A&M), Christopher Petefish (Georgia Tech freshman), and UNC’s Bailey Patrick should also contend following their recent hot play.

Competitors at The Dogwood Invitational will play 72 holes of stroke play stretching out to 6,850 yards with a 54-hole cut to low 40 and ties for the final round. For more information on the tournament, visit thedogwood.co m.
ABOUT THE The Dogwood Invitational

The first Dogwood Invitational, held in April 1941, validated Druid Hills Golf Club as a challenging venue for amateur golf tournaments. The Club has hosted eight Georgia State Amateur Championships over the years, and the tournament continues as a staple on the major amateur golf circuit. The Dogwood was discontinued in 1973 and did not return until 1994 when a new tournament format was introduced. The new format included entrance into the tournament by invitation only and added an 18-hole qualifier for five to eight open spots prior to the tournament start. A Senior Division was added in 2005.Participation in The Dogwood Invitational is by invitation from the Dogwood Tournament Committee. The tournament is 72 holes of stroke play with a 54 hole cut to low 40 and ties for final round. Players are required to walk during tournament play and may carry their golf bag themselves or take a caddie. 8-spot Qualifier is held Monday of tournament week, prior to the event.

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