2016 Azalea Invitational Preview: Defending Champion Todd White Highlights Field
Todd White with Azalea Invitational Trophy
(Photo credit David Cobb)
CHARLESTON, SC (March 29, 2016)--Last year at
accomplished something that hadn’t happened in
fifteen years at the Azalea Invitational. White became
the first mid-amateur to win the event since 2000. This
week White will return to The Country Club of
Charleston to compete against another strong field as
he looks to defend his title.
The Country Club of Charleston is a par 71 layout
plays at 6,776 yards. In 2013 the course hosted the
U.S. Women’s Amateur and in 2019 The Country Club
of Charleston will host its first U.S. Women’s Open.
Play will begin on Thursday and run through
Sunday with the first group
scheduled to tee off at 7:50 a.m. EST. The cut will be
made Saturday after the completion of 54-holes.
Weather is a concern this weekend with rain in the
forecast for the majority of the four days. The
temperature will sit in the upper 70’s or low 80’s but
rain is forecasted for Thursday-Saturday with Friday
appearing to be the worst day of the weekend. The
Friday forecast is currently calling for up to an inch of
rain with winds gusting at 15-25 MPH. Fortunately, the
forecast for Sunday is sunny with a light breeze so if
the tournament does fall behind there is a window to
make up time.
Defending champion Todd White, a former Walker
Cup player, will be teeing
9:40 a.m. on Thursday and he will be playing alongside
Nathan Smith the four-time USGA Mid-Amateur
champion. An interesting fact about Smith is that he
played with Arnold Palmer during his final round at the
The Masters in 2004.
“We rarely have a mid-amateur win the event and
told (The Country Club of Charleston) pro Hart Brown
why don’t we give a medal to the low mid-amateur
every year,” said Tournament Director David
Humphreys. “So we have one
made up and then Todd White a mid-amateur goes
onto win so he got the trophy and the medal.”
The field will also feature the top ranked junior
Phillip Barbaree, the 2015
U.S. Junior Amateur champion. In that event
Barbaree made a remarkable comeback overcoming a
five-hole deficit with eight-holes to play. Barbaree, a
2017 LSU commitment, has struggled with wrist
tendonitis during recent months. The high school junior
will tee off at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday.
Among the other big names in the field is Caleb
Proveaux, a senior at Clemson. Proveaux is a four year
starter for the Tigers and has the low round record at
Clemson with a 63 at the 2015 Palmetto Invitational. In
2012 Proveaux teed it up in the PGA Tour’s St. Jude
Classic in Memphis, missing the cut by three after
2011 was a banner year for Proveaux as he won
National Junior Player of the Year award, Junior PGA
Championship and was also a AJGA First-Team All-
American. Proveaux is scheduled to set the peg into the
ground Thursday at 9:00 a.m.
Thomas Lehman Jr., the son of 1996 British Open
champion Tom Lehman will be in the field. The senior
Lehman will be carrying his son’s bag this weekend.
They will be on the first tee at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Other players of note include Alabama sophomore
Hitchner (7:50 a.m.), Clemson freshman Jonathon
Rector (12:40 p.m.), Wake Forest sophomore Clancy
Waugh (1:20 p.m.) and Oklahoma State freshman
Reeder (1:20 p.m.).
ABOUT THE Azalea Invitational
72 hole stroke play with a 54 hole cut on a
Seth Raynor design. Good mix of college
and mid amateurs. 7 spots available in a
Impressive list of past champions at this
traditional event. The Country Club of
underwent a major renovation in 2006 (the
tournament took at one year hiatus) and was
ready for play for the 2007 Azalea.
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