THE WOODLANDS, TX (May 2, 2016) - Major
event season is beginning to hit its stride and that
continues today with the beginning of the 11th
annual Carlton Woods Invitational. The first round
was Tuesday and the tournament will continue through
Thursday. The field includes
many of the top mid-amateurs and seniors players in
This year’s event will be played on The Club at
Carlton Woods Tom Fazio Course. The course is a
72 layout that can be stretched to 7,358 yards and
play at nearly its full length for the mid-amateurs.
Speaking with tournament director Martin Benson
week he said that despite roughly eight inches of
recently in the Houston area that the course, “is
expected to be in fabulous shape for the Carlton
Invitational.” Since the rain the club has held its
member-guest and received rave reviews about the
Highlighting the mid-amateur field will be
defending champion Derek Meinhart.
Meinhart from Matton, IL fired rounds of 75-67-75
won by three with a 1-over 217. The
win at Carlton
Woods capped off a remarkable week long
golf for Meinhart who won the Champions Cup in
Houston right before the Carlton. Meinhart
called that week of golf, "probably the best week of
playing career. It was definitely (my best) as an
Earlier this year Meinhart showed he is still in
form tying for fifth at the Gasparilla Invitational.
“I look forward to the Carlton Woods (every
year),” Meinhart said. “They run a great event
and I look forward to that experience. They run it
almost like a pro event and it is just great to be a
of something like that. To be a champion of an event
like that is definitely an honor.”
The defending Senior Division champion
Lee Sandlin will also
in the field looking to repeat.
Sandlin combined three-day scores of 75-68-74 and
like Meinhart finished 1-over-par to win by one. Last
years win was the beginning of a strong year for the
Dallas, TX native who finished eighth in the Trans-
Mississippi Senior and in the Final 64 of the U.S.
”I would say (Carlton Woods is the) number one
win. As far as accomplishments I would say
for the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur is the one,” Lee
Sandlin said. “Winning a tournament though is tough
and last year I was choking like a dog on the last
I hit it in the water and then hit a 60-degree wedge
three feet and made the putt to win. As far as wins
this is definitely number one.”
Naturally both 2015 Carlton Wood winners will
begin the 2016 version of the event full of confidence
after winning the year before. However, that won’t
easy as this year’s field is maybe the best ever.
”It’s pretty exciting to return as a defending
champion (but) you have to get your mind right on
expectations. It’s a new year and new tournament,”
Sandlin said. “You can't get worried if you have a bad
hole or bad round, you just have to keep
Here is a look at some of the players to watch
the next few days.
MID-AMATEUR PLAYERS TO WATCH:
(Metarie, LA): One of the top
players in Louisiana, Aydlett has won the states mid-
amateur and also finished second in the state
Brady Exber (Las
NV): One of the best
players in the nation, Exber will be in search of his
seventh win in the last three years. In 2014
Exber won four times, winning the British Senior
Amateur, Senior Azalea Invitational, Yeamans Hall
Invitational and Stocker Cup. Last year Exber
continued his winning ways taking home the trophy
the Crane Cup and the Stocker Cup for the second
consecutive year. Exber is also fresh off a fifth place
finish in last weekends Coleman Senior Invitational.
This will be Exber’s final year competing as a
amateur in the Carlton Woods Invitational. He
competes in all USGA events as a senior.
(Las Vegas, NV): Making his
first appearance in the Carlton Woods, Fryatt is a
former Nevada State Mid-Amateur. He won the title
a stroke over Exber.
(Mexico): Needing points to
qualify for World Amateur events, Silva is making his
way to the Carlton Woods Invitational. Silva is a
member of the Mexican National Team.
SENIOR PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Mike Booker (The
Woodlands, TX): One of the
most decorated players in the country, Booker, a
member of Carlton Woods and three time
winner is coming off a 10th place tie last year. A
NCAA champion while at Houston, Booker has also
the Houston City Amateur four times, the U.S. Senior
Amateur, qualified for the U.S. Senior Open and has
won the Texas State Senior Amateur. Booker, is a
multiple time Texas Player of the Year winner.
(Houston, TX): The top-ranked
senior player has sprinted into his 2016 season with
three ranking wins in four events. His worst ranking
event finish you wonder? A measly second place at
Gateway Senior Invitational. The wins for Kearney
came at the Old Corkscrew Senior, Kingsway Senior
Invitational and Golfweek Senior National
Kearney has already nearly matched his win total of
four from 2015. Last year Kearney finished in the
of ranking events 11 times out of 16 events played,
including a T5 at Carlton Woods. His worst ranking
tournament finish came at the U.S. Senior Amateur
when he reached the Final 32.
OK): A pediatric
surgeon by trade, Kropp has compiled an impressive
golfing resume. In 2009 he won the Scratch Players
Mid-Amateur while in 2007 he was part of the team
that won the Two Man Links Championship. Kropp
represented Oklahoma in the 2009 U.S. State Team
Mike Peck (Irving, TX):
A former Walker
Cup team member and Stanford golfer, Peck has
a force in the state of Texas for sometime now. In
he won the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play and also
finished third at the Carlton Woods Invitational.
Doug Pool (Las Vegas,
NV): The 2013
champion will be back in the field this week as he
for a second Carlton Woods Invitational victory. Pool
won in 2013 with an even-par score of 216. Pool
in five ranking events last year and placed top-10 in
four of them, including a win in the Senior Masters.
Currently, Pool is the 15th ranked senior amateur.