GARDEN CITY, New York (May 16, 2010) -- It was a special year for the Travis Invitational, a mainstay of amateur golf in the "Met" section that draws a national field of amateurs to host Garden City Golf Club.
The tournament, named in honor of the great amateur Walter J. Travis, celebrated its 100th anniversary and entered a rarefied group of amateur tournaments in the United States that have reached the century mark.
Travis, born in Australia, was the first player to win the U.S. and British Amateurs in the same year, in 1904. American Golfer Magazine called him "unbeatable for a stretch of six years from 1898 to 1904." He ran up a string of victories (including 3 U.S. Amateurs) too long to list here.
The Travis Invitational (which he won 8 times)was named for him in 1927 after being formed in 1910 as the Garden City Invitational.
But on to the 100th playing of the event.
For a while, the golfing gods were shining bright on Garden City Golf Club member Jed Raynor, who won his way into the semifinals despite the Travis being the only real amateur "major" that he competes in each year. Raynor qualified in 14th position with a 73, then won his Saturday match in front of a throng of members surrounding the 18th green, before being beaten in Sunday's morning semifinal by Jay Crowley.
The other Sunday semifinal saw an interesting pairing of two first-time Travis competitors, who were college team members and roommates at USC. Hayes won the match 2 & 1, then defeated Crowley by a margin of 3 & 2 in the afternoon.
David Reneker, who plays out of Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, and was once a standout on the UCLA golf team, was qualifying medalist, tying the competitive course record of 67 at Garden City Golf Club.
A complete match play bracket from the Championship Division is available by clicking on the link below the qualifying scores, which follow:
67 David Reneker - Bel-Air Country Club
69 Daniel Russo - Rolling Hills Country Club (NY)
70 D. Scott Mackesy - Winged Foot Golf Club
70 Jay Blumenfeld - Mountain Ridge Golf Club
71 Ben Hayes - Whisper Rock Golf Club
72 Mike Reardon - Tuxedo Club
72 Eoin O'Connor - Ballybunion Golf Club
72 Eoghan O'Connell - The Fox Club
72 Kevin Hammer - Quail Ridge Country Club
72 Jay Crowley - Round Hill Club
72 Chuck Del Priore - Wykagyl Country Club
72 Roger Hoit - Baltusrol Golf Club
72 Tom Yellin - The Stanwich Club
73 Jed Raynor - Garden City Golf Club
73 T.J. Brudzinski - Worthington Hills Country Club
73 Brad Shaw - Los Angeles Country Club
A couple of fun Walter J. Travis facts:
* If you think "technology ruining the game" talk is new, refer back 110 years. Travis was not hesitant about trying new technology. He was the first to win a major event using the Haskell rubber-cored golf ball--the 1901 U.S. Amateur. That led to calls for, you guessed it, longer courses. And it also required wooden clubs to have inserts to protect their faces.
* But regarding physical training, Travis wasn't convinced it could help his game. After abstaining from drinking and smoking for one event in 1897 he said he "putted like a baby" and went back to his regular ways.
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