It was about this time last year when the Junior Invitational made its debut to the junior golf world.
It did not take long, in fact, for Georgia head coach Chris Haack to phone me to tell me all about that new event.
"Ringler, have you heard about this Junior Invitational here at Sage Valley? This is the real deal," Haack said.
Word of the event had circulated and in the next few weeks more comments came my way singing its praises. Several college coaches are expected to be here recruiting at a field that includes 26 of the top 30 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings. However, Haack will not. Georgia is competing in the SEC Championship this weekend at Sea Island.
"As many junior golf tournaments as I have been to, by far the best I have ever seen," Haack added. "I am sure this year it's better."
Nicolas Reach, last year's Junior Invitational champion, is currently on the Georgia roster and did not know where to start when asked about playing last year.
"I don't even know where to begin. The best junior or amateur tournament I have ever played in my life," Reach said. "It was a PGA Tour atmosphere."
The golf course may not be the most challenging, considering Reach posted rounds of 62-66-68 for a 20-under 206 total to win by eight shots over Patrick Rodgers. However, the look and condition is said to mirror what one might encounter some 20 minutes away at Augusta National.
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