Carlton Woods Invitational is underway
02 May 2016
by Sam Dostaler of

see also: View results for Carlton Woods Invitational, The Club at Carlton Woods

Derek Meinhart
Derek Meinhart

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 the nation.

This year’s event will be played on The Club at Carlton Woods Tom Fazio Course. The course is a par- 72 layout that can be stretched to 7,358 yards and will play at nearly its full length for the mid-amateurs. Speaking with tournament director Martin Benson last week he said that despite roughly eight inches of rain recently in the Houston area that the course, “is expected to be in fabulous shape for the Carlton Woods Invitational.” Since the rain the club has held its spring member-guest and received rave reviews about the courses condition.

Highlighting the mid-amateur field will be defending champion Derek Meinhart. Last year Meinhart from Matton, IL fired rounds of 75-67-75 and won by three with a 1-over 217. The win at Carlton Woods capped off a remarkable week long stretch of 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 my playing career. It was definitely (my best) as an amateur."

Earlier this year Meinhart showed he is still in good 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 part 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 be 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. Senior Amateur.

”I would say (Carlton Woods is the) number one win. As far as accomplishments I would say qualifying 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 hole. I hit it in the water and then hit a 60-degree wedge to three feet and made the putt to win. As far as wins go 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 be 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 playing.”

Here is a look at some of the players to watch over the next few days.


Brandon Aydlett (Metarie, LA): One of the top players in Louisiana, Aydlett has won the states mid- amateur and also finished second in the state amateur.

Brady Exber (Las Vegas, 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 at 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 mid- amateur in the Carlton Woods Invitational. He already competes in all USGA events as a senior.

Edward Fryatt (Las Vegas, NV): Making his first appearance in the Carlton Woods, Fryatt is a former Nevada State Mid-Amateur. He won the title by a stroke over Exber.

Guillermo Silva (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.


Mike Booker (The Woodlands, TX): One of the most decorated players in the country, Booker, a member of Carlton Woods and three time tournament winner is coming off a 10th place tie last year. A former NCAA champion while at Houston, Booker has also won 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.

Bob Kearney (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 the Gateway Senior Invitational. The wins for Kearney came at the Old Corkscrew Senior, Kingsway Senior Invitational and Golfweek Senior National Championship. Kearney has already nearly matched his win total of four from 2015. Last year Kearney finished in the top-5 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.

Bradley Kropp (Edmond, 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 also represented Oklahoma in the 2009 U.S. State Team Championship.

Mike Peck (Irving, TX): A former Walker Cup team member and Stanford golfer, Peck has been a force in the state of Texas for sometime now. In 2014 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 looks for a second Carlton Woods Invitational victory. Pool won in 2013 with an even-par score of 216. Pool played 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.

Results: Carlton Woods Invitational
1TXColby HarwellSan Antonio, TX30071-73-70=214
T2NVBrady ExberLas Vegas, NV20072-74-69=215
T2NVEdward FryattLas Vegas, NV20072-73-70=215
4TXKyle MaxwellThe Woodlands, TX10077-71-70=218
T5MTMark ManceWhitefish, MT10074-75-70=219

View full results for Carlton Woods Invitational

ABOUT THE Carlton Woods Invitational

A 54-hole stroke play golf tournament played at The Club at Carlton Woods in the beautiful Houston community of The Woodlands, where golf is one of the top activities. Entry into the Carlton Woods Invitational is strictly by invitation from the Tournament Committee. The 90-player field will be comprised of two tournament divisions, a Mid-Am Division for players aged 25-54, and a Senior Division for players aged 55 and above.

View Complete Tournament Information

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