J.R. Williams Four-Ball begins Thursday at Oak Hill Country Club
14 Sep 2016
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

see also: Oak Hill Country Club

No. 13 on the East Course of Oak Hill Country Club <br>(Oak Hill Country Club Photo)
No. 13 on the East Course of Oak Hill Country Club
(Oak Hill Country Club Photo)

ROCHESTER, NY (September 14, 2016) -- The 54th J.R. Williams Four-Ball Invitational at Oak Hill Country Club will begin on Thursday and continue through Saturday with 71 teams across the Mid- Amateur and Senior Divisions set to compete. Play will be split between the West and East Courses with the East to host the final two rounds of competition.

Tee times on Thursday at the West Course will begin at 7:30 a.m. EST, with groups going off the 1st and 10th holes. On Friday play will shift to the East Course, with tee times again set for 7:30 a.m. and groups going off the 1st and 10th.

Following the conclusion of play on Friday the Mid-Amateur field will be trimmed to the top-30 teams and ties while the Senior Division will be cut to the top-eight teams and ties.

The final round on the East Course will be played in a shotgun format which will begin Saturday morning with a 9:00 a.m.

Last year the Canadian duo of Simon McInnis (Toronto, ONT) and Garrett Rank (Elmira, ONT) captured the Mid-Amateur title. However, neither player is back for the 2016 edition. In the Senior Division Don Erickson (Dubois, PA) and John Benson (Punxsutawney, PA) won the crown and they are back this year hoping to defend.

Oak Hill Country Club was designed by Donald Ross, but former member John R. Williams had just as important an impact in shaping the character of this championship course.

After course construction was complete there was no money left over to plant trees, so Williams, a retired physician decided to take it upon himself to provide Oak Hill with the tree lined fairways we see today. Williams contacted arborists from around the world to gather acorns from oaks to be planted on the property. Over time Williams planted over 40,000 trees with acorns gathered from many locations including George Washington's Mount Vernon home, the Shakespeare Oak at Stratford-on-Avon and Sherwood Forest.

Over the years the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club has hosted three U.S. Open's, three PGA Championships, two U.S. Amateur's, one U.S. Senior Open, a Ryder Cup and a Senior PGA Championship.

Notable winners include Lee Trevino (1968 U.S. Open), Jack Nicklaus (1980 PGA Championship), Curtis Strange (1989 U.S. Open) and at the Ryder Cup it was Europe winning on American soil.

Champions Last Five Years (2011-2015):

Mid-Amateur Division

2015: Simon McInnis (Toronto, ONT) and Garrett Rank (Elmira, ONT)
2014: Nick Palladino (Highland Hts, OH) and Oliver White (Lower Gwynedd, PA)
2013: David Poteet (Suwanee, GA) and Mike Cromer (Norcross, GA)
2012: David DeNunzio (Jeannette, PA) and Ronald DeNunzio (Jeannette, PA)
2011: Rob Cowan (Waterloo, ONT) and David Bunker (Woodbridge, ONT)

Senior Division

2015: Don Erickson (Dubois, PA) and John Benson (Punxsutawney, PA)
2014: Tom Blank and Mark Dugan (Oak Hill Country Club)
2013: Lee Dennis (Comer, GA) and Mel Mendenhall (Marietta, GA)
2012: Randy Elliott (Winter Park, FL) and Mike Walters (Tampa, FL)
2011: John Pate (Guelph, ONT) and Kelly Roberts (London, ONT) (team also won in 2010)

ABOUT THE John R. Williams Invitational

54-hole two man best ball format. By invitation only. Entrants must have a handicap of 3.4 or less, with the team total not to exceed 5.5. Both members of teams in the Senior Division must be 55 years of age by the first day of the tournament. Senior index requirements are 4.4 individual and 7.2 team.

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