Fendt Sticks to Game Plan, Leads Dogwood Invitational at -7
Jake Fendt (Kennesaw State Athletics photo)
Jake Fendt (Kennesaw State Athletics photo)

By Stan Awtrey

ATLANTA, GA (June 6, 2018) - Kennesaw State golfer Jake Fendt knew there was a 65 out there. He had already done it during a practice round at Druid Hills Golf Club over the weekend while playing with a member. So he stuck with the same game plan and repeated it in the first round of the 52nd Dogwood Invitational. It was enough to give Fendt the first-round lead at one of the nation’s premier amateur invitationals.

Fendt didn’t qualify for the event last year and came in with modest expectations. “My goal was to make the 54-hole cut and be around on the weekend,” he said. “I never really had a set-in-stone goal, just go out there and try to play my best.”

Fendt learned from his practice round that there was no need to take a chance hitting a wild driver around the tight Druid Hills course. So he kept the big stick in the bag for most of the day and was content with hitting a 2-iron off most of the tees. He didn’t make a bogey all day. “I’ve been struggling with my driver and I think I’m onto something,” Fendt said. “Honestly I hit my 2-iron off every single tee box and only hit driver where you can kind of spray it.”

What’s even more surprising about Fendt’s score is his lack of success on the par-5s. He settled for pars on three of the four, making only one birdie.

Three players are one shot back. Spencer Ralston of the University of Georgia, Jacob Solomon of Auburn and David Laskin of the University of Arizona. They each shot 66.

The group at 67 includes University of Georgia freshman Trent Phillips, Konrad Brauckmeyer of Peru, William Nottingham of Clemson, and Zachary Healy, who just finished his career at Georgia.

Defending champion Lloyd Jefferson Go of Cebu, Philippines, opened with a 72.

Canadian mid-amateur Garrett Rank, who on Monday qualified for the U.S. Open at the Atlanta sectional qualifier, also shot a 72. On a day where red numbers were plenty, Rank started slowly, going 4 over through 8 holes, before getting all four shots back on his second nine.

There were 47 players who shot par or better under ideal scoring conditions.

Results: Dogwood Invitational
1NCAshton PooleCharlotte, NC100069-66-64-67=266
2GAChandler EatonAlpharetta, GA70069-67-69-65=270
3GAS.M. LeeBuford, GA50069-64-70-68=271
T4CAJacob SolomonDublin, CA50066-70-68-69=273
T4TNWilliam NottinghamKingsport, TN50067-69-65-72=273

View full results for Dogwood Invitational

ABOUT THE Dogwood Invitational

Tournament week is June 6-11 at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The entry fee includes breakfast and lunch tournament days as well as special events.

The history of this prestigious event extends back to 1941, when legendary amateur Tommy Barnes captured his first of five Dogwood titles. Evolving with the times, the modern Dogwood has produced fine champions like Webb Simpson (’07), Brian Harman (’09), Dawson Armstrong (’15), and in 2019 Brandon Mancheno. This evolution can be seen also in our course renovations and set-up, our relaxed tournament atmosphere, and our spirit of social responsibility.

Players are required to walk during tournament play and may carry their golf bag themselves (push carts are allowed) or take a caddie. Caddies may be requested in advance during registration, or players may select one on their own.

Player housing is provided on an as available basis to players only, caddies and traveling companions are not provided housing.

View Complete Tournament Information

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