(Photo Credit: Monroe Invitational)
One hundred players will tee it up on Wednesday, July 6 in the 81st playing of Monroe Invitational, at the Donald Ross-designed Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York. The history of The Monroe runs deep; Dustin Johnson; Thomas Pieters; and Augusta Chairman Fred Ridley are all former champions.
It's not just the strong field and list of past champions that make Monroe special, but the host golf course really holds its own.
Since its inception in 1923, Monroe Golf Club has long been regarded as one of the premier private clubs in Rochester and throughout Western New York. The club’s award-winning Donald Ross design is viewed by many as one of the most classic and preserved original Ross layouts. Monroe Golf Club has been named one of America’s Top 100 Classic Courses by Golfweek. Monroe hosted the LPGA Championship, a major on the women’s tour, in 2014.
Here are some storylines we will be following this week.
Possibly one of the hottest players to enter the field is John DuBois
, a rising senior at the University of Florida. The Windermere, FL native finished first at the SEC Championship with a 54-hole score of 6-under (204) back in April. He carded a 64 in the second round, tying the third-lowest round in conference history. It was his first collegiate title.
Prior to his trip to Pittsford, NY, DuBois finished second at the Terra Cotta Invitational and 13th at the Sunnehanna Amateur. DuBois finished seventh last year at the Monroe Invitational in his first appearance. He is currently ranked 64th in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Player Rankings
YELLOW JACKET DUO
Georgia Tech teammates Connor Howe
and Bartley Forrester
are creating a buzz for the 2022 field. Howe is ranked 31st by Golfweek/AGC and will be looking to improve upon his tie for seventh a year ago. It will be his fourth time taking part in the event after taking 60th in 2019 and 31st in 2018. The Ogden, Utah native recently finished 10th at the Northeast Amateur
at the end of June.
Forrester is on a heater as well, having qualified for his second U.S. Amateur Championship last Tuesday winning co-medalist honors at the 36-hole qualifier at the Standard Club in Johns Creek, Georgia.
The rising senior will play in the U.S. Amateur in August at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. The 45th-ranked player according to Golfweek/AGC also recently finished in third place at The Dogwood Invitational in early June.
INTO THE DEEP END
Over 60 players competing this week are ranked in the top 1000 according to the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), compared to 48 from a season ago. In addition, a record number of non-exempt applications were submitted this year at over 180, compared to 85 in 2021. The impressive field coming to Pittsford, NY will look to build upon the Monroe Invitational event being the 20th ranked non-collegiate event in the world last year according to WAGR.
Pittsford, NY native and 2015 St. John Fisher standout golfer, Chris Blyth
, is back in the Monroe Invitational field after winning the qualifier on Monday, June 27. Blyth, who finished 80th in 2019 at the Monroe Invitational, carded a 4-under (66) to pace the field. Victor, NY native and rising junior Aiden Spampinato
of Methodist University rejoins the field for the second consecutive year after tying for second in the qualifier to earn a spot. In addition, one of the top juniors in the Rochester area, Owen Corby, will make another appearance after competing in 2021.
R.J. IS BACK!
Another familiar face is back in the field in 2022, as Monroe member, R.J. Demonte, finished tied for second in the qualifying round at even par. Demonte holed out for eagle from the fairway on the par-4 15th, followed by a birdie on the par-3 16th to punch his ticket. Demonte also participated in 2021.
, of Elmira, Ontario, who is No. 3 in the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Am rankings
, is making his seventh appearance at the Monroe Invitational. Rank, an NHL referee for five seasons, participated in the 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2019 tournaments. In his last two appearances, he finished 14th and 12th, respectively. Earlier in May, Rank was forced to leave the U.S. Open Qualifier to be the standby official for Game 1 between the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche during the NHL playoffs.
BY THE NUMBERS
15 foreign countries are represented in the field, including Argentina (2), Australia (3), Brazil (1), Canada (7), Cayman Islands, Ecuador, England (4), Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, New Zealand (3), Singapore (2), Uruguay, and China.
Over 50 Colleges are represented, headlined by Georgia Tech (6), Florida (4), and Penn State (4). In addition, Stanford (2), , UNC (2), Ohio State (2), Virginia (2), Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Furman, Kansas, Liberty, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, USC, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, will have players competing.
In 2020, when Dustin Johnson won the Masters, the Butler Cabin awards presentation had Fred Ridley, Andy Ogletree, Johnson, and Tiger Woods. The only person without a Monroe Invitational victory was Woods. (Woods was a semi-finalist in 1993).
Story courtesy of Monroe Invitational