NOW PLAYING: The Dogwood Invitational tees off a hot summer of amateur golf
12 May 2023
by Kevin Price of

see also: View results for Dogwood Invitational, Druid Hills Golf Club, Carson Bacha Rankings

The Dogwood Invitational is set to once again kick off what figures to be another exciting summer of amateur golf.

The 56th playing of the tournament at Druid Hills Golf Club in the metro Atlanta area will be played June 7-10 and will be the first major tournament of the summer as the collegiate golfers that predominately make up the field make the transition from playing team golf for their schools to playing individually on the amateur circuit during the summertime.

The four-round event also comes a week prior to the start of the Elite Amateur Series which begins the following week at the Sunnehanna Amateur Championship in Pennsylvania. The series which debuted last year includes seven of the top amateur tournaments on the summer calendar. The top finishers in the points standings at the end of the series earn exemptions into United States Golf Association championships and also Korn Ferry and PGA Tour events.

The winner of the inaugural Elite Amateur Series was Caleb Surratt of Tennessee who won the SEC individual conference title this spring as a freshman.

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Aussie Influence

A new twist to the Dogwood this year is the partnership it has formed with PGA Tour Australasia. The 2023 Dogwood champion will receive two PGA Tour Australasia invites to play in tour events. Also those finishing in the top five at Druid Hill will be exempt into the final stage of the 2024 qualifying school for the PGA Tour Australasia.

The Dogwood has a tradition of inviting Australian players to its tournament, and two years ago Queensland golfer Louis Dobbelaar won the long-running invitational. The former Australian Amateur champion turned pro in November 2021, about five months after his triumph on the hilly course in suburban Atlanta.

Several Australian golfers are committed to playing this year’s event including Blaike Perkins and Jye Pickin who are ranked among the top 10 in the Australian Men’ Order of Merit.

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A Look at the Field

The 2022 Dogwood champion, Carson Bacha, will be back to defend the title he won a year ago. The Auburn standout shot 6-under-par 66 in the final round last June to finish at 22-under over the four rounds as he won by five shots. The victory was the first for Bacha in one of amateur golf’s major tournaments.

His final round was highlighted by a double-eagle on the par-5 seventh hole. Bacha went up by four strokes with two holes to go on his outward nine and led by at least that four-stroke margin for the remainder of the round.

Bacha took the tournament lead for the first time in the third round when he carded a 65 that gave him a two-stroke advantage going into the final round.

Wake Forest golfer Scotty Kennon also will be back after challenging for the tournament win last year. Kennon matched the 66 by Bacha in the closing round and shot 17-under to finish as the tournament runner-up.

Two recent Georgia Amateur champions are set to compete just outside the state’s capital as well. Harris Barth, the 2021 Georgia Amateur winner, and William Love, the reigning champion from last year, are both entered in the Dogwood. Barth, an Atlanta native, was a freshman this season at Furman University. He finished fourth overall last year at Druid Hills.

Love, another Atlanta player, will be competing after his first collegiate season at Duke. He recorded two top-10 finishes with the Blue Devils this spring and also won the Dorado Beach Collegiate in Puerto Rico back in September with a three-round 199 score that included a 63 in the second round.

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Southern Comfort

The Dogwood traditionally has a very distinct Southern flavor. It attracts players from schools in the southern portion of the country including teams that compete in the ACC and SEC.

There were 10 players from SEC schools and six players who play at ACC schools among the top 25 finishers last summer at the Dogwood.

Georgia and Georgia Tech, two usually-strong programs, are typically well-represented. Georgia Tech, the ACC champion this spring, will have four players in the field. Meantime, Georgia, which again made the NCAA Regionals out of the SEC, will have five players at Druid Hills including incoming freshman Camden Smith.

Florida, which won the SEC championship in April, also will have several players competing. One of the Gators set to play is Matthew Kress who tied for 10th at the Dogwood a year ago.

Garrett Rank, currently ranked fourth in the world mid-amateur rankings, will be back as well. The Canadian always seems to play well at Druid Hills. He was the Dogwood’s low mid-am player last year for the second straight time. He finished tied for 10th with Kress at 11-under last June. Back in 2021, Rank tied for second as he finished only two strokes behind Dobbelaar as he won the tournament.

Results: Dogwood Invitational
1MSHunter LoganSteens, MS100069-61-71-67=268
T2GAMaxwell FordPeachtree Corners, GA70068-66-71-68=273
T2PANeal ShipleyPittsburgh, PA70067-69-68-69=273
T4NCAlex GoffKings Mountain, NC50066-70-73-66=275
T4OHJackson ChandlerDublin, OH50073-66-67-69=275

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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