Greystone Golf & Country Club - Hoover, AL, USA
In case you have not heard, Jordan Spieth played the Founders Course at Greystone Golf & Country Club last week!
Well....in the spirit of total disclosure.....it was not THE Jordan Spieth.
But it sure might have been THE NEXT Jordan Spieth!
The 15th Annual Greystone Invitational was contested June 23-27, 2015 on the Founders Course at Greystone Golf & Country Club. William Gordon from Davidson, NC and an incoming Freshman on the Vanderbilt University Golf Team, dominated the field with a 13-under par score of 275 (64-70-71-70). William's nearest competitors were Runner-Ups Anthony Quayle (69-74-69-70) from the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and Birmingham's own Robby Prater (70-70-71-71), a Junior on the University of Alabama's golf team who both finished at 6-under par 282.
This year's Mid-Am winner was 2008 GI Champion and 5-Time GI Mid-Am Champ, Woodie Eubanks. Woodie finished at 3-over par, 291, with scores of 73-74-72-72. The best Greystone Golf & CC Member finish went to Chris Jones, reigning Greystone Club Champion, who finished in a tie for 29th at 7-over par, 296, with scores of 70-74-73-79.
Only 8 players managed to finish under par on the beautiful, yet challenging, Founders Course. With putting surfaces stimping the entire week in the 13-14 range coupled with U.S. Open rough, GI 2015 provided an excellent opportunity to test out the newly redesigned green complexes under tournament competition. Many of our returning players commented on how well they liked the new changes to the Founders Course.
This year's field of 148 players was one of our strongest ever with golfers participating from over 12 countries and 22 states! Our International contingence featured golfers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Jamaica, Iceland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, South Korea and the United States. Many of our International players are playing in the States on college scholarships, but several, such as Anthony Quayle from Australia and Vaughan McCall of New Zealand, found out about the Greystone Invitational from their Internet searches. They were impressed with the quality of our past Champions over our short history and came away even more impressed with how efficiently and professionally the event was presented.
Several Invitationals such as Greystone's offer private family housing to their players - which the players greatly appreciate and enjoy. This year GI 2015 hosted 58 players with 23 Greystone area families (see the list below), which was a new record! Most of the players asked to be placed once again with the same families and many of the families communicate with 'their players' throughout the year to see if they are coming back to Greystone! You will hear story after story of GI Host Families who are now lifelong friends with many of their 'adopted' GI family members.
|Notre Dame and Philippines National Golf Team Member and PGA Tour China player, Carl Santos-Ocampo with Tommy and Nancy Parsons. (Click for larger image)|
One recent example is former Notre Dame and Philippines National Golf team member and present professional PGA Tour China golfer Carl Santos-Ocampo. Carl played in the Greystone Invitational for several years and stayed with Tommy and Nancy Parsons. Their friendship continues to this day and Carl was in town this year to support the 3rd Annual "Sticks against Stigma" charity golf event that the Parsons host to raise money for the Todd Parsons Memorial Foundation. (http://www.toddparsonsmemorialfund.org)
We enjoyed seeing Carl around Greystone this year!
Many new friendships have already formed during this year's event! Greystone residents Andres and Sue Thors found out that one of our GI 2015 players, Hrafn Gudlaugsson, hailed from Reykjavik, Iceland as did Andres! The Thors quickly contacted Hrafn about staying with them during the Invitational and also invited Daniel Aulin Jansen who is from Norway to stay with them too!
Naturally, Hrafn and Daniel were thrilled to be so close to the course and enjoy some Greystone Southern Hospitality. Both Hrafn and Daniel are so appreciative to the Thors and to all of those involved with the Invitational.
The Thors have invited Hrafn back to attend the 4th of July weekend with them and he will get to see the amazing fireworks display at Greystone this year!
Hrafn is presently playing on the Faulkner University golf team in Montgomery and Daniel is playing on the University of South Alabama golf team. Both players made the cut in this year's Invitational and played very well with Daniel finishing at 1-under par in a tie for 7th place (71-72-73-71=287) and Hrafn finished at 8-over par in a tie for 29th place. (75-76-70-75=296).
Greystone Golf & Country Club is uniquely positioned next year to host The Tradition - a Senior Major Championship since 1989 - in May followed by the 16th Annual Greystone Invitational in June of 2016. We will be blessed to host golf's greatest past, present and future stars within a two-month period!!! These events need to be shared with our friends and supported through our volunteer efforts.
|Jordan Spieth's 'thank-you' note foreshadowing his Masters victory six years in advance. (Click for larger image).|
As we were matching players with the host families this year, I was reminded of the 'thank-you' note that Jordan Spieth sent to a Mr. and Mrs. Murphy who had helped him while playing on the Jesuit Golf Team with a grant through their Joseph M. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Six year's before his Masters victory, Jordan expressed enough confidence in his game that "my dream is to play professionally and win the Masters".
After being around the GI 2015 Field at Greystone this week there is no doubt in my mind that this same 'Jordan Spieth' confidence exists in the many of the participants playing in our own backyards.
So you still think that it is far fetched that the next Jordan Spieth would be a competitor in the Greystone Invitational?
Consider the fact that over the past 15 Greystone Invitationals, two of our participants have played in the Masters the following Spring!!!
Michael Thompson, GI 2007 Champion played in the 2008 Masters after finishing as Runner-Up in the 2007 U.S. Amateur. And last year, Gunn Yang finished in a tie for 44th place in GI 2014 and went on to win the U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club earning an invitation to the 2015 Masters and 2015 U.S. Open just to name a few.
Needless to say, a lot of impressive golf takes place during the Greystone Invitational right here in our own neighborhood.
When these impressive facts were brought to William Gordon's attention following his win on Saturday, he proudly said "I'd like to improve on those odds even more before this summer is out!"
I like William's confidence. William Gordon meet Jordan Spieth. Jordan meet William.
And who knows? One of our very own host families might have a keepsake 'thank you' note, Pairings Sheet, photograph or special email from one of their players stashed away in a scrapbook somewhere that may someday belong to a Masters Champion!
For more articles and photos from the 2015 Greystone Invitational, visit our website at www.greystoneinvitational.com.
Thank You Host Families!!
The Greystone Invitational Tournament Committee would like to express their sincere thanks to all of our GI 2015 Host Families for their hospitality and willingness to open their homes and hearts to our amazing group of players!
Colleen & Michael Beckenstein
Pam & Tom Miller