In only its 15th year, the Greystone Invitational continues to forge golf history that includes serving as a major stop on the road to Gunn Yang’s victory in the 2014 U.S. Amateur.
San Diego State’s Yang made a special emphasis to compete in GI 2014 in preparation for several amateur events including the U.S. Amateur held later in the summer at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
While Yang opened with an impressive 4-under par 68, he never regained his form - even after making the cut - to finish in a tie for 44th at 10-over par with rounds of 68-78-76-76. Yang’s 298 would be 23 strokes behind eventual 2014 Champion, University of Cincinnati’s and Birmingham area native, John Michael O’Toole’s 10-under par 275 (69-70-71-65).
GI 2015 promises to continue the tradition as one of the world’s premier events in amateur golf. Each year the GI field produces worthy champions who are now playing and winning on the PGA Tour. And when one considers that even those previous GI participants, who only manage to finish in the middle of the pack, go on to place their names in amateur and professional golf history, it only strengthens the growing prestige of the Greystone Invitational.
The Greystone Invitational began in 2000 with a mission to become a top-tier golf tournament with a strong mix of non-exempt and exempt players of various ages that would draw contestants from across the world and to contest the event on a well-prepared championship golf course.
The tournament field annually reads like a Who’s Who of collegiate, local, national and international amateur golfers as they make the Greystone Invitational a key event on their summer competition schedule.
Past GI Champions include present PGA TOUR members Michael Thompson (2007) and Lee Williams (2001 & 2003) and Emerald Coast tour winner Glenn Northcutt (2010).
Past Champion in 2004, Jonathan Dismuke is now golf coach at the University of Houston and the 2002 GI Champion Zane Goldthorp has numerous top ten finishes in amateur events including a 4th place finish in the 2012 Georgia Mid-Am.
The remaining GI Champions, Bobby Spiller (2005), Mark Harrell (2006), Woodie Eubanks (2008), Justin Yoder (2009), Bo Andrews (2011) and Michael Johnson (2012) are all still very competitive in numerous top-level amateur events as well as competing professionally.
Many other GI contestants have moved on to domestic and international pro tours around the globe. One recent GI participant, Will Wilcox, is now playing on the PGA TOUR and competed for the lead in the 2014 Sony Open and won on the Web.com tour in 2013 . Will has threatened several times to win his first PGA TOUR event and in 2014, he had 2 Top-10 Finishes and 5 Top-25 Finishes ending with $586,159 in official money. So far in 2015, Will already has 2 Top-25 Finishes and has won $176,100 through Feb 24th.
Two other past contestants - James Bowen from Auburn and Carl Santos-Ocampo from Notre Dame - have multiple wins on the Asian Tour and Asian Development Tours.
Michael Thompson’s career is so far the most decorated GI champion finishing as Runner-up in the 2007 U.S. Amateur the same summer he won the Greystone Invitational on Greystone’s Legacy Course. Michael attended Tulane University for two seasons before Hurricane Katrina would force The Green Wave to disband their golf team. After transferring to the University of Alabama Thompson’s stellar play earned him the 2008 SEC Player of the Year.
As a finalist in the 2007 U.S. Amateur Thompson earned invitations to the 2008 Masters Tournament and the 2008 U.S. Open. While he missed the cut in the Masters he went on to finish as low amateur in the Open at Torrey Pines finishing in 28th place.
Thompson would once again finish as a Runner-Up in a USGA event but this time it was in the 2012 U.S. Open losing by only one shot to eventual winner Webb Simpson at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, CA.
Feeding off a successful 2012 season, Thompson had his best season on the PGA TOUR including a win at the 2013 Honda Classic. With his win, he would reach a career-high 45th in the Official World Golf Ranking and finish the season at 39th in FedEx Cup points. As of February in 2015, Thompson has already earned over $5.1 million in his pro career.
When you look at the list of past winners and participants in the young, 14-year history of the Greystone Invitational, the confidence and experience gained as a competitor or as an eventual Champion can only continue to positively shape a golfer’s career.
Make your plans now to see golf’s future stars shine during the 15th Annual Greystone Invitational held Wed. June 24 – Sat. June 27, 2015 at the Greystone Golf & Country Club Founders Course! You may also help forge golf history as a volunteer by serving as a marshal, scorer, a host family for collegiate golfers, or by providing assistance with transportation and several other wonderful opportunities during GI 2015.
It is guaranteed volunteers and spectators alike will end up with wonderful golfing stories to tell your friends and family!
For more information visit the Invitational website at www.greystoneinvitational.com.