PREVIEW: Monroe Invitational Tees off Thursday in Rochester



(Photo credit: Monroe Invitational)

One hundred players will compete on Wednesday July 6 in the 81st Monroe Invitational at the Donald Ross-designed Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York. The history of The Monroe is deep; Dustin Johnson; Thomas Pieter; and Augusta President Fred Ridley are all former champions.

It’s not just the solid course and roster of past champions that makes Monroe special, but the host golf course really holds its own.

Since its inception in 1923, Monroe Golf Club has long been considered one of the finest private clubs in Rochester and Western New York. Donald Ross’ award-winning design of the club is considered by many to be one of the most classic and preserved original Ross layouts. Monroe Golf Club was named one of America’s Top 100 Classic Courses by Golfweek. Monroe hosted the LPGA Championship, a major tournament on the women’s tour, in 2014.

Here are some stories we’ll be following this week.

STAY WARM

Perhaps one of the hottest players to enter the field is John DuBois, a rising senior at the University of Florida. The Windermere, Fla. native finished first in the SEC Championship with a 54-hole 6-under score (204) in April. He carded a 64 in the second round, tying the third-lowest round in conference history. It was his first university 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 buzz for the 2022 field. Howe is ranked 31st by Golfweek/AGC and will be looking to improve on his seventh-place finish a year ago. This will be his fourth appearance at the event after finishing 60th in 2019 and 31st in 2018. The Ogden, Utah native recently finished 10th at the Northeast Amateur in late June.

Forrester is also on a radiator, having qualified for his second U.S. Amateur Championship last Tuesday by earning co-medalist honors in the 36-hole qualifier at the Standard Club in Johns Creek, Georgia. The rising eldest will play in the American Amateur in August at New Jersey’s Ridgewood Country Club. The Golfweek/AGC 45th-ranked player also recently finished in third place at the Dogwood Invitational in early June.

IN THE DEEP

More than 60 players competing this week are ranked in the top 1000 according to the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), up from 48 a season ago. Additionally, a record number of non-exempt nominations were submitted this year at over 180, up from 85 in 2021. The impressive champ coming to Pittsford, NY will look to build on the Monroe Invitational event being the 20th non- ranked college. in the world last year according to WAGR.

LOCAL FLAVOR

Pittsford, NY native and 2015 St. John Fisher standout golfer, Chris Blyth, is back in the field at the Monroe Invitational after winning the qualifier on Monday, June 27. Blyth, who finished 80th in the 2019 Monroe Invitational, had a 4 (66) to pace the field. Aiden Spampinato, a Victor, NY native and rising Methodist University junior, joins the field for the second year in a row after finishing tied for second in qualifying to earn a spot. Additionally, one of the Rochester area’s top juniors, Owen Corby, will make another appearance after competing in 2021.

RJ IS BACK!

Another familiar face is back on the court in 2022, as Monroe member RJ Demonte finished tied for second in the tie-equal qualifying round. Demonte drilled for the 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.

NO STRANGER

Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., 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, appeared 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 out of US Open qualifying to officiate for Game 1 between the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche in the NHL playoffs.

IN NUMBERS

15 foreign countries are represented on the pitch, 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.

More than 50 colleges are represented, including Georgia Tech (6), Florida (4), and Penn State (4). Also, 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.

MASTERS CONNECTION

In 2020, when Dustin Johnson won the Masters, the Butler Cabin awards show had Fred Ridley, Andy Ogletree, Johnson and Tiger Woods. The only person without a win at the Monroe Invitational was Woods. (Woods was a semi-finalist in 1993).

Story courtesy of Monroe Invitational

See the results for The Monroe Invitational