Auburn University senior Graysen Huff shot a third straight round of par or better Thursday, Dec. 31, at the Wigwam Golf Club Gold Course in Litchfield Park, turning in a final-round -3 (67) to win the 2020 Patriot All-America Invitational at -8 overall.
His final score was two shots better than Lincoln Memorial University senior Dan Bradbury, who finished alone in second at -6.
View the entire leaderboard here.
“It’s pretty awesome — I don’t really have words for it,” said the Eagle, Idaho, native, playing in his second straight Patriot All-America. “This is what we work for, to just give yourself the opportunity. Thankfully the cards fell my way this week.”
Mr. Huff found himself down one stroke to Mr. Bradbury on the par-4 13th hole before finding another gear down the stretch.
Mr. Bradbury would bogey 13 to drop to -5, while Mr. Huff birdied three of his last five holes to take home the F-35 Trophy and authentic U.S. Air Force leather flight jacket.
In all, 83 of the top amateur players in the world made up this year’s 10th anniversary Patriot All-America field.
“It’s actually funny, I had the same club in I think on the last five holes,” Mr. Huff said. “I hit a lot of really good shots coming in and I think I birdied three of them. It was a little bit of a difference maker and put me just enough ahead to cruise through 18.”
Mr. Bradbury entered the final round three shots back of Mr. Huff, but quickly made up the deficit with birdies on three of his first four holes. The Yorkshire, England, native improved his score each round at the Wigwam (71-67-66), but ran out of steam in his pursuit of the lead.
“It was the perfect start really — the front nine was kind of getable and I took advantage of the getable holes,” said Mr. Bradbury, playing in his first Patriot All-America. “It feels good putting your name up there, but to do it at such a good event like this, it means more this week. So it’s extra special.”
Turk Pettit of Clemson University and Logan McAllister of Oklahoma University finished tied for third at -4, respectively. University of Arizona teammates Christian Banke and Trevor Werbylo, along with San Diego State University’s Puwit Anupansuebsai, finished tied for fifth at -3.
The Patriot All-America honors fallen or severely wounded soldiers in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Each golfer receives a golf bag donated by PING Corp. at the event’s opening ceremony emblazoned with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they shall represent. Participants also receive a card with the service member’s story.
The theme of the tournament made a visible impression on many players.
“It’s a bummer I don’t get to play next year, I’ll just say that,” Mr. Huff said just after winning the event. “It’s a special event, a special place and a special atmosphere here.”
“Obviously being from England it’s a little different, but I respect it so much,” said Mr. Bradbury. “It is a really cool experience, something totally different to what I’ve ever had before. It’s nice.”
The bags will go to each golfer’s respective university, where it will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Folds of Honor.
The annual tournament presented by Valley Toyota Dealers, is a collaboration between the Arizona Golf Association, Golf Coaches Association of America, JDM Partners and the West Valley Mavericks Foundation in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation and support from the Thunderbirds, the Waste Management Phoenix Open host.
In addition to Folds of Honor, this year’s tournament benefitted Mavericks foundation charities.
For all information on the Patriot All-America, including links to final results, live-stream recordings and social media posts, visit patriotallamerica.com.