The Invitational will have 80 participants, including numerous golfers who reside near the course. Druid Hills’ club members John Davis, Christopher Harris, Jeff Henderson, Edward Kropp, Philip Verlander and Decatur native Sean Murphy will play in the tournament. Alumni from several north Fulton county high schools will be in the field as well such as Franco Castro (Alpharetta), Zack Jaworski (Milton), Billy Kennerly (Mt. Pisgah) along with Roswell resident William Mitchell.
Previous Invitational golfer from around the world, including South America and Australia, have won some of the most prestigious amateur golf championships including the British Amateur, Jones Cup, Northeast Amateur, the Porter Cup and participated in the Walker Cup, a biannual event placing the top amateur golfers from the United States, Great Britain and Ireland in team competition.
The tournament began in 1941 and legendary amateur golfer and Georgia Golf Hall of Fame member Tommy Barnes won the first Invitational.
The Druid Hills Golf Club, which opened in 1914, has a rich history as Bobby Jones, co-founder of The Masters Tournament, four-time winner of the U.S. Open and five-time winner of the U.S. Amateur, won the club tournament in 1915 as a thirteen-year-old.
“The Dogwood has long been a storied stop for a young golfer’s trip to the PGA tour,” said Edward Toledano, chairman of the Dogwood Invitational. “This year we are proud to not only cultivate the careers of some of the world’s best young athletes, but we have the unique opportunity to give back to a foundation at the heart of the club.”
Other charities that will benefit from the Invitational include the Atlanta Junior Golf Association, which holds more than 90 tournaments and golf training programs for children ages seven to 16, and the Wayne Reynolds Scholarship Foundation, which provides four-year scholarships to amateur golfers, 26 of which have come from the state of Georgia since 1996.
“Atlanta is a great golf town and the entire community embraces the Invitational,” said Toledano. “The event’s lure keeps amateur golf alive in Georgia.”
Top professional golfers such as Ben Kohles, Hudson Swafford, Marc Leishman and Larry Mize have played in the Invitational during their amateur careers. 2013 Master’s Champion Adam Scott and 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson, who currently has the standing course record for a round at 60 and won the Invitational in 1997, have also participated in the event.
The winner of the event will receive an exemption into the Canadian Amateur Championship and the Masters of Amateurs in Australia.