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[by Rob Kelley - Director of Brand Marketing FootJoy]

I had the pleasure of making a return trip to Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC for the AJGA’s 2009 FootJoy Invitational. Sedgefield CC is also the site of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, held in late August. Since this is a junior event one might assume that the players play forward tees or get advantageous pin placements – nothing could be further from the truth! These young players get a great test of golf and play it from the same tees as the PGA Tour players.

The field in this event is once again outstanding – 99 of the top junior players from all over the globe. Competitors in past FootJoy Invitationals have moved onto elite-level college play and many now earn a living on the PGA Tour, including this year’s FootJoy Invitational Honorary Chairman, Webb Simpson.

The FootJoy Invitational is a four-round competition, including a Junior-Am event that took place on Monday. Once again, I was fortunate to participate with Sedgefield’s Head Professional, Rocky Brooks. Rocky is a tremendous golfer and an absolute pleasure to play with --- anyone who knows Rocky can relate. I had Rocky at one under on his round, making his defense of our match last year fairly academic by the turn! Perhaps more impressive was the play of the Junior in our group, Dallas’ Anthony Paolucci. Though Anthony just completed his Sophomore year in High School, he has an amazingly polished game and outstanding composure on the golf course. Anthony is a perfect example of what the AJGA stands for: Developing Golf’s Next Generation. This statement means more than simply creating better golfers --- the AJGA regards character development to be just as important as improving one’s skill.

The FootJoy brand takes great pride in its association with the AJGA and being the title sponsor of this major event. You can follow the action of today’s fourth and final round at: http://www.ajga.org/2009FootJoy/index.asp