The West Valley Mavericks were looking forward to hitting the Patriot All-America Golf Invitational’s 10th anniversary milestone this year.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. So, like most 2020 events, the West Valley Mavericks will livestream the event, which runs from Sunday, Dec. 27, to Thursday, Dec. 31, at The Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, via YouTube. The 54-hole stroke-play competition is Tuesday, Dec. 29, to Thursday, Dec. 31.
“We’re not going to have the hospitality tent, but we’re excited to livestream the golf event, including the opening ceremonies,” said Erik Rasmussen, event chairman. “We couldn’t celebrate the way we wanted to.”
The Patriot All-America, presented by the Valley Toyota Dealers, is a top amateur golf event, attracting Ping All-America golfers from all three NCAA Divisions, NAIA and NJCAA rankings as well as from universities outside the United States.
In cooperation with the Folds of Honor Foundation, the golfers in The Patriot All-America play in honor of and represent a fallen soldier. Every participant receives a golf bag at the event’s opening ceremony with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they represent. At the conclusion of the tournament, the golf bags are shipped to players’ schools and auctioned with all proceeds benefiting the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military servicemen and women killed or disabled while in active service.
“It’s a great way to honor our soldiers. It helps the players connect to what the servicemen do,” Rasmussen said.
“They are not just playing for themselves. They’re playing for a fallen soldier who has sacrificed himself for the betterment of our country,” said Jerry Colangelo, Patriot All-America chairman emeritus.
Rasmussen said this year’s 54-hole tournament has one of the strongest fields. Past alumni of The Patriot All-America include Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Champ.
“We’re just excited to provide the event,” Rasmussen said. “It’s the strongest field we’ve ever had. We’re excited to do it in a little different fashion.”