Judson Collegiate a unique event for a good cause

Next month’s Judson Collegiate was born simply enough, from a mid-December lunch conversation between Jackie Cannizzo and Legends Tour player Rosie Jones. The way Cannizzo tells it, Jones was looking for a way for Legends Tour players to give back. The budding charity event provided the perfect opportunity.

Cannizzo, a PGA professional and longtime director of instruction at the Country Club of Roswell (Ga.), is very involved in junior golf and charity golf outings. She had been tabbed as tournament director for the event, which started as the brainchild of Lauren Judson, a Southern Mississippi junior who wanted to host a tournament in honor of her parents, who died in 2010 in a private plane crash. It was important to Judson that the tournament include the three elements about which her parents were most passionate: faith, family and friends.

Interested in playing? Contact Jackie Cannizzo at JACGOLF32@aol.com

“It’s just kind of a combination of just us being professionals and having been around different formats and different players and wanting to do something that was kind of cool,” Cannizzo said of the format. “... When we presented the idea of the Legends (to Lauren), she just got all fired up about it.”

And so, the Judson Collegiate Invitational & The Legends Tour Atlanta Pro Am was born. The event will feature 30 Legends Tour players and 60 college players and benefits Children’s Health Care of Atlanta. The college portion has yet to fill, but the registration period has been extended. So far, participants include Nebraska’s Madeleine Sheils, the Edean Ihlanfeldt winner; Ohio State’s Rachel Rohanna, who finished T-14 at the NCAA Championship; Georgia State’s Charlotte Lorentzen, a four-time winner this season; and Tulsa’s Kristina Merkle, who was T-13 in stroke-play qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links earlier this week.

The event, to be played July 15-18 at the Country Club of Roswell, begins with a pro-am with teams made up on one Legends player, two college players and two amateurs. The tournament proper begins the following day with groups of one Legends player and two college players playing individual stroke play with a best-ball component. The final two days will be college players competing in stroke play.

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