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News / Sports / Community Sports

Royal Oak Invitational golf tournament returns after one-year hiatus

A field of 180 golfers will be playing Friday through Sunday

By Joshua Hart, Columbian sports reporter, and
The Columbian
Published: June 10, 2021, 9:51pm

The Royal Oaks Invitational Tournament is finally back. After 2020’s event was canceled due to COVID-19, Clark County’s most prestigious golf event is set to begin its 64th annual event on Friday at the Royal Oaks Country Club.

A field of 180 golfers, ranging from high school kids to top college athletes and amateurs, will tee off Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a three-day stroke play format.

“You can’t imagine (how excited we are),” ROIT committee member Bob Britt said. “This is an important event for a lot of players.”

The ROIT is the start of many players’ rigorous summer amateur seasons. The challenge of Royal Oaks — the course is rated No. 5 in the state by Golf Digest — provides golfers a good barometer of where their game stands, Britt said.

Among the high school golfers in the field are Mountain View seniors Graham Moody and Tyler Klepec and Camas sophomore Eli Huntington. Huntington became the youngest golfer ever in the ROIT field when he competed in 2019.

Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Erik Hanson returns seeking his eighth victory in the junior/senior division.

Some of the top college golfers that could contend for the tournament lead include Oregon’s Nate Stember, Utah’s Oscar Maxfield, Santa Clara’s Johnny Ward and Oregon State’s Mateo Fuenmayor. Talented amateurs Calvin Green, Ben Itterman and Zach Foushee are also in the field.

“It’s a fun golf course; it’s competitive and challenging,” Britt said. “It’s in great condition and I know they look forward to it as one of the highlights of their year.”

Spectators are welcomed at Royal Oaks for the tournament. The leaders are expected to tee off at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The course requests spectators wear collared shirts and no denim.

Pairings and live scoring can be found throughout the tournament at roit.org.

Columbian sports reporter