Rim country golfing phenom Billy Bob Hoyt has received an invitation to compete in one of the most prestigious tournaments on the American Junior Golf Association tour.
The Chrysler AJGA Boys Invitational, June 9 to 13 at The Cardinal Golf and Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina, will showcase the 99 best 13-to-18-year-old golfers in the United States.
Among the states to be represented are Alabama, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, Texas and Iowa.
The lone international player, Shinya Inoue, will travel from Tokyo, Japan.
Arizona's invitees include Jake Grodzinsky of Sedona, Peoria's Chad Wilcox and Hoyt.
The Rim country teen, who will be a senior at Payson High next fall, knows Wilcox only slightly but has a long standing rivalry with Grodzinsky.
For the past several seasons, the two have competed against one another on both the amateur and high school circuit.
Grodzinsky, who won the Class 3A Individual state high school state championship last week, will continue his career next year at Duke University.
Hoyt's goal is to earn a college scholarship to a PAC-10 school.
The Chrysler showdown will feature 72 holes of stroke play over the course of four days.
The event tees off June 8 with a qualifying tournament and wraps up June 13 at a final round and awards presentation.
Because Hoyt has never played the Cardinal CC course, he's anticipating he will have to take full advantage of a June 9 practice round.
"(The course) is tree lined, so I'll have to get to know it quickly," he said.
In Greensboro, Hoyt also will be in for a treat few fledgling linksters ever enjoy.
"I've talked to some (players) who have been in the Chrysler and they say it's as close to the professional atmosphere as you can get," he said. "It's one of the best tournaments in the country."
Although the invitational will be a huge challenge for Hoyt, it will not be his first stab at the AJGA tour.
In mid-April, the teen played his way to a tie for seventh in the AJGA Heather Farr Classic at Vistal Golf Club in Phoenix. By finishing among the top-10, Hoyt earned a pair of all-important AJGA "exemptions." The exemptions mean he can compete in two association tournaments without having to qualify.
Because he was invited to the Chrysler, he did not use up one of his exemptions.
Playing on the AJGA tour has long been Hoyt's ambition. It is on that tour that he has the opportunity to attract the attention of university recruiters.
"Most all the colleges send scouts there," Hoyt said.
The mission of the association states its purpose is "dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college scholarships through junior golf."
The defending champion of the invitational, Seung Su Han, will not compete because he has passed the 18-year-old age maximum.
On the high school scene two weeks ago, Hoyt led the Longhorns to a silver medal behind two-time champion Sedona. His even par tally of 148 (76 and 72) on the Johnson Ranch Queen Creek course earned him a third-place showing.
Hoyt is currently prepping for the Chrysler at daily practice sessions at the Rim Golf Club and Payson Golf Course.