For four out of the last five years, Pineville’s Matt Gann has had a stronghold on the Harlan Invitational crown. This weekend, he’s back yet again to defend the tournament title at the historic 75th Harlan Invitational golf tournament at the Harlan Country Club.
“Matt has been a terrific champion and a great ambassador to our tournament as well,” said Eugene Farmer, tournament chairman. “He has set the bar very high, and I think the other great champions that we have in our field this year would agree that Matt has earned the right to be considered the favorite with his performances over the last several years.”
A host of other past champions of the event will be in the field as well including local talent Andrew Forester, Luke Minor and Harlan Country Club President Pete Cornett Jr.
“Andrew, Luke and Pete are each great champions who greatly treasure this tournament. They are all proud Harlan Countians and are each super players in their own right. All three of them undoubtedly have the game to come away victorious this weekend,” Farmer said.
History and tradition have always played a huge part of the annual event, but this year the Harlan Country Club reaches yet another milestone in hosting the event for the 75th time.
“It is with great honor that we host the 75th edition of the Harlan Invitational,” Farmer said. “The event has a unique, reunion-style feel, and so many of our loyal friends come back annually to support this great tournament. This year is such a great honor with it being our 75th, but we host this year with the heaviest of hearts after the loss of our dear friend and longtime member Dr. Jerry Bryson, who embodied the hospitable spirit of our annual tournament, competed in our event 40 years and won his flight last year by an astounding 13 strokes.”
The 75th invitational gets underway today and will have five flights, starting with fourth flight action around 7 a.m.
“We would like to invite folks in town for Poke Sallet weekend who love and respect the game of golf to come up, watch some great golf and reminisce with us this weekend as we celebrate three quarters of a century at the Harlan Invitational,” Farmer said.
Complete results of the 75th Harlan Invitational will be published in Tuesday’s edition of the Harlan Daily Enterprise.