LEO Golf Academy Champions and Montgomery natives represent well at the 2nd Annual 2023 Jim Thorpe Invitational at ChampionsGate International Course in Orlando, Florida

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By Quincy Leonard

Montgomery: LEO Golf Academy represented Montgomery Alabama well on February 17-19, 2023 with Coach Quincy Leonard (Coach LEO) serving as the Junior Tournament Director and 5 of his players from his academy competing in this wonderful event at ChampionsGate International Course in Orlando, Florida.

The second annual Jim Thorpe Invitational presented by Coca-Cola Beverages Florida (JTI) was held at ChampionsGate Golf Course in Orlando, Florida. The event is part of the United Golfers Association’s ongoing efforts to grow the game by creating opportunities for elite minority golfers to enhance their overall player development in the sport and advance their personal goals.

The event also aims to help them find support needed to allow them to better focus on their career path and development in the game. The Tournament will host the largest field in history of the top Minority Junior, Collegiate and Professional Tour Players in one field.

This golf event was created to celebrate Jim Thorpe and create an event that will allow his supporters to participate and contribute to increasing the amount of minority golfers being introduced to the sport of golf and competing in events that will prepare them for either a career in golf on or off the fairways.

GolfPass, golf’s most comprehensive digital membership by NBC Sports Next, which will provide on-demand content and social media coverage highlighting the uniqueness of the 2023 Jim Thorpe Invitational Tournament. Coverage will be available on-demand at www.GolfPass.com beginning Thursday, Feb. 23. GolfPass coverage will include a variety of video segments highlighting the tournament and its surrounding events, and featuring competing junior golfers, the awards presentation, panel discussion and post-tournament sporting events involving youth.

 “This event is unique because it is being held during Black History Month with Minority Junior, Collegiate and Professional Tour Players in one field and having Mr. Jim Thorpe’s name associated to it as well is truly incredible”, says Coach LEO the founder of LEO Golf Academy. Leonard said, “When asked by the JTI organization to be the JTI Junior Golf Tournament Director and host this year’s event I was a great honored.”

LEO Golf Academy’s participants in this year’s JTI field are Noah Cortner, winner of the 9 and under age Division, Quincy Leonard finished 8th Boys 16-18 Division, Curstan Bunche finished 6th Girls 16-18 Division, Lauryn Leonard finished 7th Girls 13-15 Division, and London Leonard finished 5th Girls 10-12 Division.  “I am so proud of all these young champions.  Noah’s mother found me on the course and said to me the first thing he said when he finished his final round was “Got to go tell Coach LEO what I did” that made me so happy.”, said Coach LEO. “Being at an event with exposure to a professional like Mr. Thorpe and national TV will give them so much confidence going forward in their lives.”

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