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The W. E. Cole Cotton States Invitational Golf Tournament is an amateur match play event held annually at Bayou DeSiardCountry Club in Monroe, Louisiana. The original tournament was held in 1949 as the Bayou DeSiard Labor Day Golf Tournament, but in 1951 the new young Club pro W. E. (Winnie) Cole changed the name to the Cotton States Invitationalto help elevate it to Regional status. That year the winner was Don January, who later went on to become a successful playeron the PGA Tour and the Senior Tour. In 1978 the tournament was renamed again in honor of Mr. Cole and became theW. E. Cole Cotton States Invitational. Over the years the Cotton States has attracted some of the top collegiate and amateur players from around the Gulf South region along with players from other areas of the country and from around the World. The Cotton States has a rich tradition of high-level competition with several past contestants and champions moving on tosuccess on the PGA Tour. A few past Cotton States players of note were Don January, Homero Blancas, Jackie Cupit, Gil Morgan, Bill Rodgers, Hal Sutton, David Toms and Marc Leishman. They all went on to success on the PGA Tour. Rodgers, Sutton and Toms all became major championships winners. The 2018 the Champion was Blake Collier, from Kew, Australia with the Victoria Institute of Sport and the runner-up was Paul Gonzales from Waxahachie, Texas and University of Texas – Arlington. The stroke play Medalist was Kyle Michel, from Kiala Lakes, Australia with a 36-hole total of 138, six under par. This year’s tournament will be held July 23-28. The course will be open for a practice round on July 23rd with the stroke play qualifying to be played over the next two days with the low thirty-two advancing to match play. The match playcompetition will start the morning of the 26th and go through the morning of the 28th. A player will need to win five matches over the next three days to become the champion. The field is limited to the first 110 players accepted. Players that would like to enter must have no higher than a 0.0 USGA certified ghin handicap index to enter along withthe competitive record. After a review of each entry, the player will be notified of acceptance within 3-5 days. If a playerisn’t initially accepted into the field, he may elect to be placed on a conditional waiting list from which he may still be selected. Any player that enters, but isn’t selected either initially or from the waiting list, the player will get a full refund. The W. E. Cole Cotton StatesInvitational Golf Tournament is affiliated with the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. The top finishers in the stroke play qualifying and thematch play will receive world ranking points. The Bayou DeSiard golf course was originally updated and designed by Perry Maxwell in the 1950’s. It was most recently renovated in 2008-2009by Ron Pritchard. The course plays to 7234 yards from the championship tees, and will certainly create an exciting challenge for all contestants.