The New Year's Invitational men's amateur golf tournament begins today at St. Petersburg Country Club. The 72-hole stroke-play event is being played for the 79th time, dating to 1927. A full field of 128 players is expected.
Defending champion Brandt Snedecker will not defend his title because he turned pro, but 2004 runnerup, John Holmes, a senior at the University of Kentucky, is in the field. Holmes won the tournament in 2003.
Others in the field are Vanderbilt's Luke List (runnerup to Ryan Moore at the 2004 U.S. Amateur) and St. Petersburg's Mike Barbosa, who plays at Georgia Tech.
_ BOB HARIG, Times staff writer