Around the Green
The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.
The Woodlands Set to Host 90th Texas State Junior Championship
DALLAS — One of the country’s oldest and largest state junior competitions moves to The Woodlands Country Club on July 25-29, featuring 240 players spread out in four different divisions.
The Legends Junior Tour will conduct the 90th playing of the Texas State Junior Championship presented by Merrill Lynch. The field is compiled into four groups: Boys 15-18, Girls 15-18 and Boys and Girls 14 & under. The Boys 15-18 Division will compete on the Tournament Course, while the other three divisions will compete at Panther Trail Golf Course.
In the Boys 15-18 division, there were 53 players exempt for the 120-player field. Nearly 200 other boys attempted to qualify for the remaining 67 spots. The Girls 15-18 division features a 60-player field, while there are 48 boys competing in the Boys 14 & Under Division and 12 girls playing in the Girls 14 & Under Division all filled based on the LJT Priority Entry System.
The Boys and Girls 15-18 Divisions will be playing 54 holes of stroke play competition. The Boys 15-18 Division will cut to the low 45 players and ties after 36 holes, while the Girls 15-18 Division will cut to the low 27 players and ties after 36 holes. The Boys and Girls 14 & Under Divisions will play 36 holes of stroke play competition over two days.
Past champions of this prestigious event include Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke, Jeff Maggert, Stratton Nolen, Will Griffin, Angela Stanford, Annika Clark and Courtney Dow.
This year’s championship features another top-notch field including 12 winners on the Legends Junior Tour already in 2016 and three winners from the 89th Texas State Junior Championship last year.
In the Boys 15-18 Division Jack Anderson of Round Rock is coming off a victory in the Flodder Financial Shootout at the Golf Club at Cinco Ranch. Austin’s Brandon Hoff won the Boys 15-18 Division at the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic in March, Dallas’ Turner Hosch won the Spring Preview in February and Austin’s Thomas Bockholt III won the Boys 14 & Under Division at the Winter Classic in January.
In the Girls 15-18 Division Dallas’ Hailey Jones, who is the defending champion, has won three times in 2016. Jones captured victories at the Winter Classic, the James A. Ragan Memorial and the Collegiate Preview. Kingwood’s Hanna Alberto, who finished runner-up in last year’s Texas State Junior Championship, won the Spring Preview in February. Valerie Routzong of Richmond is coming off a win at the Flodder Financial Shootout and was the winner of the Girls 14 & Under Division in 2015. Sara Camarena of Lake Travis won the Bluebonnet Championship in May, while Macy Fox of Marble Falls won the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic in March.
In the Boys 14 & Under Division Pearland’s Vishnu Sadagopan has won twice, claiming victories at the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic and the Bluebonnet Championship. Sadagopan finished tied for 27th at the Byron Nelson Junior Championship last month. Cypress’ Lucas Borrero is coming off a victory at the Flodder Financial Shootout in the Boys 14 & Under Division, while Austin’s Cole Sherwood won the Spring Preview’s Boys 14 & Under Division earlier this year.
Runners-up to Mason Greenberg in the Boys 15-18 Division last year were Sam Bennett of Madisonville and Pryce Beshoory of Pearland. Both players are competing in the 90th Texas State Junior Championship at The Woodlands Country Club this year, along with 2014 runner-up Dalton Hankamer.
Jenson Rogenes of Frisco won the Boys 14 & Under Division at last year’s championship and is competing in the Boys 15-18 Division this year. Rogenes finished tied for third in the Boys 15-18 Division at the Winter Classic.
Shuai Ming Wong, who is leading the Player of the Year standings in the Boys 15-18 Division has recorded three top-5 finishes on the Legends Junior Tour in 2016. Wong is coming off a third-place finish at the Byron Nelson Junior Championship.
Along with points towards the Player of the Year standings, players will have a chance to earn exemptions into future LJT Invitationals as well as AJGA Performance Stars. The top five finishers in the Boys 15-18 Division and the top three finishers in the Girls 15-18 Division will earn “Fully Exempt” status with the AJGA. To see all the AJGA Stars available, click here.
Play begins on Monday, July 25, when the Girls 15-18 Division tees off on the Panther Trail Golf Course followed by the Boys and Girls 14 & Under Divisions. The Boys 15-18 Division begins on Wednesday, July 27, at the Tournament Course.
For more information about the Boys and Girls 14 & Under Divisions, click here.
For more information about the Girls 15-18 Division, click here.
For more information about the Boys 15-18 Division, click here.
The LJT has administered the prestigious State Junior since 2005.