Byron Nelson Junior Championship Field Set for 19th Year
DALLAS– The Byron Nelson Junior Championship returns to Lakewood Country Club on June 5-7 with defending champion Luke Dossey looking to become the first player since Jordan Spieth to win back-to-back titles.
Austin’s Dossey won by two strokes in last year’s Byron Nelson Junior Championship, posting rounds of 72-68-69 to get to 4-under-par 209 overall in the 54-hole stroke play event. The 2019 high school grad captured his first LJT victory by going 4-under in his final 12 holes including back-to-back birdies on holes 14 and 15.
Spieth was the last to successfully defend his title at the Byron Nelson Junior Championship, winning three straight years from 2008-10. The Dallas-native went on to play golf at the University of Texas and has won three Major Tournaments as a professional. Ryan Baca was the first to defend in 2000 and 2001, which were the first two years of the junior tournament.
Byron Nelson once said, “Winners are different. They’re a different breed of cat.” The Byron Nelson Junior Championship has seen its fair share of winners, which have gone on to great success at the collegiate and the professional level.
Along with Spieth and Baca, past champions of this boys-only event include Cody Gribble, Alex Moon, Vincent Martino, Chandler Phillips, Hunter Shattuck and Benjamin Arnett. Gribble played collegiately at the University of Texas and has a professional win under his belt after winning the 2016 Sanderson Farms Championship.
Shattuck, 2013, helped Baylor University climb to No. 1 in the Golfweek rankings in 2017 and its first No. 1 ranking in the Big XII tournament. Chandler Phillips, 2014, is now in his third year at Texas A&M and was named the program’s Most Valuable Player and Newcomer of the Year in 2016.
Levi Valadez claimed the Byron Nelson Junior Championship in 2016, edging Parker Coody with a par on the first playoff hole. His rounds of 69-66-72 got him to 6-under overall.
In 2015, Lewisville’s Ryan Grider beat Pierceson Coody in a two-hole playoff. Grider and Coody finished the 54-hole event all square at 1-under 212 overall and needed two more holes to settle the score.
Pierceson, the 40th ranked junior golfer according to Golfweek and just coming off a win at the AJGA Thunderbird International, and Parker, the 7th ranked junior golfer by Golfweek, will both be in the field, looking to erase their playoff losses and add their name to a large list of former champions (Spieth, Gribble, Moon, Charlie Holland) that went on to play at the University of Texas. Both Coody’s will be joining the Men’s Golf Team in the fall.
The 78-player field will play 54 holes of stroke play competition. After 36 holes, the field is cut to the low 30 players and ties for the final round. The tournament is World Amateur Golf, Golfweek and Junior Golf Scoreboard ranked. Numerous AJGA performance stars will be handed out to the top finishers, including “Fully Exempt” status.
Players in the field earned exemptions from previous LJT Tournaments, the Northern and Southern Texas PGA and the Houston Golf Association, which are members of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance.
Lakewood Country Club is hosting the Byron Nelson Junior Championship for the 11th time since the Legends Junior Tour took over the event in 2006. LCC was opened in 1912 and the golf course was designed by Scotsman, Tom Bendelow, whose prolific career included more than 400 golf courses. Texan Ralph Plummer redesigned the layout in 1947, offering subtleties and mysteries from tee to green that take time to master. The team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore completed a facelift of Lakewood Country Club in 1995 and then again in 2014. The par-71 layout features bermuda fairways and bentgrass greens throughout the 6,750-yard course.
“Our membership gets behind these kinds of events,” said Gilbert Freeman, Lakewood’s esteemed Director of Golf since 1994. “This club supports golf and the golf community.”
Located in the heart of Dallas, Lakewood Country Club has shown a knack for hosting great tournaments throughout the years. Byron Nelson himself won the Texas Victory Open at Lakewood Country Club in 1944, which was the start of his remarkable two-year run of 26 tournaments wins. The tournament would change names a couple of times before becoming the AT&T Byron Nelson.
The tournament will commence on Tuesday, June 5, with the second round following on Wednesday, June 6. A cut to the low 30 players and ties will be made after 36 holes and the final round will start on Thursday, June 7.
For more information about the 2018 Byron Nelson Junior Championship, click here.