20th Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship Field Set
DALLAS—Now entering its 20th year in existence, the 2019 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship is ready to return to Lakewood Country Club on June 4-6. Veritex Bank will sponsor the tournament and the Legends Junior Tour will run the event along with Lakewood Country Club.
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.
Jordan Spieth was a three-time winner from 2008-10, which included setting the Lakewood CC course record in 2009 with a 9-under 62. Spieth would go to the University of Texas to play golf collegiately and then proceeded to a professional career that has already won three Major Championships, including the 2015 Masters Tournament and U.S. Open.
Fellow University of Texas alums, Cody Gribble and Charlie Holland are also past champions of this event. Gribble won the event in 2007 and earned his first professional victory on the PGA Tour at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2016. Holland won in 2004 and would go on to play in the NCAA Championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009 as well as being named All-Big XII in 2008.
Chandler Phillips won the event in 2014 and would go on to Texas A&M and become the career tournament win leader for the Aggies. Phillips has earned six victories in his first three years along with First-Team PING All-American and First-Team All-SEC honors as well as being named on the prestigious All-Nicklaus Team. Phillips was a semifinalist for the 2018 Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award and has been chosen to represent the United States at two Palmer Cups.
Along with those players, fellow past champions include Ryan Baca (2000-01), Alex Moon (2006), Eric Durbin (2005), Vincent Martino (2011), Ryan Grider (2015), Justin Fraley (2002), Levi Valadez (2016), Luke Dossey (2017) and 2018 champion Pierceson Coody who just competed in the NCAA Championship Match with the University of Texas Longhorns.
Coody won last year after getting to 7-under 206 overall and three strokes ahead of the field. The Plano-native made 16 birdies in three rounds, including eight in the final round, when he shot 4-under 67. Coody etched his name on the trophy and is now competing collegiately at the University of Texas.
The 84-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 12th 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. “We’re very excited for the 20th edition of this event and the club cannot wait to watch and support these kids throughout the week.”
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.
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The tournament will commence on Tuesday, June 4, with the second round following on Wednesday, June 5. A cut to the low 36 players and ties will be made after 36 holes and the final round will start on Thursday, June 6.