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Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship Set for June 2-4

DALLAS – The Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, one of the most prestigious junior championships in the state, is set for June 2-4 at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas. Due to recent executive orders from Texas Governor Greg Abbott regarding public health and COVID-19, the Legends Junior Tour is confident and committed to hosting a safe tournament for all players, spectators, volunteers, staff and the general public.

“The Legends Junior Tour is working to ensure the safety of our players, spectators, volunteers and staff members while still maintaining the competitiveness and prestige that the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship has to offer,” LJT Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “This will be one of the strongest tournament fields we’ve had in recent years.”

This year’s Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship will be the first competitive golf tournament managed by the LJT since early March. The LJT staff has implemented new guidelines to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved with the championship. This year’s new guidelines include but are not limited to the following:

  • Caddies will NOT be permitted for the 2020 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship.
  • Spectators will be permitted on site for the 2020 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship.
  • Spectators will be required to follow social distancing guidelines outlined by the Legends Junior Tour.
  • The Clubhouse at Lakewood Country Club will be OFF LIMITS to all players and spectators.
  • Tee Times for all three rounds will be off the No. 1 tee and times will be spaced in 12-minute intervals.
  • Players will be allowed to arrive no earlier than one hour before their tee time to begin using the practice facilities.
  • Practice areas will be monitored and players will be required to follow social distancing guidelines.

“Spreading out the tee times allows us to space players and spectators throughout the day around the course,” Porter said. “Fortunately, golf is played in an expansive space and allows for minimal contact between players and staff.”

Veritex Community Bank, one of the leading financial institutions in Texas, is the title sponsor for the second consecutive year. Longtime Lakewood Country Club member and Veritex Bank CEO/President Malcolm Holland was a part of a small group that created the Byron Nelson Junior Championship in 1999. Veritex Bank is excited to be a part of this monumental tournament as competitive golf in Texas resumes in the safest way possible.

“Veritex Bank is honored to be associated with such a prestigious junior championship and getting back to competitive golf,” Holland said. “As a leader in Texas banking, we want to be a leader in getting our state back to a new normal. We are committed to serving the game, promoting junior golf and hosting a safe championship for everyone involved.”

Lakewood CC will host the championship for the 13th time since the LJT took over the event in 2006. Lakewood 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 in 1995 and then again in 2014. The par-71 layout features bermuda fairways and bentgrass greens throughout the 6,750-yard course.

“I’m grateful to the Lakewood leadership for agreeing to host it,” Lakewood CC Director of Golf Gilbert Freeman said. “We have a commitment to the Legends Junior Tour and to golf to hold the event. There will be a lot of restrictions that will be new to us all, but we are committed to working with the Legends Junior Tour to keep the players and spectators safe.”

Over the years, the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship has crowned many worthy champions. Jordan Spieth was a three-time winner from 2008-10, which included setting the Lakewood course record in 2009 with a 9-under 62. Fellow University of Texas alums, Cody Gribble and Charlie Holland are also past champions of this event. Chandler Phillips won the event in 2014 and would go on to become the career tournament win leader for Texas A&M University.

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), Pierceson Coody (2018) and 2019 champion Gaven Lane.

Lane won last year after getting to 5-under 208 overall and two strokes ahead of the field. The Argyle-native made 16 birdies in three rounds, including eight in the first round, when he shot 4-under 67. Lane, a 2023 Oklahoma State University commit, etched his name on the trophy and will look to defend his title this summer.

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.

For more information on the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, click here.