Stout Crowned Champion of the 2021 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship
Dallas – Preston Stout officially claimed his wire-to-wire victory Thursday at the 22nd Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship. The Richardson J.J. Pearce High School junior finished the 54-hole championship with a 6-under-par 207 total and won by two strokes over runner-up Jase Summy from Keller.
Playing from the lead since the first round, Stout posted a 1-over 72 in the final round. Near the midway point of final 18 holes, Stout led by as many as four shots, but that advantage shrunk to two as he traversed the final two holes at historic Lakewood Country Club. Stout persevered and handled the challenges thrown his way thanks to a good attitude and strong mental game.
“There’s so many great players out here, so it took a lot out of me to stay in it,” Stout said. “I didn’t have my best stuff today, but I was able to stay in it.”
Stout got off to a strong start Thursday morning with back-to-back birdies on the second and third holes. He wobbled shortly after with two front-nine bogies, but a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole allowed him to turn at 1-under for the day.
As it did for Stout in the second round, the back nine started out a little shaky. This time, Stout took a double bogey on the par-4 10th hole. He was able to get one stroke back with a birdie three holes later. Holding a three-shot lead with two holes to play, Stout bogeyed the par-5 17th hole. With his two-shot cushion, he made a routine par on his 54th hole of the tournament to clench the 2021 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship victory.
Stout joins an elite group of winners after Thursday’s round, including three-time professional major champion Jordan Spieth who won the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship three consecutive years from 2008-10. Spieth set Lakewood’s competitive course scoring record in 2009 with a second-round score of 62.
“It feels great, a lot of great players have won this tournament,” Stout said. “It feels good to add myself to the list.”
Other past winners include Charlie Holland (2004), Cody Gribble (2007), Luke Dossey (2017) and Pierceson Coody (2018).
These prominent names have led the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship to be considered the premier junior boys’ tournament in Texas, if not the entire southwest region of the country. With his victory, Stout earned an exemption into the 112th Texas Amateur, set for June 17-20 at Midland Country Club.
Save for two years during course renovations, Lakewood Country Club has hosted the tournament every year since its creation in 2000. Built by architect Thomas Bendelow in 1912, Lakewood has continuously supported the TGA and its efforts to support junior golfers.
In 2017, Lakewood hosted three of the TGA’s major events: the 108th Texas Amateur, U.S. Open Final Qualifying and the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship. All of these prestigious events were hosted by the club in a short, frantic three-week span.
Back in 1944, Byron Nelson won the Texas Victory Open at Lakewood Country Club. The win at Lakewood was Nelson’s catalyst that resulted in a 26-win streak over the course of two golf seasons, including his run of 11 straight wins in 1945.
The Texas Victory Open was eventually renamed the Byron Nelson Championship, which is the ninth longest-running tournament on the PGA Tour and certainly one of the most competitive and is greatly celebrated by golf fans nation-wide.
The competitors in the 2021 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship are members of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance, a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, Northern and Southern Texas PGA and Houston Golf Association. The goal of the Alliance was to allow junior golfers a clear path to the best tournaments in Texas.
The LJT Staff extends its sincere gratitude to Lakewood, its members and staff, as well as the LJT volunteers, who all played integral roles in creating a memorable championship week.
For more on the 2021 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, click here.