Cooper Leads George Hannon Junior Invitational
Briefly: Preston Cooper fired a 2-under 69 in the opening round of the George Hannon Junior Invitational presented by Texas Mutual and leads by one stroke in the Boys Division. Reese Roberts leads the Boys 14 & Under Division at University of Texas Golf Club, while Emma Von Hoffmann and Sophie Biediger are tied atop the Girls Division.
Leaders: Dallas’ Preston Cooper was one of four under-par rounds on Monday at UT Golf Club. His 2-under consisted of four total birdies, with three of them coming on the front nine which were his final nine holes. His birdie on the par-3 eighth was the one that put him in the lead heading into the Final Round. Spicewood’s Emma Von Hoffmann and Dallas’ Sophie Biediger accounted for two more under-par rounds after both players posted 3-under 68 and lead the Girls Division. Von Hoffmann totaled five birdies in the First Round, while Biediger made four. Dallas’ Reese Roberts leads the Boys 14 & Under Division after shooting even-par 71 on Monday. Roberts made four birdies in his first 18 holes and seeks his second victory in the division this year.
In Contention: Trailing Cooper by one stroke in the Boys Division is Austin’s Sam Dossey, who shot 1-under 70 and was the fourth and final round under par on Monday. Kellan McGinnis of Austin sits in third at even-par, while Montgomery’s Eyan Edsall and Katy’s Treed Huang are tied for fourth at 1-over. In the Girls Division, Tillie Claggett of The Woodlands and Lindsay Lee of San Antonio are tied for third at 1-over and trail the leaders by four strokes. Austin’s Caroline Dasch sits in fifth place in the division at 3-over. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Dallas’ Brooks Harper is in second at 2-over, while Duff Mckay of Dallas and Luke Colton of Frisco are tied for third at 3-over. Nicholas Logis and Austin Hofferkamp are tied for fifth at 4-over.
Golf Course: The University of Texas Golf Club was designed by Bechtol Russell and opened in 2003. The course is set along the Colorado River and features stunning Texas Hill Country views along with a challenging par-71 layout. The course overlooks Lake Austin and borders the Balcones Natural Wildlife Preserve and has hosted the George Hannon Junior Invitational six times now, including the last four years.
Weather: Temperatures started in the mid-80s on Monday and crept up to the high 90s by the end of play. The wind was definitely a factor with breezes steady around 12 miles per hour out of the south.
Tournament Format: The George Hannon Junior Invitational is a 36-hole stroke play event for players that have earned an exemption through the Texas Junior Golf Alliance or the Hannon Society. The 96-player field is one of the strongest in the state as they play 18 holes each day.
About George Hannon: George Hannon, who was affectionately called “Coach”, coached the University of Texas golf team for 18 seasons. Coach Hannon saw his Longhorns win two National Championships in 1971 and 1972, 12 Southwest Conference Titles and three individual titles. Hannon’s Horns included Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Mark Brooks, Phil Blackmar, Brandel Chamblee, Rik Massengale and Paul Thomas.
About Hannon Cup Association: The Hannon Cup Association contributes to golf scholarships, supports the Austin Junior Golf Academy and hosts the George Hannon Junior Invitational and Hannon Cup Matches. Mark Coward and Brent Buckman were instrumental in conceiving the idea and in organizing and forming the initial committee for the Hannon Cup. Support was provided by a group of individuals and businesses that became known as the Hannon Society. To date the Association has distributed more than $145,000 worth of secondary education scholarships through the Southern Texas PGA Foundation.
About Texas Mutual: Texas Mutual is the presenting sponsor of the George Hannon Junior Invitational and has been caring for hardworking Texans for more than 25 years. Taking care of people is what Texas Mutual does and that’s why they invest time, energy and resources into increasing safety, wellness and education for all Texans. Texas Mutual has been the presenting sponsor of this event for the last three years.
Texas Junior Golf Alliance: The Alliance is 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. Each of the three tier-two organizations (STPGA, NTPGA, HGA) conduct events that serve as qualifiers into the statewide tier-one events run by the Legends Junior Tour (LJT). This allows players to compete in local events in which they can earn spots to play in statewide tournaments.
Next Up: The Final Round of the George Hannon Junior Invitational is scheduled for Tuesday with tee times starting at 7:30 am off the No. 1 and 10 tees. Following Tuesday’s Final Round, awards will be handed to the top five in the Boys Division and top three in the Girls and Boys 14 & Under Divisions.