Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Goodnight, Yuan, and Zimmerman Lead at Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship

Briefly: Blake Goodnight of Dallas, TX, sits alone atop the Boys 15-18 Division of the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship after shooting a solid 4-under 66 at Iron Horse Golf Club. Dexter Zimmerman, also of Dallas, holds a two shot lead in the Boys 14 & Under division at even-par 70. Finally, Kaylee Yuan of Joshua leads the Girls Division by six strokes after her 2-under-par 68 in round 1.

Tournament Leaderboard

In Contention: In the Boys 15-18 division, The Colony’s Jackson Vesper and Belton’s Chandler Cooke are tied for second after rounds of 3-under par 67. Garrett McMellon of Garland finds himself in solo fourth after a round of 2-under par 68. Grapevine’s Wylie Waldrip, Flint’s Braden Bergman, and Houston’s Ford Montgomery round out the top five after rounds of 1-under par 69.

In the Girls 12-18 Division, Prosper’s Lucy Kate Smith sits six shots back in second place after an opening round of 4-over par 74. Julia Sosa rounds out the second round’s final pairing in third place after a first round of 6-over par 76.

In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Dallas’ Cameron Lewis is in second place at 2-over par 72. Lantana’s Henry Jackson currently holds third at 3-over par 73, and Houston’s Freeman Woldert is in fourth at 7-over par 77.

Golf Course: Iron Horse Golf Course, located in North Richland Hills, is hosting the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship for the first time in the tournament’s 15-year history. Century-old oak, mesquite and cottonwood trees frame emerald Bermuda fairways and manicured greens, which traverse beneath a working railroad trestle – with numerous doglegs, two meandering creeks which come into play on 17 holes, and unique bunkering creating both strategic diversity and a breathtaking backdrop for golf. Adding to the charm and nostalgia of the course are three authentic caboose cars, which serve as on-course facilities.

Weather: The weather for Monday’s first round began with cloud cover and temperatures in the mid 80’s. The clouds cleared out in the afternoon and temperatures reached the mid to upper 90’s.  Winds remained calm throughout the day, peaking around 10 mph.

Tournament Format: The Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship is a 36-hole stroke play event for players 12-18 years old. All players in the field are required to have an active membership with the Texas Junior Golf Alliance.

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.

Future Tournament Exemptions Available:

Boys Division: The top three (3) finishers in the Boy’s 15-18 Division will be awarded an exemption to play in the Texas Junior Amateur.  The Champion in the Boy’s 15-18 Division will earn exemptions to the George Hannon Junior Invitational, Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational, 2024 Texas Cup Invitational, 2024 Byron Nelson Junior Championship and the 2024 Bluebonnet Championship.

Boy’s 14 and Under Division: The Champion in the Boy’s 14 and under division will earn an exemption to play in the George Hannon Junior Invitational, Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational, and the 2024 Bluebonnet Invitational.

Girls Division: The Champion in the Girl’s Division will earn exemptions into the George Hannon Junior Invitational, Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational, 2024 Texas Girls’ Invitational, and the 2024 Bluebonnet Championship.

Player of the Year Points: 1000 points in the 2023 Player of the Year Point Race are up for grabs this weekend at the Winter Classic.  Points are awarded at each tournament to the top half of each age division.

Next Up: The Final Round is scheduled to begin at 7:30 am off the No. 1 tee on Tuesday, July 11. To see the pairings for the Final Round, click here.

For more information on the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship, click here. To see all the scores from Iron Horse Golf Course, click here.