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Winter Classic Set for Jan. 16-17

DALLAS – For the eighth straight year, the Winter Classic will be the first event of the Legends Junior Tour season. Since its inception in 2010, the field has proved to be one of the top-ranked LJT events on its schedule.

“The LJT is excited to get back to work with the Winter Classic,” LJT Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “We will continue to prioritize the health of our players, spectators, volunteers and staff throughout this season. We look forward to starting off this year with another safe and competitive championship at Dallas Athletic Club.”

DAC’s Blue Course will play host for the 12th consecutive year. It was originally designed by Ralph Plummer in 1954. Thirty years later, Jack Nicklaus, who won the 1963 PGA Championship held at DAC, remodeled the course to its current layout. The esteemed 18-hole championship venue has hosted many elite amateur events including the 110th Texas Amateur in 2019, as well as the 2012 Texas Mid-Amateur. The par-72 layout stretches to 6,922 yards.

The 84-player field is divided into three different divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under. Players eligible for the tournament have an active membership with the Texas Junior Golf Alliance and have earned their way into the field by way of the LJT Priority Entry Status.

This year’s Winter Classic boasts another strong cast of competitors across all three divisions. Trenton Mierl of Austin and Connor Adams of Dallas highlight the Boys 15-18 Division. Mierl played last season in the Boys 14 & Under Division and finished second in the Player of the Year Standings. He won three times, including last year’s Winter Classic, and recorded top-10 finishes in all nine events he played. Adams, who is playing his final LJT season, closed out 2020 with three straight top-5 finishes, including a win at the James A. Ragan Memorial. Mierl and Adams will tee it up against a host of great players, including Trevor Mierl of Austin, Preston Stout of Richardson and Andrew Petruzzelli of Dallas.

In the Girls 12-18 Division, two players who won last season are in the field. Natalie Cao of Sugar Land won the Flodder Financial Shootout, while Farah O’Keefe of Austin won the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship. Maelynn Kim of Katy, Mimi Burton of Austin, Jiyu Han of Cedar Park, Jenna Madden of McKinney and Sophie Biediger of Dallas are also players to watch and all finished in the top-12 of the 2020 Player of the Year Standings. This year, four out-of-state junior girls gained entry into the field through their national rankings and will compete in an LJT event for the first time.

In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Rhett O’Rear of Plano will look to start his 2021 campaign right where he left off last fall. The 2025 high school graduate earned last year’s Boys 14 & Under Player of the Year honors and won twice. He registered nine top-10s and never finished worse than T11.

“The Winter Classic usually has a strong field as players are looking to get back into competition following a brief break over the holidays,” Porter said. “This year’s field is no different and will be a great way to start the 2021 season.”

Last year, Ethan Fang of Plano carded back-to-back rounds of 3-under-par 69 to run away with the Boys 15-18 title and win by seven strokes. Kaylee Vesley of Austin, who currently plays for the University of Oklahoma, won the Girls 12-18 Division with rounds of 71-78, while Trenton Mierl of Austin clinched the Boys 14 & Under Division by one stroke. Other past champions include Brad Dalke, Cole Hammer, Brandon Smith, Annika Clark, Hailey Jones, Grace Choi and Sadie Englemann.

The Winter Classic is the first of 10 open LJT events. The open events are available to any member of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance, which is made up of the TGA, NTPGA, STPGA and HGA. Players earn entry into the open events through their play on the LJT and in Texas Junior Golf Alliance events.

Tee times begin Saturday, Jan. 16, at 8 a.m. The final round takes place on Sunday, Jan. 17. For more information on the Winter Classic or the LJT, click here.

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Moon and Thompson Win at Alamo Shootout

Spring Branch – Daniel Moon cards a round of 3-over 75 to win the Boys 12-18 Division of the Alamo Shootout at 1-under 143. Avery Thompson erases a one-shot deficit to win the Girls 12-18 Division at 3-over 147.

Leaderboard:

Boys 12-18

  1. Daniel Moon             143
  2. Parker Heath            146
  3. Tyler Gardner           146
  4. Joe Stover                  146
  5. Brannan Cox             148

Girls 12-18

  1. Avery Thompson      147
  2. Grace Jin                    148
  3. Marissa Loya             149
  4. Jiyu Han                     149

Full Leaderboard

Champions: Daniel Moon wins the Boys 12-18 Division by three shots after carding rounds of 68-75 to finish at 1-under overall. With no players breaking par in the final round due to tough weather conditions, Moon’s final round 75 was enough to outlast the field and hold onto his first round lead. This is Moon’s second Alamo Shootout title on three years. In the Girls Division, Avery Thompson put together a solid round of 2-over 74 in tough conditions to win her first LJT title with an overall total 147, 3-over par. Thompson made three birdies on the day en route to the low final round in the Girls 12-18 Division.

Top Finishers: Dallas’s Parker Heath, Houston’s Tyler Gardner, and Joe Stover of Cockeysville finished tied for second at 2-over 146 overall. Jacob King of Boerne and Austin’s Brannan Cox both finished tied for fifth at 4-over 148 overall in the Boys 12-18 Division.  In the Girls 12-18 Division, San Antonio’s Grace Jin finished runner-up at 4-over 148. Marrisa Loya of San Antonio and Cedar Park’s Jiyu Han finished tied for third at 5-over 149 overall.

Event Format: The Alamo Shootout is a 36-hole stroke play event with players competing in two divisions: Boys 12-18 and Girls 12-18. The field was selected based on the order of player signups.

Weather: Play was delayed and suspended due to fog for two hours and twenty minutes this morning. Play resumed at 11:15 AM and players battled strong winds with gusts up to 33 miles per hour throughout the afternoon.

Golf Course: The 18-hole championship golf course was designed by Larry Hawkins and opened for play in 2001. The oak tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain of the Hill Country create a scenic test of golf for players of all skill levels. The course is being played at 6,700 yards in the Boys 12-18 Division, and 5,800 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division. The Legends Junior Tour would like to thank the membership and staff of River Crossing Club for their hospitality and continued support of amateur golf in Texas.

What’s next: The LJT starts the 2021 golf season on January 16-17 with the Winter Classic at Dallas Athletic Club’s Blue Course.

For more information on the Alamo Shootout, click here.

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Moon and Jin Lead at Alamo Shootout

Spring Branch – Daniel Moon shoots 4-under 68 at River Crossing and leads the Boys 12-18 Division of the Alamo Shootout. Grace Jin leads the Girls 12-18 Division at even-par 72.

Leaderboard:

Boys 12-18

1. Daniel Moon                68

2. Davis Grindle                70

3. Joe Stover                      71

Girls 12-18

1. Grace Jin                         72

2. Karina Duran                 73

2. Marissa Loya                  73

2. Avery Thompson           73

2. Jiyu Han                          73

Full Leaderboard

Leaders: Daniel Moon is looking to win his second Alamo Shootout title, after winning the Boys 14 & Under Division in 2018 at The Club at Sonterra. Moon, of Temple, made six birdies on the day to take a two-stroke lead in the Boys 12-18 Division. In the Girls Division, Grace Jin is looking to secure her first LJT win in tomorrow’s final round. Jin, of San Antonio, leads the Girls 12-18 Division by one shot after shooting a steady round of even par with three birdies and three bogeys. Jin is trailed by four players who are tied at 1-over par.

In Contention: Trailing Moon in the Boys 12-18 Division is Round Rock’s Davis Grindle who currently sits two shots back at 2-under 70. Cockeysville’s Joe Stover finished today in third at 1-under, while Boerne’s Jacob King, Andrew Hill of Corpus Christi, Jackson Hymer of San Antonio, and Houston’s Tyler Gardner are tied for fourth at even par. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Schertz’s Karina Duran, Marissa Loya of San Antonio, Avery Thompson of Houston, and Cedar Park’s Jiyu Han all trail by one shot after posting rounds of 1-over par 73.

Event Format: The Alamo Shootout is a 36-hole stroke play event with players competing in two divisions: Boys 12-18 and Girls 12-18. The field was selected based on the order of player signups.

Weather: Temperatures started in the high-40s in the morning and rose to the mid-60s by the end of the day. Players faced light winds in the first round and enjoyed sunshine throughout the afternoon.

Golf Course: The 18-hole championship golf course was designed by Larry Hawkins and opened for play in 2001. The oak tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain of the Hill Country create a scenic test of golf for players of all skill levels. The course is being played at 6,700 yards in the Boys 12-18 Division, and 5,800 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

What’s next: The Final Round of the Alamo Shootout is scheduled for an 8:00 am start on Sunday, with tee times going until 9:48 am off the No. 1 & 10 tees. At the conclusion of play on Sunday, the top finishers will be awarded.

For more information on the Alamo Shootout, click here.