George Hannon Junior Invitational Set for Aug. 9-10
ADDISON — The George Hannon Junior Invitational returns to the University of Texas Golf Club on August 9-10 with Texas Mutual Insurance Company returning as the presenting sponsor. This 36-hole event, which features some of the best Junior boy and girl golfers in Texas ages 12-18, sets up to be a great finish to another stellar LJT summer schedule.
“Having a partnership with Texas Mutual is such a blessing to the Hannon Cup Association,” Hannon Cup Association Managing Director Randi Long said. “When we set out to have a junior tournament, the goal was to host one of the best ones in Texas. Along with Texas Mutual and the Legends Junior Tour, I believe we have accomplished that goal.”
Texas Mutual Insurance Company is one of the state’s leading workers’ compensation providers. Texas Mutual Vice President of Marketing and Customer Engagement Jeremiah Bentley said the company is proud to be associated with this year’s championship.
“We’re happy to have the opportunity again to contribute to the organization’s mission,” Bentley said. “As a leader in the workers’ compensation industry, Texas Mutual is always seeking to partner with other leading organizations. This tournament is a high-quality event that provides value to sponsors and exposure to a first-class audience.”
George Hannon was born in Kemp, Texas, and had a 59-year PGA career, including an 18-year term as the University of Texas Men’s Golf coach. Hannon’s career at UT included NCAA titles in 1971 and 1972, as well as 12 Southwest Conference Championships. Hannon coached legends such as Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Mark Brooks, Phil Blackmar, Brandel Chamblee, Warren Chancellor, Rik Massengale and Paul Thomas. He was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1991 and was the Golf Coaches Associations’ 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
The Legends Junior Tour has conducted the George Hannon Junior Invitational since the Hannon Cup Association created the event in 2009. It brings together the top 96 boys and girls in and around the state with players competing in a Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under Division.
The field will take on UT Golf Club’s par-71 layout. Since it opened for play in 2003, the demanding Bechtol Russel design has always had a championship pedigree. The Austin-based club is the home of the University of Texas Men’s and Women’s golf teams, including the 2012 NCAA Men’s Golf National Champions. It’s played host to NCAA Regional Championships, the Betsy Rawls Invitational as well as TGA Major Championships, including the 99th Women’s Texas Amateur last year.
Over the years, the club has welcomed some of the highest profile players in the game of golf. These include three-time major champion Jordan Spieth, PGA Tour winners Dylan Frittelli, Cody Gribble and Jhonattan Vegas, reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Scottie Scheffler and 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion Sophia Schubert.
This is the sixth time in the tournament’s 13-year history for UT Golf Club to host the George Hannon Junior Invitational. It’s a challenging test of golf complemented by scenic Texas Hill Country views and always delivers a great championship. Other host clubs of this event include Austin Country Club, Spanish Oaks Golf Club and The Hills Country Club.
“It’s always exciting to cap off a great summer with a trip to Austin for the George Hannon Junior Invitational,” LJT Tournament Coordinator Adam Schulte said. “It’s a great event year after year and we can’t thank the Hannon Cup Association, Texas Mutual Insurance and UT Golf Club enough for making it all possible.”
At the 2020 George Hannon Junior Invitational, Austin’s own and University of Texas commit Keaton Vo captured the Boys 15-18 Division. Vo shot a bogey free 6-under-par 65 in the final round to go on and win by six strokes. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Nicole Vivier also of Austin fired a final round 2-under to win the division by two strokes. Henry Guan of Irving secured victory in the Boys 14 & Under Division after carding rounds of 73-68. Guan entered the final round trailing by one stroke, his final round 3-under-par 68 was enough to win the division and earn his first victory with the Legends Junior Tour.
The George Hannon Junior Invitational is held in the Austin area annually and features one of the top-ranked fields on the LJT Schedule. Past champions of this event include Max Miller, Joe and Julia Beck, Scottie and Callie Scheffler, Brendan Redfern, Cole Hammer, Thomas Critch, Levi Valadez, Alexandra Rossi, Chandler Phillips, Hailee Cooper and Stephen Campbell Jr.
The George Hannon Junior Invitational is ranked by Golfweek and Junior Golf Scoreboard with the top half of each division earning points towards the LJT Player of the Year Standings. The top finishers of the Boys 15-18 and Girls 12-18 Divisions will also earn AJGA Performance Stars.
Players in the George Hannon Junior Invitational are members of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance which is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, the Southern and Northern Texas PGA Sections and the Houston Golf Association. The alliance provides junior golfers with top tier competition across the state and a path to gain experience and grow throughout their junior golfing careers.
Maelynn Kim and Aaron Pounds Win 95th Texas Junior Amateur
KINGWOOD – Maelynn Kim of Katy dominated the final day of the 95th Texas Junior Amateur finishing the 54-hole championship with a total 5-under 211 to hoist the trophy. The Woodlands’ Aaron Pounds battled from start to finish Wednesday to clinch the title at The Clubs of Kingwood’s Island course. Pounds walked off the 18th green of the Island course with a three-day total score of 11-under par 205.
Kim held the lead all three days, finally closing the tournament Wednesday afternoon. She entered the clubhouse with a final round of 3-under par 69, claiming the championship eight strokes over runner-up Kendall Jackson of Pearland. Kim started off hot with three consecutive birdies early on the front nine. She bogeyed the par-3 6th, but quickly bounced back with a birdie on the 9th hole, turning at 3-under 33. Kim wavered on the back, starting off with a bogey on 10. She followed that up with back-to-back birdies on holes 15 and 16, a bogey on 17 for an even-par back nine 36.
“Everything worked out great today,” Kim said of her winning round. “I missed a few putts, but I couldn’t ask for a better round.”
The 16-year-old said winning this tournament ranks at the top of her all-time list.
“It feels amazing, I’m speechless,” Kim said. “I was on 18 and I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Pounds played under par all week, carding 69-70-66 for a grand total of 205 for the championship. He fired off four birdies on the front nine, turning at 4-under 32 going into the final nine holes.
“Yesterday I had a good stretch through the front nine and I had one again today, so I just tried to stay calm and play my game on the back nine,” Pounds said of his mentality today.
The 16-year-old fended off 18-year-old runner-up and playing partner Kevin Watts of Colleyville throughout the final round. Watts finished one stroke back from Pounds with three under-par rounds of 71-68-67 for a total of 206 for the 54-hole championship.
“It was definitely hard to stay focused at the end, but I tried to take it one shot at a time and hit every shot with confidence, that’s all I can really do,” Pounds said.
Pounds competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship only a week ago before teeing it up for the opening round at the Clubs of Kingwood Monday. Pounds said after competing in this tournament several times, he’s dreamed of hoisting the trophy.
“It feels amazing, today feels like a blur right now, I’m speechless,” Pounds said after his round. “It was a fun round overall and a great battle. I’ve been playing in this tournament for a while now and to finally win it is such an honor.”
The Legends Junior Tour extends its sincere appreciation to the staff and members of the Clubs of Kingwood as well as our volunteers for their integral part in making the 95th Texas Junior Amateur a memorable and successful event.
Preston Stout and Maelynn Kim Lead Texas Junior Amateur
KINGWOOD – Richardson’s Preston Stout lit up the Clubs of Kingwood’s Island course, barreling into the clubhouse with a 5-under par 67 for Monday’s round of the 95th Texas Junior Amateur. The Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Champion leads the field by 2 strokes. Maelynn Kim of Katy finished her opening round at 1-under par 71 at Clubs of Kingwood’s Lake Course. Kim carded the only under par round of the day in the girl’s division and leads the field by 1 stroke going into the Tuesday’s round.
The J.J. Pearce High School junior started off strong Monday morning, with a birdie on his first hole out of the gate, par-5 1st hole. He would accumulate 3 more birdies on the front nine to turn at 4-under par 32.
“I made a lot of good putts today,” Stout said of his round. “I had a lot of 10-footers for par that I was able to make and made some good birdie putts too.”
Stout wobbled on the back, where he had a lone bogey on the par-4 13th but made up for it with a birdie on the 16th and 18th holes. He’s dialed in, confident and ready for the play in the days to come.
“Just keep the good play going the next couple days,” Stout said of his game plan for the upcoming days. “Maybe tidy up some things on the range, keep my putting and short game where it’s at and I think I’ll like where I’m at.”
In the girl’s division, Kim got off to a rough start, carding 3 bogeys on the front 9, with only a single birdie to turn at 2-over 38. Kim found her groove on the back nine, starting with a birdie on the par-5 10th hole, birding the 15th and rounding out her day with yet another birdie on the par-5 18th hole.
The 16-year-old also competed in this year’s LJT Winter Classic and Spring Preview finishing within the top 5 in both events. Kim’s LJT all-time top finish is runner-up in the 2021 Spring Preview. She finished 5-over par for the 36-hole tournament, scoring 77-70 for a total 147.
Austin’s Kate Pickrell and Sidney Robertson of Chandler share the number two spot at even-par 72 behind Kim heading into the second round of the 54-hole championship. Julia Vollmer and Grace Jin both hailing from San Antonio and Bellaire’s Kenna Lee trail behind all tied for 4th at 1-over par 73.
Noah Hankinson of Frisco skyrocketed to the top of the leaderboard in the boys 14 and under division entering the clubhouse at 7-under par 65. The clubs of Kingwood’s Lake course proved no match for Hankinson, who fired off a back-to-back birdie-eagle combo on his first two holes. Hankinson didn’t slow down, making the turn at 5-under 31. He continued to score well on the back, with two birdies. Hankinson coasted from 14 on, solidifying his score at 7-under 65. Hankinson leads the field by 3 strokes over Selma’s Shiv Parmar who grabbed solo second with a first day round of 4-under 68.
Dallas’s Adrienne Ahn holds the no. 1 spot in the girls 14 and under division with the only under par round on 3-under par 69. Ahn kept things interesting throughout the round carding 5 birdies with 2 bogeys sprinkled in. She leads the field by 3 strokes ahead of Khloe Jones of Kingwood, who sits at even-par 72. Syna Nijhawan of Houston and Charlotte Stick of the Woodlands are tied for third at 2-over 74.
Round 2 of the 95th Texas Junior Amateur kicks off Tuesday at 7:30.
For more information, including leaderboard and pairings, click here.