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.
95th Texas Junior Amateur Set for July 26-28
ADDISON – The 95th Texas Junior Amateur will be held at The Clubs of Kingwood’s Island and Lake Course from July 26-28. This is the second time in the last three years that Kingwood has hosted this 240-player event.
“The Legends Junior Tour is excited to return to The Clubs of Kingwood for the state’s biggest championship,” LJT Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “The Island and Lake Courses provide a top-notch test for every division and will produce great champions.”
Located in Kingwood, the club features five total golf courses with the Island and Lake Course being on the main property next to the expansive clubhouse. The Island Course is a par-72 layout designed by Joe Finger with Tiff Eagle greens. The par-5 18th is recognized by Golf Digest as one of the toughest finishing holes and the course is ranked in the top 50 by the Dallas Morning News. The Lake Course was designed by Bruce Litell and sits on the western side of the property. The par-72 layout features Tiff Eagle greens with water on 13 of the 18 holes.
The Boys Division will be competing on the Island Course, while the Girls Division will be competing on the Lake Course. Both divisions are scheduled for 54 holes of stroke play competition with the fields being cut after the second round. The Boys and Girls 14 & Under Divisions will play on the Lake Course and are scheduled for 36 holes of stroke play competition.
The Texas Junior Amateur has been one of the strongest fields in recent years and produced some great champions. Last year’s Boys Division winner, Zach Heffernan of Fair Oaks Ranch defended his 2019 title with a 4-under 209 overall score at Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Ram Rock Course. He bested the field by one stroke to become the first back-to-back winner since Hunter Haas in 1994-95. Heffernan will look to become the event’s second three-time winner and join Buck Luce who won in 1935, 1937 and 1938.
Katy’s Lauren Nguyen won the Girls Division in 2020 after shooting 6-under 66 in the final round at Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Apple Rock Course. She won by one stroke at 3-under 213 overall and completed the sweep of winning the younger and older division of the Texas Junior Amateur.
Brooks Simmons of Dallas won the Boys 14 & Under Division last year, while Sidney Robertson of Chandler won the Girls 14 & Under Division. Simmons looks to defend his title, while Robertson moves up into the Girls Division.
Other past champions of the Texas Junior Amateur include Ben Crenshaw, Jordan Spieth, Jeff Maggert, Scott Verplank, Omar Uresti, Angela Stanford, Hunter Haas, Jacob Sosa, Sadie Englemann, Stratton Nolen, Kelsey Vines, Alex Moon, Heather Haas, Lindsey McCurdy, Morris Williams Jr. and Nancy Hager.
The Texas Junior Amateur is open to all residents of Texas. The Boys Division was built through exemptions and qualifiers, which were held throughout the state from June 15 – July 22. Exemptions were available through Texas Junior Golf Alliance events like the Northern and Southern Texas PGA Sections.
Players in the Girls Division as well as the Boys and Girls 14 & Under Divisions are entered based on the LJT Priority Entry System, which awards players that have played well in LJT events as well as Texas Junior Golf Alliance events.
The Texas Junior Amateur is ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard, Golfweek and the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Players are also competing for points towards the LJT Player of the Year Standings as well as AJGA Performance Stars.
The First Round will begin at 7:30 am on Monday, July 26. Live scoring will be available on throughout the week.
For more information on the 95th Texas Junior Amateur at KingwoodThe Clubs of Kingwood, click here.