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Watts, Nguyen and Shwartz Win at Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational

Mont Belvieu – Kevin Watts wins the Boys 15-18 Division of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational at Eagle Pointe Golf Club. Lauren Nguyen wins the Girls 12-18 Division, while Jason Shwartz wins the Boys 14 & Under Division.

Leaderboard:

Boys 15-18

  1. Kevin Watts 140
  2. Shoichiro Kato 141
  3. Matthew Spaulding 141
  4. Tyler Gardner 143
  5. Will Jordan 145

Girls 12-18

  1. Lauren Nguyen 142
  2. Jiyu Han 150
  3. Julia Vollmer 150
  4. Maelynn Kim 152
  5. Sydney Williams 152

Boys 14 & Under

  1. Jason Shwartz 142
  2. Blake Burt 145
  3. Brooks Harper 145
  4. Charlie Wylie 151
  5. Finn Burkholder 151

Full Leaderboard

Champions: Colleyville’s Watts wins the Boys 15-18 Division by one stroke after posting rounds of 68-72 to get to 2-under overall. This is Watts’ first victory with the Legends Junior Tour as he improved on his runner-up finish at this event in 2019. Katy’s Nguyen won the Girls 12-18 Division after shooting consecutive rounds of even-par 71 at Eagle Pointe Golf Club. She added three more birdies in the final round bringing her total up to six for 36 holes. This is her second victory on the Legends Junior Tour in 2020. Bellaire’s Shwartz picks up his first victory with the LJT after shooting 3-under 68 in the final round. He accumulated seven birdies on Sunday to bring his total up to nine and finished three shots ahead of the field.

Top Finishers: Austin’s Shoichiro Kato and Spring’s Matthew Spaulding finished runner-up in the Boys 15-18 Division. Houston’s Tyler Gardner finished fourth, followed by The Woodlands’ Will Jordan in fifth and Beach City’s Grant Doggett in sixth. Jake Maggert and Preston Rouse tied for seventh in the division. Cedar Park’s Jiyu Han and San Antonio’s Julia Vollmer tied for second in the Girls 12-18 Division, while Katy’s Maelynn Kim and Frisco’s Sydney Williams tied for fourth.  Austin’s Blake Burke and Dallas’ Brooks Harper tied for second in the Boys 14 & Under Division, while Houston’s Charlie Wylie and The Woodlands’ Finn Burkholder finished tied for fourth.

About the Texas Junior Golf Alliance: The Texas Junior Golf Alliance was formed in 2012 and offers junior golfers a clear path to the best tournaments in Texas. The alliance is made up of the Legends Junior Tour, the Southern Texas PGA, the Northern Texas PGA and the Houston Golf Association. The alliance allows players a chance to compete at all levels and to grow their games as they progress.

Weather: Temperatures started in the 60s but stayed in the low 70s throughout the afternoon in Mont Belvieu. The wind picked up on Sunday, staying around 10 miles per hour consistently and gusting upwards of 20 m.p.h.

Golf Course: Eagle Pointe Golf Club opened for play in 1999 and was designed by Rick Forester. The rolling hills and elevation changes make Eagle Pointe very different from most Houston area course. The fairways are surrounded by towering pine trees and the Cherry Point Gully weaves its way through the course, while the Old River is the boundary on several holes. The course stretches out to almost 7,000 yards in the Boys 15-18 Division, 6,500 yards in the Boys 14 & Under Division and 5,900 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

What’s next: The Legends Junior Tour season finishes up with the Jackie Burke Cup matches at The Clubs at Houston Oaks on Nov. 14-15. The Jackie Burke Cup features the top players from the LJT Player of the Year Standings competing against each other in 12-player teams based on their locations. The North Team looks to win its seventh straight this year and leads the overall series 8-7 over the South Team.

For more information on the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational, click here.

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Watts, Nguyen and Burkholder Lead Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational

Mont Belvieu – Kevin Watts shoots 3-under 68 at Eagle Pointe Golf Club and leads the Boys 15-18 Division of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational. Lauren Nguyen leads the Girls 12-18 Division at even-par, while Finn Burkholder leads the Boys 14 & Under Division at 1-under.

Leaderboard:

Boys 15-18

  1. Kevin Watts 68
  2. Bryant Hiskey 69
  3. Preston Rouse 69
  4. Shoichiro Kato 70
  5. Two tied 71

Girls 12-18

  1. Lauren Nguyen 71
  2. Maelynn Kim 76
  3. Emily Mu 77
  4. Avery Thompson 77
  5. Chaemin Kim 77

Boys 14 & Under

  1. Finn Burkholder 70
  2. Brooks Harper 71
  3. Blake Burt 72
  4. Jason Schwartz 74
  5. Two Tied 75

Full Leaderboard

Leaders: Watts is looking to win his first LJT event after finishing second at the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational in 2019. The Dallas native made three birdies and zero bogeys on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Boys 15-18 Division. Nguyen, who is the reigning LJT Girls Player of the Year leads the Girls 12-18 Division after making three birdies and three bogeys in the first round. She finished sixth in last year’s Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational. The Woodlands’ Burkholder started his first round with a double-bogey 7 on No. 1, but settled down making four birdies in his final 17 holes including a bogey-free final nine holes.

In Contention: Trailing Watts in the Boys 15-18 Division are Houston’s Preston Rouse and Bryant Hiskey, who both sit at 2-under 69. Austin’s Shoichiro Kato sits alone in fourth at 1-under, while Van Miller of Katy and Matthew Spaulding of Spring are tied for fifth at even-par. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Katy’s Maelynn Kim trails Nguyen by five strokes after shooting 5-over 76 on Saturday. Five players are tied for third in the division at 6-over. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Dallas’ Brooks Harper is in second at even-par, followed by Austin’s Blake Burt at 1-over and Bellaire’s Jason Schwartz at 3-over.

Event Format: The Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational is a 36-hole stroke play event with players competing in three divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under. The field was selected using exemptions from Texas Junior Golf Alliance Events throughout the year and through the LJT Player of the Year Standings which players earn points in by competing in Alliance events.

About the Texas Junior Golf Alliance: The Texas Junior Golf Alliance was formed in 2012 and offers junior golfers a clear path to the best tournaments in Texas. The alliance is made up of the Legends Junior Tour, the South Texas PGA, the North Texas PGA and the Houston Golf Association. The alliance allows players a chance to compete at all levels and to grow their games as they progress.

Weather: Temperatures stayed in the mid-60s throughout the day and crept up to 70 degrees on Saturday. Players faced little to no wind in the first round and enjoyed sunshine throughout the afternoon.

Golf Course: Eagle Pointe Golf Club opened for play in 1999 and was designed by Rick Forester. The rolling hills and elevation changes make Eagle Pointe very different from most Houston area course. The fairways are surrounded by towering pine trees and the Cherry Point Gully weaves its way through the course, while the Old River is the boundary on several holes. The course stretches out to almost 7,000 yards in the Boys 15-18 Division, 6,500 yards in the Boys 14 & Under Division and 5,900 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

What’s next: The Final Round of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational is scheduled for an 8:00 am start on Sunday, Nov. 1 with tee times going until 12:00 pm off the No. 1 tee. At the conclusion of play on Sunday, the top finishers will be awarded.

What’s at Stake: The event is ranked by Golfweek as well as Junior Golf Scoreboard and players are competing for points towards the LJT Player of the Year Award and a spot on their respective Jackie Burke Cup teams. The Legends Junior Tour Players of the Year will be determined following this weekend.

For more information on the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational, click here.

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Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational Set for Oct. 31 – Nov. 1

MONT BELVIEU – The Legends Junior Tour will host the second Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational at Eagle Pointe Golf Club in Mont Belvieu from Oct. 31 – Nov. 1.

In 2012, the four most prominent junior golf tours in the state joined forces to create the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. The goal was to give junior golfers greater access to top-tier statewide competition while lessening the burden of travel expenses. The partnership between the TGA’s Legends Junior Tour, Northern Texas PGA, Southern Texas PGA and the Houston Golf Association has been a success.

To add another elite junior golf tournament to the Alliance’s schedule, the LJT hosted the first Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational last year. Now in its second year, the event will welcome one of the strongest fields of the season.

“We were very encouraged about the addition of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational to our LJT schedule last year,” LJT Tournament Coordinator Adam Schulte said. “This event has welcomed a strong field both years, and we’re excited to crown a new set of champions this weekend.”

Home of the most competitive junior golf in the state, the LJT wanted to increase its Alliance partners’ opportunities for their tournament winners to earn spots in LJT’s elite championships. That’s how the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational field was determined. Winners of select events from the NTPGA, STPGA and HGA’s junior tours received invitations to the tournament as well as players ranked high on the current LJT Player of the Year Points Lists.

Last year, Henry Frizzell of Frisco claimed his second LJT title after consecutive rounds of 3-under-par 68. He totaled 10 birdies and an eagle through 36 holes and recently started his collegiate golf career at Arkansas Tech University.

In the Girls 12-18 Division, Elina Sinz of Katy also picked up her second LJT victory of the 2019 season. She carded back-to-back rounds of even-par 71 to hold off Tillie Claggett by three strokes. Sinz just began her freshman year as a member of the Auburn University Women’s Golf Team.

Daniel Zou of The Woodlands won the Boys 14 & Under Division after posting 8-under-par 134 for the championship. He carded nine birdies and only one bogey en route to a six-shot victory. This year, Zou will look to win a Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational title in the Boys 15-18 Division.

Collectively each year the four organizations provide playing opportunities to more than 6,000 junior boys and girls in 500-plus tournaments. The NTPGA’s All-American Tour and STPGA’s Prestige Tour serve as qualifiers into Legends Junior Tour Invitationals.

“We are always looking for new ways to get juniors into elite competitions,” STPGA Executive Director Thomas Hutton said. “The Alliance has allowed all of us to work together, grow junior golf participation and create opportunities all over Texas.”

The final championship of the season to count toward LJT Player of the Year Standings will feature a field of 84 players. Three divisions compete separately: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under. Matthew Comegys of Plano leads the Boys 15-18 Division; while Lauren Nguyen of Katy leads the Girls 12-18 Division and Trenton Mierl of Austin leads the Boys 14 & Under Division.

The first round begins at 8 a.m. on Oct. 31. Final Round pairings will be redrawn according to first round scores and begin at 8 a.m. the next day.

For more information on the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational, click here.