J. Holland Humphries Wins Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship
DALLAS – J. Holland Humphries of Austin wins the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship after a final round of 1-under-par 70. The 2021 Southern Methodist University commit made historic Lakewood Country Club look easy carding red numbers in all three rounds. This is Humphries’ first Legends Junior Tour win which adds to his already decorated junior golf career.
“It means a lot, especially considering how many great players were in the field this year and in the past,” Humphries said.
On Thursday, he stood on the first tee box before the final round with a three-shot lead. The combination of an impressive golf game and a confident mindset made for a perfect duo. His carefree mentality never wavered from start to finish.
Coming into the par-5 ninth, Humphries was 1-under and held a four-shot lead. However, he lost his tee shot left out of bounds, followed by struggles in a greenside bunker leading to a triple bogey. Humphries closed his front nine with a 2-over 38.
“Instead of worrying about where I was the whole time I kind of believed I was going to win,” Humphries said. “It didn’t really phase me that I made a triple because I still felt like I was in the tournament the whole time.”
Humphries was unphased by his triple bogey and continued his steady play on the back nine. The 17-year-old played his final nine holes 3-under, making six pars and three birdies. His game plan was to play one shot at a time. He posted 12-under par for the tournament and claimed the title by four shots.
Nathan Petronzio of Bee Cave carded five birdies and an eagle on Thursday. The 2020 Southern Methodist University commit’s final round of 5-under 66 earned him a solo second finish at 8-under par. Petronzio adds this runner-up finish to a third finish in the 2017 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship.
Austin’s Jackson Davenport, a 2020 West Virginia University commit, Cole Sherwood, a 2020 Vanderbilt commit, and 14-year-old Daniel Zou of The Woodlands finished tied third at 6-under-par 207.
Keaton Vo of Austin finished sixth at 5-under-par 208. Andrew Spaulding of Spring finished seventh at 4-under-par 209. Gaven Lane of Argyle finished eighth at 3-under-par 210. Hanseung Chang of Cedar Park finished ninth at 2-under-par 211. Jaivir Pande of Houston, Matthew Watkins of Heath, Jase Summy of Keller and Evan Vo of Austin rounded out the top ten at 1-under-par 212.
The Legends Junior Tour extends its warmest and most sincere appreciation to Veritex Bank, the staff and members of Lakewood Country Club as well as our volunteers for their integral part in making the 21st Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship a memorable and successful event. For more information about this championship click here.
J. Holland Humphries Leads Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship
DALLAS – J. Holland Humphries came into this week with one goal: play with a carefree mindset. On Wednesday, the No. 1 ranked junior golfer in Texas displayed confidence and poise en route to a 7-under-par 64. He leads the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship at Lakewood Country Club by three strokes at 11-under with 18 holes left to play.
“I just tried to not make too much of it today,” Humphries said. “I have kind of had a carefree mindset this entire tournament and I have been working on that.”
The 2021 Southern Methodist University commit walked down the par-5 ninth at even par on the day. After just missing the putting surface in two, Humphries drained a 40-foot eagle putt from the fringe to card 2-under 34 on his opening loop.
“After the eagle, I just kind of got lost and started hitting really good shots,” said Humphries, a senior at Westlake High School.
He birdied six of his next seven holes and would go on to shoot 5-under 30 on the back nine. Humphries sits at 11-under par through 36 holes.
The overnight leader, Daniel Zou of The Woodlands, followed his opening round 7-under-par 64 with a 1-under-par 70. Though he didn’t card seven birdies and an ace in Round 2, the 14-year-old’s consistent ball striking led to another round in red figures. He is 8-under through 36 holes and just three shots back of Humphries.
“My full swing was still really good today,” Zou said. “My plan is to play like it is the first round again and forget all the scores and just focus on my game.”
Gaven Lane of Argyle was not to be forgotten this year. The defending champion fired a bogey-free 7-under-par 64 to climb nine spots up the leaderboard. Since the sixth hole of his opening round, Lane has carded 11 birdies and zero bogeys.
“I mean I hit the ball great and the times I didn’t hit the ball great I scrambled well,” Lane said. “I really just tried to stay calm. Even when I hit bad shots I tried to keep my composure and moved on, hitting the best shots I could.”
The 2023 Oklahoma State University commit is four shots off the lead and will look to become the first back-to-back winner since Jordan Spieth won three in a row between 2008-10.
“It came together and I put together a good round,” Lane said. “Hopefully, I can go low tomorrow and take it away.”
Keaton Vo of Austin is fourth at 6-under-par 136. Zach Heffernan of Fair Oaks Ranch, a 2021 Baylor University commit and 2019 Texas Junior Amateur champion, is fifth at 5-under-par 137.
Cole Sherwood of Austin, a 2020 Vanderbilt University commit, is sixth at 4-under-par 138. Nathan Petronzio of Bee Cave, a 2020 Southern Methodist University commit, is seventh at 3-under-par 139. Jackson Davenport of Austin, a 2020 West Virginia University commit, and Andrew Spaulding of Spring are tied eighth at 2-under-par 140. Dallas Hankamer of Temple, a 2021 Texas A&M University commit, rounds out the top ten at 1-under-par 141.
Following Round 2, the field was cut to the top-39 players and ties (44 players made the cut at 6-over par or better). The final round will begin Thursday at 8:00 a.m. For more information on the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, click here.
Daniel Zou Leads Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship
DALLAS – Daniel Zou of The Woodlands leads the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship by three strokes following an opening round 7-under-par 64 at Lakewood Country Club.
Zou earned his exemption into this year’s field with an Southern Texas PGA win two weeks ago. On Tuesday, the 14-year-old proved he deserved his spot. He birdied four of his first six holes and never looked back during his Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship debut. The high school freshman closed out his front nine with a birdie on the par-5 ninth to post a 5-under 31 at the turn.
“On the second hole, things started picking up for me,” Zou said. “My day started getting better as my putting started getting better. Putting kind of carried my round today.”
He didn’t slow down on the back nine. Zou birdied the par-4 10th, and despite a bogey on the par-3 12th, he pulled off something special just two holes later.
The par-3 14th hole was playing 203 yards with a gentle breeze off the left. Zou pulled a 5-iron with plans to find the center of the green. He striped it. The ball bounced once just below the hole and trickled in for his third career hole-in-one.
“I was just trying to go up there and make par,” Zou said. “That is a really tough hole with bunkers on both sides. That hole-in-one was just the cherry on top today.”
Zou came into this year’s championship with confidence. He won the 2020 LJT Spring Preview in early March at The Wilderness Golf Club, and he plans to stick with his game plan all week.
“I just want to play like it’s any other day,” Zou said. “I don’t want to play with a score in my head. I just want to play like it’s the first round again and reset.”
J. Holland Humphries, the No. 1-ranked junior golfer in the state of Texas, sits in solo second. He began his opening round stress-free. The 2021 Southern Methodist University commit carded back-to-back birdies on the par-4 third and par-5 fourth holes. He closed out a bogey-free front nine with two more birdies on the par-4 eighth and par-5 ninth to turn at 4-under 32.
“My ball-striking was really good,” Humphries said. “I only missed one fairway and hit every green.”
His consistent play continued the back nine. Despite dropping a shot on the par-3 14th, the Westlake High School senior bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 17th and closed out his round with a routine par to post 4-under 67.
“It’s awesome to just see everybody again,” Humphries said. “State got canceled, so it is kind of like our state championship.”
Sean-Karl Dobson of Austin is third after a 3-under 68, while Keaton Vo of Austin is fourth after a 2-under 69.
The 2019 Texas Junior Amateur Champion Zach Heffernan of Boerne, Andrew Spaulding of Spring, Jase Summy of Keller, Michael Heidelbaugh of Dallas, Vishnu Sadagopan of Pearland, Cole Sherwood of Austin, Preston Stout of Richardson and Evan Vo of Austin are all tied for fifth place at 1-under par.
Ranked as one of the strongest fields in the championship’s history, Round 1 at Lakewood CC proved to be a special day for everyone involved. It was the first competitive round hosted by the LJT since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re excited to get back to playing golf and getting a little sense of normalcy,” Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “With that though, there comes some limitations in keeping all involved safe. The LJT has worked hard to limit the amount of touch points among all the players, staff, volunteers and spectators.”
Players, spectators and volunteers were required to follow specific health and safety guidelines throughout the day. The LJT provided hand sanitizer at water coolers, starting tees and scoring tents. Players were not allowed to touch the flagsticks and bunker rakes were removed from the golf course. The driving range and practice putting green were monitored and limited to a specific number of players. Spectators were asked to practice social distancing throughout the golf course and the clubhouse remained closed to the public.
“It’s just a wonderful feeling to be back on the golf course,” said Jim Brown, former TGA President and longtime LJT Volunteer. “It’s great seeing all the people and enjoying the game that we all love.”
Lakewood CC is playing host to the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship for the nineteenth time. The field will be cut to the top 39 and ties following Round 2 on Wednesday.
For more information on this year’s championship and full leaderboard, click here.