Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Mierl, Bellendir, Dent Win at Spring Preview

Dallas, Texas – Trenton Mierl claims the Spring Preview’s Boys 15-18 Division title with late round theatrics. Alicia Bellendir overcomes a two-shot deficit to win the Girls 12-18 Division and Declan Dent goes wire to wire to win the Boys 14 & Under Division.

Winners: Austin’s Trenton Mierl emerged victorious from a crowded leaderboard in the Boys 15-18 Division. Mierl started the final round three shots off the lead, but stayed within striking distance entering the back nine. After playing the first 15 holes 3-over par, Mierl holed a bunker shot for eagle on the par-5 16th and rolled in a clutch birdie putt on the par-4 18th to record an even-par 70 and finish at 1-under par 139 for the championship. This is Mierl’s first LJT victory in the Boys 15-18 Division. Playing in the final group, Coppell’s Alicia Bellendir began the final round two shots off the division lead. Bellendir recorded birdies on the par-5 14th, par-4 18th, and par-4 4th enroute to a final round score of 4-over par 74. Bellendir finished the championship at 8-over par 148 after posting consecutive rounds of 74. This is Bellendir’s first victory with the LJT. Grapevine’s Declan Dent slept on a three shot lead after recording a first round 70, but completed the wire to wire victory after posting 1-over par 71 in the final round. Dent recorded five birdies in his final round, including three in a row between holes 14-16.

Top Finishers: In the Boys 15-18 Division, Duncanville’s Daniel Ferguson finished runner up at even-par 144 after recording a pair of even-par 70’s for the championship. Overnight leader Eli Walker Campbell finished third at 1-over par 141 after a final round 75. Rockwall’s Lucas Latimer recorded the low round of the day, 1-under 69, to move up into fourth place at 2-over 142. Wylie’s Jacob Lewallen, Norman’s Collin Bond, Dallas’s Andy Lieu, and Oklahoma City’s Ben Lathrop all finished tied for fifth at 4-over par 144. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Southlake’s Stephanie De Marco claims the runner-up title at 10-over 150, after a final round score of 1-over par 71. McKinney’s Kenzi Cho and Katy’s Maye Huang finished tied for third at 11-over par 151. McKinney’s Daniela Sitompul and Wichita’s Meg Tilma rounded out the top five tied for fifth at 12-over 152. In the Boys 14U Division, The Woodlands’ Anthony Butt finished in second, three shots off the pace at 4-over 144. Edmond’s Ainslie Stanford III and Tyler’s Davis Green finished tied for third at 8-over par 148. Flower Mound’s Nathan Lee rounded out the top five at 9-over par 149.

Weather: Sunday’s weather started with temperatures in the upper 50’s and rose throughout the day topping out at 80 degrees.  A challenging south wind blew all day long at 15-20 mph with 30 mph gusts adding another layer of difficulty.

Host Course: Cedar Crest Golf Course is located in South Dallas and opened in 1919. The former Country Club that turned public in 1946 was designed by A.W. Tillinghast who also is the creator behind courses such as Brook Hollow GC, Dallas CC, Lakewood CC, Colonial CC, and Oak Hills CC. The course hosted the 1927 PGA Championship won by 11-time major winner Walter Hagen. The course also hosted the Dallas Open in 1926 won by Macdonald Smith and the USGA Public Links Championship in 1954. The course built a clubhouse in 2001 and was eventually renovated in 2004 by D.A. Weinberg. The course is a favorite amongst Metroplex golfers.  

Cedar Crest Golf Course is home to the “I Am a Golfer Foundation”. Established in 2018, IAMGF’s mission is to be a “Catalyst for community renewal and transformation in South Dallas through Programming, Preservation, and Promotion”.  IAMGF has engaged over 650 area youth in instructional programming, created and hosted over 90 paid internships, and awarded more than $300,000 in college and higher education scholarships. For more info on the IAMGF click here. 

Tournament History: The Spring Preview has been played every year since its inception in 2006. Past champions of this event include William Zalatoris, Maddie Szeryk, Stratton Nolen, Brad Dalke, Nathan Weant, Brendan Redfern, Travis Vick, Julia Beck, Cole Hammer, Hailee Cooper, Kyle Hogan, Turner Hosch and Hanna Alberto.

Player of the Year Points: With their wins today Trenton Mierl, Alicia Bellendir, and Declan Dent all earn 1000 points toward the 2024 Player of the Year Standings.

Next Up: The Legends Junior Tour heads to Bullard on March 11-13 for the Texas Cup Invitational. Eagle’s Bluff Country Club is hosting the first Major event for the Boys in 2024, after hosting the Texas Girls’ Invitational earlier this month.

To see all the scores from the Spring Preview, click here. For more information on the LJT Spring Preview, click here.

Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Campbell, Tilma, and Dent lead at Spring Preview

Dallas, Texas – Eli Walker Campbell fired a 4-under par 66 in the opening round of the Spring Preview to lead the Boys 15-18 Division at the historic Cedar Crest Golf Course. Meg Tilma leads the Girls 12-18 Division at 2-over par 72, while Declan Dent leads the Boys 14 & Under Division with an even-par 70.

Leaders: Richmond’s Campbell had the low round of the day at Cedar Crest with a round that included 4 birdies and an eagle 3 on the par-5 16th.  After making the turn from his first nine, 3-under par start, Campbell birdied holes #1 and #2 to take a commanding lead in the boy’s 15-18 division. Tilma, who travelled in from Wichita, Kansas to compete got off to an up and down start with 2 birdies and 2 bogeys on the first 4 holes but settled into her round by playing her last 10 holes at even par to finish with a one-stroke lead over her closest competitor.   Grapevine’s Dent leads the Boys 14 & Under Division by three strokes after shooting an even par 70. He had an eventful round that included 5 birdies while playing his final 5 holes at 2-under par.

In Contention: Four players are tied for second at 1-under par 69 including Houston’s Hayden Halaska, Oklahoma City’s Ben Lathrop, Maumelle, Arkansas’ Hayden Robertson, Austin’s Trenton Mierl and Montgomery’s Brody Knolton.  Mierl’s round was probably the most exiting with a sizzling finish with birdies on 4 of his last 6 holes.  Dallas’s Andy Lieu, Norman, Oklahoma’s Collin Bond and Duncanville’s Daniel Ferguson are all are tied for 7th at even par. Katy’s Maye Huang sits in solo second with a 3-over par 73 helped by an impressive 3-under par back nine that included 4 birdies in a row on holes 13-16.  Coppell’s Alicia Bellendir sits alone in third place, 2 shots behind the leader.  In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Davis Green of Tyler, Anthony Butt of The Woodland’s and Austin’s Dylan Knox sit in a tie for second at 3-over par.

Weather: The morning started off chilly temperatures in the high 40’s with calm winds. As the sun came out, temperatures crept up to 77 degrees in the afternoon with calm winds throughout the day.

Host Course: Cedar Crest Golf Course is located in South Dallas and opened in 1919. The former Country Club that turned public in 1946 was designed by A.W. Tillinghast who also is the creator behind courses such as Brook Hollow GC, Dallas CC, Lakewood CC, Colonial CC, and Oak Hills CC. The course hosted the 1927 PGA Championship won by 11-time major winner Walter Hagen. The course also hosted the Dallas Open in 1926 won by Macdonald Smith and the USGA Public Links Championship in 1954. The course built a clubhouse in 2001 and was eventually renovated in 2004 by D.A. Weinberg. The course is a favorite amongst Metroplex golfers.  

Cedar Crest Golf Course is home to the “I Am a Golfer Foundation”. Established in 2018, IAMGF’s mission is to be a “Catalyst for community renewal and transformation in South Dallas through Programming, Preservation, and Promotion”.  IAMGF has engaged over 650 area youth in instructional programming, created and hosted over 90 paid internships, and awarded more than $300,000 in college and higher education scholarships. For more info on the IAMGF click here. 

What’s at Stake: This is the third Open Event on the LJT schedule in 2024 and player of the year points are going to be awarded to the top half of each division. Along with points, the top finishers will get AJGA Stars and exemptions into future LJT Majors like the Bluebonnet Championship, Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship and Texas Junior Amateur. The event is ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard and Golfweek.

Next Up:  Pairings for the Final Round of the Spring Preview are available and can be viewed by clicking here. Players will be teeing off of both #1 and #10 tees between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM.

To see all the scores from Saturday’s first round, click here. For more information on the LJT Spring Preview, click here

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