Around the Green

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

Rubenstein, Yuan, Knox Win Fall Challenge

Briefly: Dallas’s Jeffrey Rubenstein fired a final round 67 to finish the tournament at 5-under par and secure the Boys 15-18 Division of the Fall Challenge at Cross Timbers Golf Course in Azle. Joshua’s Kaylee Yuan won the Girls Division at 4-over, while Austin’s Dylan Knox won the Boys 14 & Under Division at 6-under. All Division Champions won in on-course playoffs.

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Division Winners: Rubenstein carded a bogey free final round of 5-under 67 to post the clubhouse lead at 5-under 139. Rubenstein would finish in a three-way tie after 36 holes. In the playoff, Rubenstein continued his stellar play and claimed the division title with an eagle on the first playoff hole. Yuan stumbled late in her final round 3-over 75 and found herself in a playoff for the division title. Yuan was able to regroup quickly and hold off Bella Scucchi and claim victory on the first playoff hole. Knox posted a bogey free round of 3-under 69 in the final round to finish at 6-under 138. Knox also found himself in a playoff after 36 holes. Knox picked up right where he left off and closed out the victory with a birdie on the first playoff hole.

Top Finishers: In the Boys Division, San Antonio’s Matt Pawly and Richmond’s Eli Walker Campbell both finished tied for second at 5-under 139. Dallas’s Andy Lieu, Fair Oaks Ranch’s Phoenix Guerra, Dallas’s Deacon Dortch, Grapevine’s Wylie Waldrip, Tomball’s Grayson Petru, and Spring’s Asher Vargas all finished tied for fourth at 3-under 141. In the Girls Division, Bella Scucchi posted a final round of even-par 72 to finish at 4-over 148, but came up just short in the playoff. Frisco’s Grace Kalina rounds out the top three after posting 6-over 150 overall. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Selma’s Aadi Parmar finishes runner up at 6-under 138 and College Station’s Ryan Woojin Lee finishes tied for third with Lantana’s Henry Jackson at even-par 144.

Golf Course: Cross Timbers Golf Course, located in Azle, TX is hosting the Fall Challenge for the first time. It was designed by Jeffrey Brauer and opened in 1995. The course overlooks scenic Mountain Lake and Downtown Fort Worth and offer a mix of short and long par 3’s, challenging par 4’s and risk/reward par 5’s.  The property features Champion Bermuda greens, undulating fairways and natural elevation changes reminiscent of Texas Hill Country.   The course will play to 6734 yards in the Boys 15-18 Division, 6,365 yards in the Boys 14 & Under Division and 5,904 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

Weather: Temperatures started in the lower 70s for the final round and crept up into the low 90s. Players took advantage of the ideal scoring conditions thanks to the calm to non-existent winds.

Player of the Years Points: Jeffrey Rubenstein, Kaylee Yuan and Dylan Knox all earned 1,000 points in the Player of the Year Point Race.  Points are awarded at each tournament to the top half of each age division.  2023 LJT Player of the Year Points Standings

Tournament Format: The Fall Challenge is a 36-hole stroke play event with players ages 12-18 that have an active membership within the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. The 84-player field is split into a Boys Division, Girls Division and a Boys 14 & Under Division.

Texas Junior Golf Alliance: The Alliance is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, Northern and Southern Texas PGA and Houston Golf Association. The goal of the Alliance was to allow junior golfers a clear path to the best tournaments in Texas. Each of the three tier-two organizations (STPGA, NTPGA, HGA) conduct events that serve as qualifiers into the statewide tier-one events run by the Legends Junior Tour (LJT). This allows players to compete in local events in which they can earn spots to play in statewide tournaments.

Next Up: The Legends Junior Tour heads to Corpus Christi for the James A. Ragan Memorial on Oct. 8-9. The 84-player field will take on the recently renovated Corpus Christi Country Club as players continue to position themselves for Player of the Year and Jackie Burke Cup team places.

For more information on the Fall Challenge, click here.

Around the Green

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

Pawly, Yuan and Jackson Lead Fall Challenge

Briefly: San Antonio’s Matt Pawly fired a 4-under 68 in the opening round of the Fall Challenge and leads the Boys Division by two shots at Cross Timbers Golf Course. Joshua’s Kaylee Yuan leads the Girls Division after shooting 1-over 73 on Saturday, while Lantana’s Henry Jackson leads the Boys 14 & Under Division after posting a 4-under 68.

Full Leaderboard

Leaders: Matt Pawly made six birdies on the day to finish at 4-under overall and hold a two stroke lead in the Boys 15-18 Division. Pawly started his day on the back nine and started strong with a 3-under 33, including a stretch of three birdies in a row on holes 13-15.  Pawly recorded two more birdies and a bogey on the front to tack on one more and finish at 4-under for the day.  Kaylee Yuan holds a two stroke lead in the Girls Division after shooting 1-over 73 in the first round. Yuan birdied the second hole and then put it in cruise control. Yuan recorded 14 straight pars following the birdie on the second before stumbling on the closing stretch with a double bogey on the 17th. Yuan looks to secure her fourth title of the 2023 season and add to her lead in the player of the year race with a victory tomorrow.  Henry Jackson holds a slim one shot lead in the Boys 14 & Under Division after shooting 4-under on Saturday. Jackson, the 2022 Fall Challenge Champion, made six birdies against a pair of bogeys in his first round. Jackson surged into the lead late from playing the final five holes in 3-under. Jackson is also looking to secure his fourth victory with the LJT in 2023.

In Contention: In the Boys Division, Richmond’s Eli Walker Campbell, Spring’s Asher Vargas, and College Station’s Raines Watson all finished tied for second at 2-under 70. Elijah Galvan, Tyson Embry, Abhay Duggal, Grayson Petru, and Lincoln Staats all finished tied for fifth at 1-under 71.  In the Girls Division, Frisco’s Grace Kalina finished the day in second after a round of 3-over 75. Dallas’s Bella Scucchi rounds out the top three in third place at 4-over 76.  In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Austin’s Dylan Knox sits one shot back at 3-under par 69, with Dallas’s Edward Lehner two shots off the lead at 2-under 70.

Golf Course: Cross Timbers Golf Course, located in Azle, TX is hosting the Fall Challenge for the first time. It was designed by Jeffrey Brauer and opened in 1995. The course overlooks scenic Mountain Lake and Downtown Fort Worth and offer a mix of short and long par 3’s, challenging par 4’s and risk/reward par 5’s.  The property features Champion Bermuda greens, undulating fairways and natural elevation changes reminiscent of Texas Hill Country.   The course will play to 6,734 yards in the Boys 15-18 Division, 6,365 yards in the Boys 14 & Under Division and 5,904 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

Weather: Temperatures started in the 70s and crept up to the low 90s near the end of play. Winds were light at the start of the day, before picking up to 12-15 mph in the early afternoon.

Tournament Format: The Fall Challenge is a 36-hole stroke play event with players ages 12-18 that have an active membership within the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. The 84-player field is split into a Boys Division, Girls Division and a Boys 14 & Under Division.

Texas Junior Golf Alliance: The Alliance is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, Northern and Southern Texas PGA and Houston Golf Association. The goal of the Alliance was to allow junior golfers a clear path to the best tournaments in Texas. Each of the three tier-two organizations (STPGA, NTPGA, HGA) conduct events that serve as qualifiers into the statewide tier-one events run by the Legends Junior Tour (LJT). This allows players to compete in local events in which they can earn spots to play in statewide tournaments.

Next Up: The Final Round of the Fall Challenge is scheduled for tee times at 8:00 am on Sunday, October 1st. Pairings for the final round can be found by clicking here. Following Sunday’s play, awards will be handed out to the top finishers of each division along with LJT Player of the Year Points.

For more information on the Fall Challenge, click here.