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Wyatt Koricanek Grabs 36-Hole Lead at the 112th Texas Amateur

MIDLAND – Wyatt Koricanek was one of the last players to get into the field at the 112th Texas Amateur. Through 36 holes at Midland Country Club, the Yorktown resident finds himself in first place after a stellar 5-under-par 67 in Friday’s Round 2.

The second alternate out of the May 13 qualifying tournament at Vaaler Creek Golf Club in Blanco, Koricanek (pronounced “cora-chaun-ick”) got the call that he had a spot in the Texas Amateur last Sunday night. Four days later, he made the most of the opportunity and fired a 4-under 68 in the opening round.

At 9-under 135 overall, Koricanek leads Chris Berzina from Fort Worth by three shots.

“I was dying to get in,” Koricanek said. “I was really excited to get that call, like ready to go. You hope to play well in every tournament you go to, but I honestly felt like I was going to play well here.”

With 11 birdies and just two bogeys through 36 holes, the Texas State University senior validated his intuition. He could be one shot better, too. On the par-4 seventh, he hit a sand wedge from 114 yards right at the flag. It took one hop, rattled in and out of the hole and stopped a foot away.

“I thought it was in,” he said. “I heard it click, and there it was a foot or two away. I’ve never eagled a par 4, but there’s nothing wrong with a tap-in birdie.”

Berzina, a junior at TCU, holds second place at 6-under 138. On Friday, he shot a second consecutive 3-under 69 on the strategic and narrow Midland Country Club course. He poured in five birdies against a pair of bogeys.

“Today was a lot more of a solid round than yesterday,” said Berzina, who finished T15 in the 2018 Texas Junior Amateur at Horseshoe Bay Resort. “Yesterday, I had a little birdie streak going. Today, I had more pars all around and a couple three-putt bogeys. But I answered most of those bogeys with birdies.”

Tyler’s Clay Hodge, the first-round leader, shares third place with San Antonio’s Andres Acevedo at 5-under 139. Leander’s Ryan O’Rear, Odessa’s Blake Parks and Jake Doggett from Hutto are tied for fifth place at 4-under 140.

Ten players are within six shots of Koricanek’s lead.

Fifty-five players advanced through the 36-hole cut at 3-over 147. As expected, Midland Country Club has tested the best amateurs in the state; currently 21 players are under par for the championship. That’s less than 15% of the field.

In Round 2, the competitors played the par-72 course from 7,321 yards; the stroke average was 74.42, less than a shot better than it was in Round 1.

For the second straight day, a par 3 proved to be the most difficult test. On Friday it was the 232-yard eighth hole, which had a stroke average of 3.51. There were 12 double bogeys or worse on the testy No. 8 hole, which played straight into the wind on Friday. The par-5 fourth hole yielded the most birdies at 42.

In the first two rounds combined, the best amateurs in Texas averaged 74.88 on the Ralph Plummer-designed and D.A Weibring/Steve Wolfard-enhanced Midland Country Club course.

NOTES

Record-Breaker

Clay Hodge’s first round 64 broke Midland Country Club’s competitive course record since the course was completely renovated in 2015.

Hodge rolled in six birdies Thursday and holed-out a wedge from 145 yards for eagle on the par-4 18th hole. He was bogey-free and finished at 8-under.

Midland Country Club’s previous competitive course record was 65, shot by Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz in a 2018 U.S. Amateur qualifier.

Young & the Restless

Every year at the Texas Amateur, the field of competitors runs the gamut from young juniors to veteran senior amateurs. This year was no different.

The youngest player at Midland Country Club this week is Luke Hagan, a 16-year-old from Austin. Ben DeLaRosa from Dallas also is 16. Both have birthdays coming up this summer; Hagan is just six days older than DeLaRosa.

The oldest player in the field is 62-year-old Ken Coutant from Dallas.

The average age of the 144 participants is 28, which is a little on the old side compared to recent years.

Round 3 of the 112th Texas Amateur begins Saturday at 7:30 a.m. For more information, including complete scoring, click here.

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Texas Golf HOF Reschedules Class of 2020 Induction Event

The Texas Golf Hall of Fame recently announced that the previously postponed formal 2020 induction dinner has been rescheduled for Monday, August 9 and will be held at the River Crest Country Club in Fort Worth. The event was originally slated for October 2020 but was postponed as a cautionary measure due to COVID-19.

Last July the Hall announced its 2020 Class of Inductees that are to be honored during this formal induction ceremony that is open to the public.

2020 Texas Hall of Fame Inductees:

  • Professional Player: Angela Stanford
  • Amateur Player: Hank Kuehne
  • Lifetime Achievement: Verne Lundquist
  • Golf Professional / Teacher: Mike Wright
  • Golf Professional / Teacher: Dow Finsterwald, Jr.
  • Texas Registry of Historic Golf Courses: Oak Hills Country Club

In addition to the upcoming induction dinner, each of the Inductees has been commemorated on a granite marker on the prestigious Texas Golf Walk of Fame at historic Brackenridge Park Golf Course in San Antonio.

“We are very excited to finally give this class of inductees the celebration that they deserve!” said Texas Golf Hall of Fame Board Chairman, Reid Meyers. “These are extraordinary times, and we are fortunate to be able to slowly return to the normalcy of life. We hope you join us in celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of this class to the State of Texas and the great game of Golf.”

This will be the Texas Golf Hall of Fame’s eleventh class to be inducted since the Hall’s reconstitution in 2009. Public nominations made online were voted on by living Hall members, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame Board of Directors, and designated Texas golf media members.

For more about the Class of 2020 Induction Event, including tickets and sponsorship information, click here.

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Wayne Wright Wins 2021 Texas Super Senior Am

FORT WORTH – Wayne Wright of Aledo shot a final round 2-over-par 73 to win the 2021 Texas Super Senior Amateur on Wednesday at Ridglea Country Club’s North Course.

Wright stayed consistent all week and held onto his second-round lead. His final round 73 put him at 3-over 216 for the week, good for a six-shot victory.

“Just winning is great,” Wright said. “I mean, I love to win.”

This marks the second time Wright has won Texas Super Senior Amateur. He previously won it in 2017 at Pine Dunes Resort in Frankston. Wright also previously won the 2019 North Senior Am at Ridglea CC’s Championship Course.

“You know, it just seems like when the competition starts, things kind of fall into place,” he said. “I really played well this week.”

Wright carded three birdies en route to victory.

“I am really pleased with the way I played,” Wright said. “I started putting a little bit better today.”

A combination of weather and Ridglea CC’s North Course proved to be challenging to the field this week as only four rounds came in under-par.

John Grace and Mike Booker both finished with under-par final rounds to share second place at 9-over 222. Ed Brooks carded a final round 73 to finish in fourth. Rounding out the top five were Chuck Gardner and Steve Moran tied at 11-over week.

Mike Rice of Houston won the Legends division by carding the low round of the week for his respective division, a 3-over 74. His 16-over 229 total edged out runner-up Denny Alexander’s 17-over 230.

Ford Cartwright and Jamey Freisleben were crowned Super Senior Am net winners after tying at a 221-total net. Butch Vaut captured the Legends division net win after finishing with a 218-total net.

The Ridglea CC North Course demanded precision from every player throughout the tournament with its rolling fairways and smaller greens that were breaking subtly. Overseeding created a beautiful lush green course as Ridglea CC was in great shape for all three rounds. The Super Senior division, for amateur men ages 65 and older, played from a total yardage of 6,229. The Legends division (75 and older) played from 5,827 yards.

Four of the past five Super Senior Amateur champions were in the field, including Odessa’s Mickey Jones, who won the event in 2018. The 2020 Super Senior Amateur was canceled because of COVID-19.

The 112th Texas Amateur is next up on the championship schedule for the TGA. The top amateurs in the state will be tested at beautiful Midland Country Club in Midland on June 17-20. For more on the 2021 Super Senior Amateur, click here.

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James Peebles Leads Super Senior Amateur after Round 1

FORT WORTH – James Peebles shot the only under-par score in Monday’s first round of the 2021 Texas Super Senior Amateur on Ridglea Country Club’s North Course. The Fort Worth native’s 1-under-par 70 held up for a two-shot lead headed into the second round of the 54-hole championship.

Peebles, a 67-year-old semi-retired attorney, rolled in four birdies in the first round, including two on his final three holes.

“These greens are pretty severe,” said Peebles, the current president of nearby Shady Oaks Country Club. “If you can get underneath the hole, you can take a run at it. I’m a pretty good putter. When the putts go in, you build some confidence, and you can play pretty well.”

A reliable swing helps, too. Peebles had that part covered thanks to some recent assistance.

“I’ve really struggled with my golf swing over the last six months or so,” Peebles said. “With the help of some guys at Shady Oaks, I’ve gotten squared away, and I’m hitting the ball more solidly.”

Peebles leads Tom Takes from Weatherford and Wayne Wright from Aledo by two shots headed into Tuesday’s second round. Takes and Wright posted rounds of 1-over 72. Takes was steady all day; he recorded one birdie, two bogeys and 15 pars. Wright sunk two birdies to help offset three bogeys.

Six players are tied for fourth place at 2-over 73, including 2019 Texas Super Senior champion Ed Brooks from Fort Worth and three-time Texas Senior Player of the Year Mike Booker from Houston.

Butch Vaut from Royce City leads the Legends division after he shot 4-over 75 in the first round. Vaut bogeyed his second and third holes, but then reeled off birdies on three of his next six holes. Vaut finished his round with five consecutive pars and holds a one-shot Legends division lead over Denny Alexander of Fort Worth.

Lush green from overseeding, Ridglea is in superb shape for the year’s first men’s statewide championship. Designed by Texas Golf Hall of Fame architect John Bredemus in 1928, Ridglea’s North Course features narrow, tree-lined fairways that stretch across southwest Fort Worth’s rolling topography.

A longtime host of TGA championships, Ridglea most recently was the site of the 2020 Women’s Senior Stroke Play Championship won by Lubbock’s Marian Barker. This is the club’s first time hosting the Texas Super Senior Amateur.

The par-71 course keeps the attention of even the best players with uneven lies, tricky doglegs that require shot-shaping and smallish putting surfaces with subtly sloping breaks. Much like the rest of the course, the greens were in perfect shape during the first round. The Super Senior division, for amateur men ages 65 and older, played from a total yardage of 6,229. The Legends division (75 and older) played Ridglea from 5,827 yards.

Four of the past five Super Senior Amateur champions are competing for this year’s title, including Fort Worth’s Ed Brooks, who won the event in 2019. The 2020 Super Senior Amateur was canceled because of COVID-19.

Round 2 of the 2021 Texas Super Senior Amateur begins Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. For more information, including complete scores and second-round pairings, click here.

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Texas Girls’ Invitational Set for Feb. 13-15

MONTGOMERY – The Texas Girls’ Invitational returns to Bentwater Yacht & Country Club from Feb. 13-15 with the girls-only event set to take on the Weiskopf Course.

Conducted by the Legends Junior Tour, the Texas Girls’ Invitational was modeled after the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship and the Texas Cup Invitational. The tournament has taken on its own identity and has become one of the top events in the state.

The championship was originally 36 holes and ranked by Golfweek and Junior Golf Scoreboard and was held in the fall. In 2019, the event was moved to February and became a 54-hole championship with World Amateur Golf Ranking points up for grabs. The tournament also offers numerous AJGA Performance Stars to the top finishers including 12 for the champion.

Bentwater Yacht & Country Club is hosting the Texas Girls’ Invitational for the seventh time in the championship’s history. The dedicated TGA member club was originally built in 1993 by two renowned golf course architects, Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. Their efforts created broad, rolling fairways and TiffDwarf greens that wind through the signature forests of hardwood and pines along Lake Conroe. The Texas Girls’ Invitational was played at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club from 2012-2016 and in 2020.

“We are very excited to host the Texas Girls’ Invitational again and welcome some of the best junior girls back to Montgomery,” Bentwater Yacht & Country Club Head Golf Professional Cord Roberson said. “The camaraderie among the juniors is great and hosting this event has had a positive impact on our community as well.”

The 2021 starting field boasts some of the best junior girls in the country.

Lauren Nguyen of Katy is in the field. The two-time LJT Girls 12-18 Player of the Year (2019-20) and 94th Texas Junior Amateur champion will look to improve on her T6 finish from last year. Nguyen recently committed to play collegiate golf for Texas A&M University and will make her first start of the season in Montgomery.

Other notables competing at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club include the 94th Texas Junior Amateur Girls 14 & Under champion Sidney Robertson of Chandler, the 2021 Winter Classic champion Maggie Ni of Cypress, the 2020 James A. Ragan Memorial champion Darrelyn Webster of Austin and the 2020 Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship champion Farah O’Keefe of Austin.

Last year’s Texas Girls’ Invitational was conducted over two days. The field played 36 holes on Sunday and finished the 54-hole championship on Monday. Ashley Yen of Houston carded rounds of 72-69-73 to finish at 2-under par overall and win by three strokes. Yen, the 2020 USGA-AJGA Leadership Award recipient, recently committed to the admissions process at Yale University and plans to play collegiately.

The Texas Girls’ Invitational champion will have her name engraved on the ‘Nez Muhleman Trophy. Inez “Nez” Muhleman of Houston was known for her dedication to junior golf. Muhleman never missed a girls’ national championship until she retired in 2010. In 2011, she received the USGA Joe Dey Award, which is the organization’s highest honor for volunteerism, for her service to the game and for establishing the Junior Girls’ Travel Fund to help young Texans afford travel expenses to the U.S. Girls’ Junior.

Past champions of this girls-only championship include Kaci McCartan, Lakareber Abe, Maddie McCrary, Vanessa Ha, Jaravee Boonchant, Anne Chen, Makenzie Niblett and Hailey Jones. This is the first Major Championship for the girls of the 2021 LJT season.

“This is one of the best events for girls to compete in each year, “LJT Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “The Texas Girls’ Invitational is always competitive and this year’s field will be tested.”

For more information on the Texas Girls’ Invitational, please click here.

About the LJT: The Legends Junior Tour is part of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance, which is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, Northern and Southern PGA and Houston Golf Association. The tour operates as part of the Texas Golf Association and its foundation. Since its inception in 2005, the tour has provided funds to promote junior golf initiatives while conducting some of the state’s top junior championships including the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, Texas Junior Amateur and the Texas Girls’ Invitational as well as

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Comegys, Madden and Logis Win Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic

LAKEWAY – Brian Comegys of Austin posted rounds of 75-74 to clinch the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic at Lakeway Country Club’s Live Oak Course by one stroke. Jenna Madden of McKinney carded a final round 2-over-par 74 to win the Girls 12-18 Division by three strokes, while Nicholas Logis of Austin ran away with the Boys 14 & Under Division and won by seven shots.

Full Leaderboard

Division Champions: Comegys played steady golf throughout his round on Sunday. He’d counter a dropped shot with a few birdies, and held a one stroke lead with three holes to play. However, after back-to-back bogeys on the par-5 16th and par-3 17th, Comegys was tied for the lead heading into the par-4 18th. The 17-year-old carded his fifth birdie of the day and ninth for the tournament to post 5-over-par 149 and win the Boys 15-18 Division. The victory was Comegys’s first in the Boys 15-18 Division with the Legends Junior Tour.

Madden began the day two shots behind the 18-hole leader, Raleygh Simpson of Kerrville. The 15-year-old started her final round with a double bogey on the par-4 10th, and carded two more bogeys on her opening loop. However, despite the struggles, Madden was still well within contention for her first LJT title. On the front side, she found her game. Madden carded three birdies including a closing three on the par-4 ninth to shoot 2-under 34 and win by three strokes.

Nicholas Logis of Austin played the best golf of all three divisions. He followed his opening round 3-under-par 69 with a solid 2-over-par 74 to post the only 36-hole total in red figures. Logis adds his win to a top-5 finish earlier this season at the Winter Classic. 

In Contention: In the Boys 15-18 Division, Garland’s Sam Jenkins finished one stroke behind of Comegys after shooting consecutive rounds of 3-over-par 75. Brayden Bare of Waco, Awesome Burnett of Flower Mound and Tanner Wardlaw of Dripping Springs tied for third at 8-over-par 152. Ethan Parker of Austin finished sixth at 9-over-par 153, while Trenton Mierl of Austin and Gage Doyle of Colleyville tied for seventh at 10-over-par 154.

In the Girls 12-18 Division, Raleygh Simpson of Kerrville finished solo second after rounds of 76-79 to post 11-over par. Marissa Loya of San Antonio finished third at 13-over par, while Chaemin Kim of Austin, Amelia Guo of Seabrook and Mimi Burton of Austin tied for fourth at 15-over par.

In the Boys 14 & Under Division, the 94th Texas Junior Amateur Boys 14 & Under champion, Brooks Simmons of Dallas, finished second and seven shots behind Logis at 6-over par. Andre Follmer of The Hills carded rounds of 79-73 to finish third, while Rhett O’Rear of Plano and Austin Hofferkamp of The Woodlands tied for fourth at 10-over-par 154.

Course: Lakeway Country Club’s Live Oak course hosted the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic for the second straight year. The course was designed by Leon Howard and bends through the residential Lakeway neighborhood in Austin. The course features rolling hills with tree-lined fairways and small greens.

Tournament Format: The Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic is a 36-hole stroke play event for players with an active membership with the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. Players ages 12-18 are split into three different divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Undaer.  The event is ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard, Golfweek and has AJGA Performance Stars that will be handed out to the top finishers.

What’s Next: The Legends Junior Tour returns to Montgomery for the Texas Girls’ Invitational at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club’s Weiskopf Course from Feb. 13-15. The Spring Preview is the next stop for the boys as it heads to The Golf Club at Texas A&M from Feb. 27-28.

For more information on the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic, click here.

About the LJT: The Legends Junior Tour is part of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance, which is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, Northern and Southern PGA and Houston Golf Association. The tour operates as part of the Texas Golf Association and its foundation. Since its inception in 2005, the tour has provided funds to promote junior golf initiatives while conducting some of the state’s top junior championships including the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, Texas Junior Amateur and the Texas Girls’ Invitational as well as the Texas Cup Invitational.

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Burnett, Simpson and Logis Lead Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic

LAKEWAY – Awesome Burnett of Flower Mound carded a 1-under-par 71 in the first round of the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic and leads the Boys 15-18 Division at Lakeway Country Club’s Live Oak Course. Raleygh Simpson of Kerrville posted a 4-over-par 76 and leads the Girls 12-18 Division by one, while Nicholas Logis of Austin leads the Boys 14 & Under Division following an opening 3-under-par 69.

Full Leaderboard

Division Leaders: Burnett started his day with a bogey on the par-4 10th, but bounced right back with a birdie on the par-4 11th. He turned at even par, and carried his steady play onto the front nine. Burnett carded birdies on the par-4 fourth and par-4 sixth, before dropping a shot on the par-3 seventh. The 14-year-old, who is playing in the older division, leads the field by two strokes. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Simpson battled throughout her round. Despite six bogeys and a double, she remained poised and carded four birdies including one to close out her round on the par-4 18th. Simpson, who finished runner-up last year, leads the field by one with 18 holes to play. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Logis carded four birdies en route to the lowest score of all three divisions. The 13-year-old finished solo third at last year’s championship. He currently leads by five strokes and will look to claim his first LJT win on Sunday.

In Contention: In the Boys 15-18 Division, Tanner Wardlaw of Dripping Springs posted a 1-over-par 73. He sits two shots behind Burnett and is solo second. Davis Grindle of Round Rock and Davis Byrd of Spring are tied third at 2-over par. Four players are tied for fifth at 3-over heading into Sunday’s final round. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Amelia Guo of Seabrook is solo second after carding a 5-over-par 77. Jenna Madden of San Antonio is third and two shots behind Simpson at 7-over par. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, two players are tied for second. The defending champion, Austin Hofferkamp of The Woodlands, and the 94th Texas Junior Amateur Boys 14 & Under champion, Brooks Simmons of Dallas, carded rounds of 2-over-par 74. Samuel Padua of Cedar Park is solo fourth and six shots behind Logis.

Course: Lakeway Country Club’s Live Oak course is hosting the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic for the second straight year. The course was designed by Leon Howard and bends through the residential Lakeway neighborhood in Austin. The course features rolling hills with tree-lined fairways and small greens.

Tournament Format: The Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic is a 36-hole stroke play event for players with an active membership with the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. Players ages 12-18 are split into three different divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Undaer.  The event is ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard, Golfweek and has AJGA Performance Stars that will be handed out to the top finishers.

What’s Next: The Final Round of the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 7 with tee times going off the No. 1 and 10 tees. To see pairings for the final round, click here.

For more information on the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic, click here.

About the LJT: The Legends Junior Tour is part of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance, which is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, Northern and Southern PGA and Houston Golf Association. The tour operates as part of the Texas Golf Association and its foundation. Since its inception in 2005, the tour has provided funds to promote junior golf initiatives while conducting some of the state’s top junior championships including the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, Texas Junior Amateur and the Texas Girls’ Invitational as well as the Texas Cup Invitational.

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Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic Set for Feb. 6-7

LAKEWAY – The Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic will be played at Lakeway Country Club’s Live Oak Course for the third time in its 14-year history.

“We take tremendous pride in being involved in growing junior golf,” Lakeway Country Club Head Golf Professional Keith Rader said. “It’s an honor to have the best players in the state coming here to challenge their games on our course.”

The event is named after one of Texas’ golf legends, Jimmy Demaret, who won three Masters Tournaments and 31 PGA Tour events in a career that spanned from 1935-57. He became the first three-time Masters champion after his victory in 1950 and was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1983. The inaugural Jimmy Demaret Junior Championship was held at Onion Creek Club in 2008.

Scheduled for 36 holes of individual stroke play, the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic features 84 golfers playing in three different divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under. This is the second event of the 2021 season following the Winter Classic held at Dallas Athletic Club on Jan. 16-17.

In the Boys 15-18 Division, Davis Ovard of Plano will look to win consecutive LJT titles. He claimed the Winter Classic (the first tournament of the season) by one stroke after posting rounds of 71-74. Other notables in the field are Jay Pabin of Lucas, Awesome Burnett of Flower Mound, Connor Adams of Dallas, Patrick Kahanek of San Antonio and Gage Doyle of Colleyville.

Mimi Burton of Austin highlights the Girls 12-18 Division. The sophomore at Vandegrift High School will look to win her first LJT title. Last year, Burton recorded top-10 finishes in all five of her starts. Julia Vollmer of San Antonio, who finished second in the 2020 Girls 12-18 Player of the Year Standings, will also look to win her first LJT title. Her best finish last season was T2 at the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational.

In the Boys 14 & Under Division, the defending champion, Austin Hofferkamp of The Woodlands, will seek consecutive wins in 2021. He carded rounds of 73-68 to win the Winter Classic by six shots. Hofferkamp will face a star-studded field, including the 94th Texas Junior Amateur Boys 14 & Under Champion Brooks Simmons of Dallas and last year’s Boys 14 & Under Player of the Year Rhett O’Rear of Plano.

Last year, Austin’s Zachary Kingsland fired rounds of 74-68 and won the Boys 15-18 Division by one stroke over Patrick Kahanek. Austin’s Vera Yi claimed the Girls 12-18 Division with back-to-back rounds of 74, while Hofferkamp won the Boys 14 & Under Division.

Other past champions of the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic include Cooper Dossey, Philip Barbaree, Cole Hammer, Annika Clark, Maddie Szeryk, Tayler Termeer, Mac Meissner, Macy Fox and Libby Thomas.

Lakeway Country Club’s Live Oak Course originally opened in 1965 and was designed by Leon Howard. The par-72 layout runs along Lake Travis and features dramatic elevation changes.

Tee times begin Saturday at 8 a.m. The final round takes place on Sunday, Feb. 7.

For more information about the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic, click here.

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Winter Classic Set for Jan. 16-17

DALLAS – For the eighth straight year, the Winter Classic will be the first event of the Legends Junior Tour season. Since its inception in 2010, the field has proved to be one of the top-ranked LJT events on its schedule.

“The LJT is excited to get back to work with the Winter Classic,” LJT Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “We will continue to prioritize the health of our players, spectators, volunteers and staff throughout this season. We look forward to starting off this year with another safe and competitive championship at Dallas Athletic Club.”

DAC’s Blue Course will play host for the 12th consecutive year. It was originally designed by Ralph Plummer in 1954. Thirty years later, Jack Nicklaus, who won the 1963 PGA Championship held at DAC, remodeled the course to its current layout. The esteemed 18-hole championship venue has hosted many elite amateur events including the 110th Texas Amateur in 2019, as well as the 2012 Texas Mid-Amateur. The par-72 layout stretches to 6,922 yards.

The 84-player field is divided into three different divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under. Players eligible for the tournament have an active membership with the Texas Junior Golf Alliance and have earned their way into the field by way of the LJT Priority Entry Status.

This year’s Winter Classic boasts another strong cast of competitors across all three divisions. Trenton Mierl of Austin and Connor Adams of Dallas highlight the Boys 15-18 Division. Mierl played last season in the Boys 14 & Under Division and finished second in the Player of the Year Standings. He won three times, including last year’s Winter Classic, and recorded top-10 finishes in all nine events he played. Adams, who is playing his final LJT season, closed out 2020 with three straight top-5 finishes, including a win at the James A. Ragan Memorial. Mierl and Adams will tee it up against a host of great players, including Trevor Mierl of Austin, Preston Stout of Richardson and Andrew Petruzzelli of Dallas.

In the Girls 12-18 Division, two players who won last season are in the field. Natalie Cao of Sugar Land won the Flodder Financial Shootout, while Farah O’Keefe of Austin won the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship. Maelynn Kim of Katy, Mimi Burton of Austin, Jiyu Han of Cedar Park, Jenna Madden of McKinney and Sophie Biediger of Dallas are also players to watch and all finished in the top-12 of the 2020 Player of the Year Standings. This year, four out-of-state junior girls gained entry into the field through their national rankings and will compete in an LJT event for the first time.

In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Rhett O’Rear of Plano will look to start his 2021 campaign right where he left off last fall. The 2025 high school graduate earned last year’s Boys 14 & Under Player of the Year honors and won twice. He registered nine top-10s and never finished worse than T11.

“The Winter Classic usually has a strong field as players are looking to get back into competition following a brief break over the holidays,” Porter said. “This year’s field is no different and will be a great way to start the 2021 season.”

Last year, Ethan Fang of Plano carded back-to-back rounds of 3-under-par 69 to run away with the Boys 15-18 title and win by seven strokes. Kaylee Vesley of Austin, who currently plays for the University of Oklahoma, won the Girls 12-18 Division with rounds of 71-78, while Trenton Mierl of Austin clinched the Boys 14 & Under Division by one stroke. Other past champions include Brad Dalke, Cole Hammer, Brandon Smith, Annika Clark, Hailey Jones, Grace Choi and Sadie Englemann.

The Winter Classic is the first of 10 open LJT events. The open events are available to any member of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance, which is made up of the TGA, NTPGA, STPGA and HGA. Players earn entry into the open events through their play on the LJT and in Texas Junior Golf Alliance events.

Tee times begin Saturday, Jan. 16, at 8 a.m. The final round takes place on Sunday, Jan. 17. For more information on the Winter Classic or the LJT, click here.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Suhey

Steve Suhey’s father introduced him to the game of golf when he was 6 years old in 1956. They spent Sunday evenings looping the nearby course in central Pennsylvania. Today, Suhey continues to create lasting memories on golf courses more than 1,500 miles away from where he grew up and learned to play.

“I love the challenge of golf throughout your lifetime,” Suhey said. “It’s a game you can play your whole life, and as you grow older you face new challenges. I’ve really enjoyed that.”

In 1982, Suhey and his wife, Louise, moved to Texas. The avid amateur golfer played in competitive events across the state, including championships conducted by the Texas Golf Association. He’d always loved and appreciated the Rules of Golf, but it wasn’t until met Marty Javors that he began to get involved as a Rules official.

“In the late 1980s, I met Marty, who had been a TGA and USGA Rules official for many years,” Suhey said. “He encouraged me to get involved with the Rules, but because of my businesses and travel schedule, I could never do it. I promised Marty that when I retired I would turn my attention to the Rules and get involved as a Rules official.”

In 2016, Suhey delivered on his promise. Following his retirement as an insurance broker, he attended his first USGA/PGA Rules of Golf Workshop, took his first Rules of Golf exam and volunteered with the TGA.

“When he finally pulled the trigger he didn’t hold back at all,” Javors said. “He’s a very smart guy and learned the Rules very quickly. He loves the game and he’s been a huge help to the golf community in Texas.”

Over the years, Suhey has become one of the most dedicated TGA volunteers. In 2020, he officiated over 40 days at local and statewide men’s, women’s and junior championships.

“As a volunteer, my goal is to help the competitors play by the Rules,” Suhey said. “In order to do that, you have to ask a lot of questions to find out the exact situation and make sure the player knows what his options are.”

Suhey values the interactions he has with players, working with TGA staff and building relationships with other volunteers. His “team-first” mentality has not gone unrecognized by the TGA.

“Steve’s presence makes our championships better and our job as a staff easier,” TGA Tournament Director Ian Davis said. “It doesn’t matter what his assignment is for the day, he is the first one on site and he is the last to leave. Steve is a staunch individual and you can always count on him. He’s always available to stick around for a playoff or help with packing up the equipment when we finish.”

Golf is an ever-evolving game. It teaches lessons on and off the golf course, and Suhey has been a part of unique lessons for so many amateur golfers across the state. Sixty-four years since he touched his first club, Suhey continues to grow from the lessons of golf.

“Because of what golf has given me over the years, this is my way of giving back,” Suhey said. “I learn something at every tournament I officiate and every meeting I attend. And like the game of golf itself, you keep learning and learning and learning and it never stops throughout your life.”

The TGA extends its sincere appreciation to Steve for his efforts in making our championships a success. The work and dedication from all our volunteers allows the TGA to grow and continue to support the game we all love.

To learn more about the TGA Volunteer Program, click here.