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Henry, Clancy and O’Keefe Win at Bluebonnet Championship

Brownwood – Connor Henry won the Boys 15-18 Division of the Bluebonnet Championship at 13-under-par. Farah O’Keefe won the Girls 12-18 Division at 8-under, while Jack Clancy won the Boys 14 & Under Division at 2-under-par at Brownwood Country Club.

Click here for full leaderboard

Winners: Connor Henry secured the title at the 21st Bluebonnet Championship. Fort Worth’s Henry made five birdies, an eagle, and a hole-in-one to post a final low round score of 8-under 64. Henry totaled ten birdies and three eagles across both rounds. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Austin’s Farah O’Keefe captured her second LJT victory of the season after getting to 8-under 136 overall and five strokes ahead of the field. She played two rounds of 4-under 68 over the weekend, totaling ten birdies and an eagle to only four bogeys. Dallas’ Jack Clancy won the Boys 14 & Under Division at 2-under, edging out Southlake’s Andrea Birolini in a 1-hole playoff. The current Winter Classic and Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic champion made three birdies on Sunday for a total of nine over two rounds.

In Contention: Austin’s Grant Yerger shot a final round score of 3-under 69 to finish runner up at 7-under overall. Austin’s Trenton Mierl, Garlands’ Sam Jenkins, The Woodland’s Austin Hofferkamp, and Dallas’ Matthew Foster tied for third at 6-under 138. Andrew Petruzzelli finished solo seventh at 5-under 137. San Antonio’s Lindsay Lee finished runner-up in the Girls 12-18 Division after a final round score of 5-under 67 for a tournament total of 141. Alexa Saldana of Mexico and Mason Lewis of Granbury tied for third in the division at 2- under, while Sydney Givens of Austin and Jiyu Han of Cedarpark tied for fifth at 1-under. Andrea Birolini of Southlake finished runner-up after back-to-back rounds of 1-under 70. Benjamin Padua of Cedar Park and Henry Jackson of Lantana round out the top three after finishing 3-over 147 overall.

Golf Course: Brownwood Country Club, which opened in 1929, has hosted the Bluebonnet Championship every year since its inception in 2001. The club sits in central Texas and features ample opportunities for players to go low and make birdies. The par-72 layout was designed by Leon Howard and stretches to 6,300 yards for the boys and 5,800 yards for the girls.

Tournament History: The Bluebonnet Championship is a 36-hole stroke play event for players ages 12-19 that have an active membership within the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. The championship was started by Brownwood businessman Bart Johnson in 2001 and has an impressive list of past champions that include Patrick Reed, Cody Gribble, Scottie Scheffler, Pierceson Coody, Maddie Szeryk, Noah Goodwin, Hailey Jones and Hailee Cooper. The Legends Junior Tour took over the event in 2007 and the field has grown to 132 players from all over the state.

POY Points Race: Competitors who finish in the top half of the field will gain points towards the LJT Player of the Year Standings. By winning, Henry, Clancy, and O’Keefe are awarded 1500 points towards the Legend Junior Tour’s Player of the Year standings.

What’s Next: The Legends Junior Tour returns to Dallas and Lakewood Country Club for the Veritex -Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship on June 7-9, 2022. The championship is the second Major Event for the Boys Division of the year with the top players from Texas vying to etch their name on a trophy along with Jordan Spieth, Pierceson Coody, Cody Gribble and many more. For more information about the championship, 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.

For more information about the Bluebonnet Championship, click here. To see all the scores from Brownwood Country Club, click here.

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Hagen, Clancy and O’Keefe Lead Bluebonnet Championship

Brownwood — Luke Hagen leads the Boys 15-18 Division of the Bluebonnet Championship after shooting a 6-under 66 at Brownwood Country Club. Jack Clancy sits atop the Boys 14 & Under Division leaderboard at 5-under, while Farah O’Keefe leads the Girls 12-18 Division after shooting 4-under 68 the first round.

Click here for full leaderboard

Leaders: Luke Hagen of Austin leads the Boys 15-18 Division after shooting 6-under 66 in the opening round. Hagen made four birdies throughout the round and an eagle on the par-5 18th hole. In the Boys 14 & Under division, Jack Clancy of Dallas leads at 5-under 67. Clancy, the current Winter Classic champion, made a total of six birdies in his first 18 holes and played the front 9 holes at 3-under. His lone bogey came on the par-5 12th hole. Farah O’Keefe of Austin, the current Texas Girls’ Invitational champion, made five birdies and matched Hagen’s eagle on the par-5 18th hole in the first round.

In Contention: Three players, Blake Burt, Connor Henry, and Shiv Parmar, are all one stroke back of the leader in the Boys 15-18 Division after a round of 5-under on Saturday. Grant Yerger of Austin and Matt Pawly of San Antonio are tied for fifth at 4-under, while Austin Hofferkamp of The Woodlands and Barret Wisener of Dallas are tied for seventh at 3-under. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Andrea Birolini of Southlake is one stroke back of the leader at 1-under, shooting the only other under-par score in Saturday’s round. Two players are tied for third in the division at 1-over. Austin’s Sydney Givens is just one stroke behind the leader, while Mason Lewis of Granbury sits in solo third after shooting a 2-under 70 on Saturday.

Course: Brownwood Country Club has hosted the Bluebonnet Championship every year since its inception in 2000. The club sits in central Texas and features ample opportunities for players to go low and make birdies. The par-72 layout stretches to 6,300 yards for the boys and 5,800 yards for the girls.

Tournament History: The Legends Junior Tour continues its tradition of hosting the annual Bluebonnet Championship with the 21st playing of the event this year. The Bluebonnet Championship was started by local businessman Bart Johnson in 2002 and has been played at Brownwood Country Club since its inception. The 36-hole championship features three separate divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & under. This championship is ranked by both Junior Golf Scoreboard and Golfweek. The top three finishers (and ties) in the Boys 15-18 Division will earn a spot in the 2022 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship and the top five finishers for the 96th Texas Junior Amateur. The winners of the Boys 14 & Under Division and the Girls 12-18 Division will each earn an exemption into the 2022 Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational and 2022 George Hannon Junior Invitational. Along with rankings on the Legends Junior Tour, the top finishers in each division will earn AJGA stars based on their finishes.

POY Points Race: Competitors who finish in the top half of the field will gain points towards the LJT Player of the Year Standings. The champions will each get 1500 points towards the statewide honor followed by 1200 for runner-up, 1050 for third, 900 for fourth and 750 for fifth. For the full LJT POY points breakdown, click here.

What’s Next: The LJT heads out to Lakewood Country Club for the LJT Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, June 7-9. For more information about the championship, 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.

For More information about the Bluebonnet Championship, click here. To see all the scores from Brownwood Country Club, click here.

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Bluebonnet Championship Set for 21st Year

LJT Bluebonnet Championship

BROWNWOOD – The Legends Junior Tour continues its tradition of hosting the annual Bluebonnet Championship with the 21st playing of the event this year.

“Brownwood Country Club has always been an amazing host for the Bluebonnet Championship and continues to welcome us with open arms,” Legends Junior Tour Tournament Manager Adam Schulte said. “This has always been one of the most competitive and fun events each year and the LJT is thrilled to continue hosting the best juniors in the state in Brownwood.”

The Bluebonnet Championship was started by local businessman Bart Johnson in 2002 and has been played at Brownwood Country Club since its inception. The par-72 course was designed by Leon Howard and opened in 1929. It features bentgrass greens and wide fairways that give players ample opportunities for low scores. It also showcases many scenic views on hilltops throughout the course. The 36-hole championship features three separate divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under.

Last year, Matthew Comegys of Plano carded rounds of 64-66 to post 14-under-par 130 to win the Boys 15-18 Division title by three strokes over Austin’s Trevor Mierl. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Mimi Burton of Austin edged out San Antonio’s Lindsay Lee and Arlington’s Mason Lewis by two strokes with rounds of 70-70.

In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Rhett O’Rear of Plano captured victory via rounds of 69-71 to finish one stroke ahead of Austin Hofferkamp of The Woodlands.

Comegys, Burton, and O’Rear are just a few of the decorated past champions of this prestigious junior championship. The impressive list of past Bluebonnet Championship winners includes new World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who just won the Masters in April. That is elite company for the winners of this event.

Joining Scheffler among the list of notable past champions include the likes of 2019 Texas Amateur champion Ryan Grider, USA Walker Cup Team Member Pierceson Coody, Cooper Dossey and former Texas Junior Amateur champions Stratton Nolen and Hailee Cooper.

This championship is ranked by both Junior Golf Scoreboard and Golfweek. Competitors who finish in the top half of the field will gain points towards the LJT Player of the Year Standings. The top five finishers in the Boys 15-18 Division will earn a spot in the 2022 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship and the 97th Texas Junior Amateur. The winners of the Boys 14 & Under Division and the Girls 12-18 Division will each earn an exemption into the 2022 Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational and 2022 George Hannon Junior Invitational.

Along with rankings on the Legends Junior Tour, the top finishers in each division will earn AJGA stars based on their finishes.

For more information about the Bluebonnet Championship, click here.

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Austin’s Farah O’Keefe Wins 12th Texas Girls’ Invitational

MONTGOMERY – Farah O’Keefe fires a final round even-par 72 at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club’s Weiskopf course on Monday resulting in a resounding seven-stroke victory at LJTs 12th Texas Girls’ Invitational.

Competing in her first Texas Girls’ Invitational, the Austin-native posted rounds of 76-66-72. She started her final round with a birdie on No. 2 and remained 1-under until a bogey on the par 4 sixth hole. She finished off the front nine with a birdie and turned at 1-under overall. Her next birdie came on No. 11 followed by four straight pars extending her lead. O’Keefe made two bogeys in her final 9-holes to get to even-par after 18-holes.

O’Keefe’s win at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club highlights what has been an amazing run lately on the links for the high school junior. She made history shooting a tournament low round of 6-under 66 on Sunday. O’Keefe, who made her LPGA debut last summer at the Volunteers of America Classic after earning an exemption through the Northern Texas PGA’s VOA Classic Girls Championship. She recently claimed first place at the Alamo Shootout this past December, the last event on the 2021 LJT schedule.

Leaderboard:
1) Farah O’Keefe, Austin 76-66-72—214
2) Ashleen Kaur, Cypress 77-72-72—221
3) Maye Huang, Katy 75-75-73—223
4) Darrelyn Webster, Austin 79-74-71—224
5) Chaemin Kim, Austin 78-73-73—224

Full Leaderboard

Cypress’s Ashleen Kaur tiptoed up to the leader group throughout Monday’s final round matching O’Keefe’s even-par score of 72. Kaur made birdie on the 166-yard par 3 third hole followed by a bogey on No. 5 where she remained even-par after 9-holes. The high school junior finished the week with a total of eight birdies in 54-holes.

Katy’s Maye Huang, class of 2025, finished third overall with a 7-over 223. Huang carded a final round of 1-over 73 which consisted of back-to-back birdies in her first 5-holes on No’s. 2 and 3. A bogey on the 492-yard par 5 seventh hole brought her back to 1-under where she went head to head with Kaur. She dropped two-strokes back after a bogey on No. 10 and double bogey on No. 14 but made birdie on the par 5 fifteenth hole to pull off a third place finish.

Rounding out the top five at 8-over 224 overall are Austin-natives Darrelyn Webster and Chaemin Kim. After a scorecard playoff, Webster’s final round 1-under 71 resulted in a fourth place finish followed by Kim, who carded a final round 1-over 73.

The weather at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club consisted of overcast skies and light drizzle in the morning. In the afternoon temperatures reached the high 70s as the sun came out. The wind was a factor in today’s round with rising up to 17 miles per hours making the back nine the most challenging.

The Texas Girls’ Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event for girls that are members of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. The event is one of the top-ranked tournaments in Texas.

Next up for the Legends Junior Tour is the Spring Preview at Firewheel Golf Park’s The Bridges course in Garland. For more information about the Spring Preview, click here.

For all the scores from Monday’s action at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club, click here. To learn more about the Texas Girls’ Invitational, click here.

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O’Keefe Fires Bogey-free 6-under 66 to Take Lead at Texas Girls’ Invitational

MONTGOMERY – Austin’s Farah O’Keefe strung together a superb bogey free round of 6-under 66, the lowest round recorded at the Texas Girls’ Invitational, and leads by three strokes heading into the final round at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club.

O’Keefe is now 2-under overall following rounds of 76-66 on the first two days. Her birdie binge on today’s round started on the sixth and seventh holes, which led to No. 8 where her tee shot on the 145-yard par 3 left no doubt that a third straight birdie was coming. Making the turn at 3-under 33, O’Keefe fired another three straight birdies on No. 13, 14 and 15. The final result: six birdies total to close out a round of 66, which ultimately put her in the lead heading into Monday’s final round.

The Austin native looks to win her first Texas Girls’ Invitational and her second win with the Legends Junior Tour.

Leaderboard:
1) Farah O’Keefe, Austin 76-66—142
2) Bella Flores, Kingwood 74-70—144
3) Dresden Bounds, San Antonio 73-74—147
4) Jenna Madden, McKinney 73-75—148
T5) Ashleen Kaur, Cypress 77-72—149
T5) Caroline Dasch, Austin 76-73—149
T5) Jasmine Do, Cypress 77-72—149

Full Leaderboard

Trailing behind O’Keefe by two strokes is Bella Flores of Kingwood. Flores’ round today consisted of three birdies and a solo bogey on the 379-yard par 4 first hole which resulted in a 2-under 70. After 36 holes, she sits in second with an even-par 144 overall.

In solo third is round one co-leader Dresden Bounds of San Antonio. Bounds posted a 2-over 74 second round score consisting of five birdies and seven bogeys. She sits five strokes back from the lead with a 36 hole total of 147.

Holding onto fourth is Jenna Madden of McKinney, who was tied with Bounds for the lead after 18 holes. Madden carded a second round of 3-over 75 which consisted of three birdies on the front nine, but ran into some trouble on the back nine.

Ashleen Kaur of Cypress, Kate Bennett of McKinney, Caroline Dasch of Austin, and Jasmine Do of Cypress round out the top five at 149 overall.

The weather at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club consisted of overcast skies with temperatures peaking at the mid-60s. The wind was a factor in today’s round with breezes steady around 7 miles per out of the south, south east.

The Texas Girls’ Invitational moved to 54 holes in 2019. The championship was contested over 36 holes the previous nine years, but the LJT wanted to add a World Amateur Golf Ranking to the event as well as offer another 54-hole event on the schedule.

The final round of the Texas Girls’ Invitational is set to begin at 8:00 am on Monday, Feb. 21. Tee times will be redrawn according to scores with the leaders teeing off last. To see all the pairings for the final round, click here.

For all the scores from Sunday’s action at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club, click here. To learn more about the Texas Girls’ Invitational, click here.

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Bounds and Madden Tied for Lead After First Round of the Texas Girls’ Invitational

MONTGOMERY – Dresden Bounds and Jenna Madden are tied for the lead after the first round of the Texas Girls’ Invitational at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club. Both players posted opening-round scores of 1-over par and lead by two strokes heading into Sunday’s second round.

San Antonio’s Bounds got off to a great start with birdies on No. 1 and No. 8 but made bogey double-bogey on the par-5 seventh and turned at even-par. She had an up and down back consisting of two birdies, one bogey, and double. A bogey on No. 16 put her back to 1-over par to tie with Madden heading into Sunday.

McKinney’s Madden who played with Bounds in today’s round got off to a rough start with bogies on No. 4 and No. 6 making the turn at 2-over. Madden turned things around on the back with a solo birdie on the par-5 fifteenth which put her at 1-over for the day.

Leaderboard:
T1) Dresden Bounds, San Antonio 73
T1) Jenna Madden, McKinney 73
T3) Bella Flores, Kingwood 74
T3) Kate Bennett, McKinney 74
T5) Adrienne Ahn, Dallas 75
T5) Darcy Wright, Spring 75
T5) Maye Huang, Katy 75

Full Leaderboard

Three players sit in a tie for fifth place at 3-over-par, including Dallas’s Adrienne Ahn, Spring’s Darcy Wright and Katy’s Maye Huang. Three players also sit in a tie for eighth at 4-over-par, Tomball’s Zoe Hobbs, Austin’s Farah O’Keefe and Austin’s Caroline Dasch.

Bentwater Yacht & Country Club is hosting the Texas Girls’ Invitational for the seventh time in the tournament’s 12-year history. The Weiskopf course was designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish and features rolling fairways and greens that seem to emerge from the thick forests of hardwood pines. The Weiskopf course features a great closing nine that is highlighted by four holes that play along the shores of Lake Conroe.

The weather at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club accommodated for today’s round with temperatures starting in the low-50s and peaking to the low-60s in the afternoon. The sunshine was out all day and winds ranged from one mph in the morning, and only reached up to three mph in the late afternoon.

The Texas Girls’ Invitational moved to 54 holes in 2019. The championship was contested over 36 holes the previous nine years, but the LJT wanted to add a World Amateur Golf Ranking to the event as well as offer another 54-hole event on the schedule.

The second round of the Texas Girls’ Invitational will start at 11:00 am on Sunday, Feb. 20. Tee times were redrawn according to scores from the first round with the leaders teeing off last. To see all the pairings for the second round, click here.

For all the scores from Saturday’s action at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club, click here. To learn more about the Texas Girls’ Invitational, click here.

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Texas Girls’ Invitational Returns to Bentwater Yacht & Country Club

ADDISON – The Texas Girls’ Invitational returns to Bentwater Yacht & Country Club for the third year in a row and eighth time overall. The tournament is set to be played February 19-21 on the Weiskopf Course.

The Texas Girls’ Invitational, a 72-player girls-only field, has become one of the top junior events in Texas on the schedule. The inaugural playing of this event featured 12 players back in 2010, but now boasts one of the most competitive fields each year.

In 2019, the event became a 54-hole championship held in February with World Amateur Golf Ranking points up for grabs. Additionally, the tournament also offers numerous AJGA Performance Stars to the top finishers including 12 for the champion. Prior to 2019 the event was 36 holes and annually held in the fall.

Bentwater Yacht & Country Club is hosting the Texas Girls’ Invitational for the eighth time in the championship’s history. Originally built in 1993, the dedicated TGA Member Club was designed 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.

“We are very excited to host the Texas Girls’ Invitational at Bentwater again as we welcome many of the best girls in the state,” LJT Tournament Director Andrea Daly said. “We are also excited to work with Bentwater’s new Director of Golf Dave Troyer. Dave and his staff are phenomenal and will be instrumental in making this event a success.”

Tillie Claggett of The Woodlands won by four strokes last year at the Texas Girls’ Invitational after finishing the week four-under par. A field of rising stars and previous LJT winners will take on the Weiskopf Course this year and look to etch their name on the Nez Muhleman trophy.

The ‘Nez Muhleman trophy is named after Inez “Nez” Muhleman of Houston. She was long known for her dedication to junior golf.

“The Weiskopf course has a wonderful routing that will take the players inland and along the coast of Lake Conroe,” Director of Golf Dave Troyer said. “We are excited to showcase the course to some of the states’ best junior players.”

Past champions of this girls-only championship include Kaci McCartan, Lakareber Abe, Maddie McCrary, Vanessa Ha, Jaravee Boonchant, Anne Chen, Makenzie Niblett, Hailey Jones, and Tillie Claggett. This is the first Major Championship for the girls of the 2022 LJT season.

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

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LJT Events to Offer VOA Exemptions

The Volunteers of America Classic, the only LPGA Tour event in Texas, will continue its partnership with the Northern Texas PGA Foundation for the third year in a row. Youth female golfers can compete for the opportunity to play with the pros next September by participating in the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship.

The Northern Texas PGA Foundation will conduct the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship Monday, July 11 through Wednesday, July 13, 2022.  Tribute Golf Links will play host for rounds one and two, and Wednesday’s final round will take place on Old American Golf Club.

Exemption opportunities into the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship will begin in January 2022. Youth female golfers can compete in select All American Tour events hosted by the Northern Texas PGA, select Prestige Tour events hosted by the Southern Texas PGA and select tournaments hosted by the Legends Junior Tour.

Last year’s Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship resulted in Avery Zweig of McKinney, ranked number one for the class of 2025, winning the exemption and playing in the 2021 LPGA Tour Volunteers of America Classic. A second exemption was also granted to Farah O’Keefe of Austin, class of 2023, who also made her LPGA debut last summer. O’Keefe made the cut and finished T56. Zweig finished 36-holes at +3 and missed the cut on the number.

In addition to awarding an LPGA Tour exemption, the partnership between the Volunteers of America Classic and the Northern Texas PGA Foundation will impact the community by providing a junior golf clinic, a PGA HOPE clinic for female veterans, and award a $5,000 college scholarship to a deserving female junior golfer.

For the team at the Volunteers of America Classic, the opportunity to help inspire the next generation of LPGA Tour players and expand its community outreach is something that fits right into the tournament’s mission.

For more information, visit ntpgajuniorgolf.com and VOAClassic.com.

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Remembering Nick Bramlett

“Generous.” This word, more than any other, was used by the people closest to Nick Bramlett when they described him. The longtime TGA Volunteer and Rules of Golf expert passed away on April 27. He was 81 years old.

Known as “PoPo” to his family and closest friends, Bramlett loved being outdoors. He was an avid bird hunter, but especially enjoyed hunting white-tailed deer on his West Texas deer lease near Sonora.

Another of Bramlett’s loves was the game of golf. Volunteering and mentoring were in his blood. He was named the Legends Junior Tour’s Volunteer of the Year in 2013 and was also the recipient of the TGA’s South Texas Volunteer of the Year award in 2016.

“He was very generous with his time, particularly in the support of amateur golf,” said A.J. Cortez, a TGA Volunteer and close friend of Bramlett. “In the last 10 years, I don’t know of anyone who volunteered more for the TGA, USGA, LJT and the Houston Golf Association. Additionally, he was extremely generous with his skills and knowledge and served as an important mentor to many of the new volunteers starting their path to becoming a certified Rules Official.”

Bramlett was passionate about all things golf – it was what originally led him to becoming a Rules Official. He loved spending time on the course playing golf, but he was equally passionate about giving back to the game that meant so much to him. Bramlett was a dedicated servant of the game and from 2010-19 he spent nearly 250 days volunteering at TGA events. And that’s not counting the days he spent helping other associations during that time.

“He loved the sport. He loved being a Rules Official no matter what event he was working, whether it was for the STPGA, NCAA or lending a hand at a local qualifier,” said TGA Volunteer Bobby Grabstaldt. “He just loved being a team player. There was no one in the TGA that was more generous with their time and willing to help and be a part of a team than Nick was.”

Bramlett’s peers spoke just as highly about who he was outside of golf.

“He was just a really kind, thoughtful person,” Grabstaldt said. “He was always there for everybody and was a true friend to all.”

“Nick was one of those lucky people who never met a stranger,” Cortez said. “Nick was well known to all the people we dealt with from the players and parents to the caddies and volunteers. Nick was never without a story and he relished telling them to anyone and everyone who would listen.”

Bramlett also had a deep impact on the TGA staff.

“I worked a number of events with Nick over the years, and I always looked forward to seeing him,” said Mark Button, the TGA’s Senior Director of Communications. “He was always so welcoming, nice and genuinely interested in helping people. I was really sad to hear of his passing.”

The TGA sends its deepest condolences to Nick Bramlett’s family and friends. Instead of sending flowers, his family asked that you might consider making a donation to the TGA on Nick’s behalf. He would’ve liked that very much.

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LJT Strength on Display at U.S. Women’s Four-Ball

Local standouts and current Legends Junior Tour players Alexa Saldana and Savannah Barber defeated Jillian Bourdage and Casey Weidenfeld, 5 and 4, in the championship match to win the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton.  

The 17-year-olds defied odds all week. They each came into the event ranked in the 1500s of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking®. Prior to match play they each had to prevail through two rounds of stroke play. At the end of stroke play the duo entered the match play portion of the championship as the 26th seed.  

But for Saldana and Barber this victory did not come as a surprise. “We’ve been preparing for this for a few weeks,” said Saldana, “and we [thought we] had a good chance of winning.” 

The pair had to win five matches to be crowned champion. Through their first three matches they never reached the 16th hole. A dominating stretch of golf for the roommates at Crown Golf Academy in Arlington. 

In their semifinal match Saldana and Barber were taken to 20 holes by the youngest team in the field, Gianna Clemente and Avery Zweig, but eventually prevailed. 

In the final match Saldana rolled in a long birdie putt on the 14th hole to capture the title over Bourdage and Weidenfeld. The birdie marked the third consecutive hole won by Saldana and Barber. 

The girls are also current standouts on the Legends Junior Tour with prior experience in match play.  

“The tour prides itself on giving fair tests to players and helping them grow for the next level,” said Kevin Porter, LJT Tournament Director. “Alexa and Savannah have experience in match play, which is key at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.” 

The two have notable finishes on the LJT recently. Saldana finished third at the 2020 George Hannon Junior Invitational, while Barber finished sixth. Barber finished runner-up at both the 2019 Texas Junior Amateur and at the 2020 Girls Match Play Championship (beating Saldana in the semifinals). 

Saldana and Barber are the latest in a long line of Legends Junior Tour players past and present to make history on the national scene recently.  

For the third time in six years, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball championship final featured LJT alumni. In 2016, Hailee Cooper of Montgomery and Kaitlyn Papp of Austin won the national title at Streamsong Resort in the second year of the event. 

Cole Hammer recently won individual medalist honors at the Big 12 Men’s Golf Championship held April 26-28 at Prairie Dunes Golf Club in Hutchinson, Kan. and Will Zalatoris finished runner-up at the 2021 Masters earlier in the month.  

Pierceson Coody, the 2015 Legends Junior Tour Player of the Year, currently sits as the top ranked amateur golfer in the world.  

Just as the above-mentioned current and former LJT players have proven their mettle in the national spotlight, so too has Maridoe. 

This was the first time the TGA Member Club played host to a USGA event, but it has been a haven for elite amateur championships since it opened for play in 2017.  

Among much else, Maridoe has previously hosted the 2017 Texas Shootout (won by the North Team), the 2018 Texas Four-Ball (won by Jace Moore and Jordan Woolf), the 2019 Trans-Miss Championship (won by Pierceson Coody) and the 2019 Texas Mid-Amateur (won by Christopher Wheeler).  

“Maridoe has been a great partner of the Texas Golf Association ever since the club opened its doors,” said Kellen Kubasak, TGA’s Director of Competitions. “The membership and staff have always been very welcoming and accommodating to the TGA. The golf course, typically the star of the show, always demands the very best out of the players, where great shots will get rewarded and decent or bad shots will most likely end up in difficult positions.”  

In just a few short years, the Steve Smyers-designed course has earned a reputation as a comprehensive test of a player’s shot-making and course management skills. The list of winners at Maridoe proves only those in total command of their game will come out on top. Saldana and Barber showed this to be true during their title march in the 6th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.

Maridoe earned high praise as host of this year’s championship, which included the best women amateur golfers from 32 states and seven countries.

“It’s the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the USGA,” said Marc Wielgosz, Director of Golf at Maridoe. “We hope it continues to grow and flourish as the years move on.” 

“Maridoe was a great partner, and we’re thrilled to have staged a successful first championship of 2021. As with all our host venues, we will speak with club leadership and have discussions around what a USGA championship future looks like once we let the dust settle from this one,” said Mark Hill, the USGA’S Managing Director, Championships.  

The club’s leadership and staff might take a moment to savor the moment of hosting their first USGA championship, but they’ll be right back at it, planning and preparing for the next big event, which hopefully will be in the not too distant future.

 For more information on the 6th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, click here.