News



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.

News



Alamo Shootout Set for Dec. 12-13

SPRING BRANCH – The Alamo Shootout will be played at River Crossing Club from Dec. 12-13.

The first Alamo Shootout was played in 2010, and after a brief hiatus between 2012-16, the only Legends Junior Tour championship played in the San Antonio area returned to the schedule in 2017.

“The Legends Junior Tour really benefits from having great junior golfers from all over the state and the golf courses in San Antonio are some of the best,” LJT Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “River Crossing Club will be a great test for our players, and the Alamo Shootout has secured a strong field each year since it was put back on the schedule.”

Last year, Jeffrey Zatorski of Houston fired a final round 2-under 70 at Fair Oaks Ranch Golf & Country Club’s Live Oak Course. The 2021 University of Texas commit posted 5-under for the championship to capture the Boys Division by one stroke. In the Girls Division, Carrollton’s Symran Shah clinched the victory over Tillie Claggett of The Woodlands on the first sudden-death playoff hole and claim her first LJT win.

The 2020 field includes some of the top LJT players and will be divided into a Boys and Girls Division. Scheduled for 36-holes of individual stroke play, the 84-player field will look to earn exemptions into 2021 LJT championships.

“This is the second year the LJT has moved the Alamo Shootout into December,” Porter said. “Despite the all challenges we faced this year, junior golfers across the state have continued to look for ways to compete. The Legends Junior Tour is proud to give these juniors safe opportunities to play tournament golf.”

River Crossing Club will play host to the Alamo Shootout for the first time.  The 18-hole championship golf course was designed by Larry Hawkins and opened for play in 2001. The oak tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain of the Hill Country create a scenic test of golf for players of all skill levels.

For more information on the Alamo Shootout, click here.

 

News



Jackie Burke Cup Set for Nov. 14-15

HOCKLEY – The state’s top 24 junior golfers from North and South Texas will gather at The Clubs at Houston Oaks for the 16th Annual Jackie Burke Cup from Nov. 14-15.

“The Legends Junior Tour is very fortunate to be able to bring the Jackie Burke Cup to The Clubs at Houston Oaks,” LJT Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “This is one of the most incredible properties in the state and the top-rated course will pose a great challenge to our teams this year.”

The new Chet Williams-designed golf course, which in 2020 was ranked by the Dallas Morning News as the second-best course in Texas, will welcome the Legends Junior Tour for the first time. After a 17-month reimaging and overhaul of the existing property, the modern-day Houston Oaks course was unveiled in 2017. Williams’ stunning 7,007-yard, par-71 layout if framed by groves of oak trees, natural water features and vast native areas.

“The Clubs at Houston Oaks is proud to be the host venue for the Jackie Burke Cup in 2020,” Head Golf Professional Nick Holligan said. “The Jackie Burke Cup is not only the best of junior golf in Texas, it also allows funds to be raised for fantastic causes. I’m sure the smooth fast greens, pure fairways and challenging bunkers will be a delight for the competitors to show off their vast array of skills. Texas has so many fantastic golf courses, and we could not be happier to be the chosen venue for the premier tournament on the junior calendar.”

First conducted in 2005, the season-ending Jackie Burke Cup is by invitation-only and features the top 12 players from North Texas squaring off against their counterparts from South Texas in a Ryder Cup-style competition. Each team consists of eight players from the Boys 15-18 Division, two from the Girls 12-18 Division and two from the Boys 14 & Under Division.

The teams will face off in four-ball, foursome and singles matches over the two days. Matches are worth two points and a tied match is split: one point for each team. The matches start with six four-ball matches Saturday morning followed by six foursome matches in the afternoon. On Sunday, players are selected for 12 singles matches, leaving 48 possible points to be earned throughout the weekend. The North Team will need 24 points to retain the cup, while the South Team will need 25 points to win the cup.

Players earned their way onto their respective teams by accumulating points throughout the year in designated LJT and Texas Junior Golf Alliance tournaments. North and South regions are defined as either being above or below the 31’ parallel (Salado, Texas).

“Both teams always feature the players that played the best all year on the Legends Junior Tour and it’s a fun event to sit back and watch from an administration standpoint,” Porter said. “These players have consistently finished toward the top all season. Now, they get a chance to compete with each other in a team event and have some fun to finish off another great LJT season.”

The North Team has won the last six Jackie Burke Cup matches and leads the overall series 8-7. Leading the North in 2020 is Plano’s Matthew Comegys, who earned Player of the Year honors in the Boys 15-18 Division. Connor Adams of Dallas, Trevor Algya of Highland Village, Ben Delarosa of Dallas, Gage Doyle of Colleyville, Ethan Fang of Plano, Matthew Foster of Dallas and Davis Ovard of Frisco round out the older boys competing for the North Team. North Texas will also be represented by Savannah Barber of Fort Worth and Sophie Beidiger of Dallas. Plano’s Rhett O’Rear, the Boys 14 & Under Player of the Year, and Brooks Simmons of Dallas will round out this year’s North Team.

The South Team, which looks to win its first Jackie Burke Cup since 2013, will consist of Austin’s Sam Dossey, who finished second in the Boys 15-18 Player of the Year Standings, Spring’s Andrew and Matthew Spaulding, Houston’s Preston Rouse, Austin’s Andrew Tan, Trevor Mierl and Keaton Vo. Following the players from Boys 15-18 Division, the South will be represented by San Antonio’s Julia Vollmer, who finished second in the Girls 12-18 Player of the Year Standings, and Grace Jin of San Antonio. Daniel Zou of The Woodlands and Trenton Mierl of Austin will represent the South from the Boys 14 & Under Division.

At the 2019 Jackie Burke Cup, hosted by Wichita Falls Country Club in Tyler, the North Team claimed their eighth overall victory and sixth straight win over the South Team 34-14.

For more information on the 16th Jackie Burke Cup, click here.

NORTH TEAM:

Name

City

Age

Top Finishes

Connor Adams

Dallas

Boys 15-18

  • James A. Ragan Memorial – Champion
  • North Texas Classic – 3rd
  • Bluebonnet Championship – T5
    • Starts: 10 | Top-10s: 3

Trevor Algya

Highland Village

Boys 15-18

  • NTPGA All-American Tour Ahead Bagpipe Open – Champion
  • George Hannon Junior Invitational – 2nd
  • NTPGA All-American Tour Challenge at The Tribute – T7
    • Starts: 9 | Top-10s: 4

Matthew Comegys

Plano

Boys 15-18

  • North Texas Classic – Champion
  • Bluebonnet Championship – Champion
  • Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship – 3rd
    • Starts: 6 | Top 10s: 5

Ben Delarosa

Dallas

Boys 15-18

  • NTPGA All-American Tour Spring Finale – 2nd
  • 94th Texas Junior Amateur – T7
  • Bluebonnet Championship – T7
    • Starts: 10 | Top-10s: 6

Gage Doyle

Colleyville

Boys 15-18

  • NTPGA All-American Tour Azalea Trail Junior Classic – 3rd
  • NTPGA All-American Tour Srixon / Cleveland Golf Cowboys Classic – T4
  • Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic – T18
    • Starts: 12 | Top-10s: 7

Ethan Fang

Plano

Boys 15-18

  • Winter Classic – Champion
  • Texas Cup Invitational – T2
  • Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship – T28
    • Starts: 3 | Top-10s: 2

Matthew Foster

Dallas

Boys 15-18

  • NTPGA All-American Tour October Open – Champion
  • NTPGA All-American Tour Round-Up at Rockwall – Champion
  • North Texas Classic – T10
    • Starts: 11 | Top-10s: 7

Davis Ovard

Frisco

Boys 15-18

  • NTPGA All-American Tour North Texas Junior Showcase – 2nd
  • Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship – T4
  • James A. Ragan Memorial: 5th
    • Starts: 13 | Top-10s: 4

Savannah Barber

Fort Worth

Girls 12-18

  • NTPGA All-American Tour Spring Finale – Champion
  • George Hannon Junior Invitational – 6th
  • Texas Girls’ Invitational – T12
    • Starts: 8 | Top-10s: 5

Sophie Biediger

Dallas

Girls 12-18

  • Bluebonnet Championship – 2nd
  • NTPGA All-American Girls Series #6 – T3
  • Collegiate Preview – T4
    • Starts: 12 | Top-10s: 6

Rhett O’Rear

Plano

Boys 14 & Under

  • James A. Ragan Memorial – Champion
  • Flodder Financial Shootout – Champion
  • Bluebonnet Championship – 2nd
    • Starts: 10 | Top-10s: 9

Brooks Simmons

Dallas

Boys 14 & Under

  • 94th Texas Junior Amateur (Boys 14 & Under) – Champion
  • Flodder Financial Shootout – T3
  • Winter Classic – 4th
    • Starts: 8 | Top-10s: 7

 

SOUTH TEAM:

Name

City

Age

Top Finishes

Sam Dossey

Austin

Boys 15-18

  • Collegiate Preview – Champion
  • STPGA Prestige Tour Mid-Summer Showcase – Champion
  • George Hannon Junior Invitational – 4th
    • Starts: 10 | Top-10s: 5

Trevor Mierl

Austin

Boys 15-18

  • James A. Ragan Memorial – 2nd
  • STPGA Prestige Tour Aggieland Classic – T3
  • Winter Classic – T4
    • Starts: 15 | Top-10s: 6

Preston Rouse

Houston

Boys 15-18

  • STPGA Prestige Tour Challenge – Champion
  • North Texas Classic – T4
  • Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational – T7
    • Starts: 13 | Top-10s: 8

Andrew Spaulding

Spring

Boys 15-18

  • Texas Cup Invitational – T5
  • George Hannon Junior Invitational – T5
  • Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship – 7
    • Starts: 5 | Top-10s: 4

Matthew Spaulding

Spring

Boys 15-18

  • 94th Texas Junior Amateur – T2
  • Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational – T2
  • STPGA Prestige Tour Summer Preview – T2
    • Starts: 6 | Top-10s: 4

Andrew Tan

Austin

Boys 15-18

  • STPGA Prestige Tour San Antonio Open – T2
  • George Hannon Junior Invitational – 3rd
  • James A. Ragan Memorial – T6
    • Starts: 11 | Top-10s: 5

Keaton Vo

Austin

Boys 15-18

  • George Hannon Junior Invitational – Champion
  • Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship – 6th
  • 94th Texas Junior Amateur – T12
    • Starts: 3 | Top-10s: 2

Daniel Zou

The Woodlands

Boys 15-18

  • STPGA Prestige Tour Fore Challenge – Champion
  • STPGA Prestige Tour Summer Preview – T2
  • Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship – T3
    • Starts: 6 | Top-10s: 6

Grace Jin

San Antonio

Girls 12-18

  • STPGA Prestige Tour Aggieland Classic – Champion
  • STPGA Prestige Tour Shootout In The Hills – Champion
  • James A. Ragan Memorial – 8th
    • Starts: 14 | Top-10s: 10

Julia Volmer

San Antonio

Girls 12-18

  • STPGA Prestige Tour New Braunfels Showcase – Champion
  • Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational – T2
  • George Hannon Junior Invitational – T7
    • Starts: 12 | Top 10s: 8

Bowen Ballis

Shenandoah

Boys 14 & Under

  • Bluebonnet Championship – Champion
  • Flodder Financial Shootout – 2nd
  • 94th Texas Junior Amateur (Boys 14 & Under) – T2
    • Starts: 7 | Top-10s: 7

Trenton Mierl

Austin

Boys 14 & Under

  • North Texas Classic – Champion
  • Spring Preview – Champion
  • Winter Classic – Champion
    • Starts: 9 | Top-10s: 9