As the start of the AJGA’s Junior Players Championship nears, it’s not surprising that one name has emerged in connection with the tournament more than any other: U.S. Amateur champion Byeong-Hun An. When An, 17, tees it up Friday at TPC Sawgrass, he will become the first U.S. Am winner to compete in an AJGA event post-victory.
However, An, who is ranked No. 34 in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior rankings, is one of 10 players to make the trek straight from the U.S. Am to the Junior Players. So how do the other nine compare to An?
Only two of those other players advanced to match play last week. Marcel Puyat fell to semifinalist Bhavik Patel in the Round of 16, and Talor Gooch lost in the Round of 64 (Gooch also finished T3 at last year’s Junior Players).
Four of the nine are ranked in the top 20 in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior rankings.
The group also shares a combined four AJGA victories, and that’s one each for Patrick Cantlay, Gooch, Ben Itterman and Patrick Rodgers (An has one as well). Rounding out the U.S. Am group are Logan Harrell, Jay Hwang, Ian McConnell and Richard Werenski.