There’s plenty at stake this week on the junior circuit, where Justin Thomas looks to repeat at the FootJoy Invitational and Yueer Cindy Feng goes for consecutive invitational titles at the Rolex Girls. Our Golfweek staffers make their picks for the week:
JULIE WILLIAMS (120 points)
- Jim Liu. In case you missed it, Liu, 14, opened the Sunnehanna Amateur with a 68, then hung around with the big boys for a T-9 finish.
- Yueer Cindy Feng. Youth is my theme this week, as Feng is also just 14. A win at the Rolex Girls this week would amount to back-to-back invitational titles for Feng, and that’s some serious motivation. Feng hung on through the first two rounds of the Thunderbird without her A game before kicking it in gear in Round 3. Imagine what she could do to the field if she comes out firing on all cylinders from the word go.
RYAN LAVNER (65 points)
- Justin Thomas. He blew away the field this week at a PGA Junior Series event in Kentucky, shooting rounds of 69-69-71 to win by 10. And there’s little reason to suspect that superb form won’t carry over at the FootJoy, where’s he’s familiar with the course (he won at Sedgefield CC last year), he’s playing against a diminished field (just one top-10 player, Emiliano Grillo), and he’s striving for another sponsor exemption on the PGA Tour (winner receives a special invite to the Wyndham Championship).
- Victoria Tanco. A win here would provide some separation in the majors department for Tanco, who has four invitational titles. A past winner at the Rolex, look for Tanco to roll again – and solidify her top ranking.
DAN MIROCHA (45 points)
- Jeffrey Kang. Overdo for an invitational victory.
- Victoria Tanco. Top-5 finish at Thunderbird was good, but Tanco wants to win.
Scoring: Win (50 points), runner-up (30 points), top-5 (20 points), top-10 (10 points), top-20 (5 points). Zero points for anything outside the top 20. Bonus points when specified. (Only rule: You can’t pick the same player two consecutive weeks.)
Note: Points have been reset.