If the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship needs to find a new name any time soon, the Texas Shootout may not be a terrible choice.
Forty three Texans will compete Saturday through Sunday at the event at Stonebriar Country Club. Five of those players – Courtney Dow, Brandon Smith, Brielle Ward, Matthew Whitney and Sean Wilcox – will play in their hometown of Frisco, Texas.
The field of 78 golfers will play 36 holes over the weekend. Benjamin Baxter, an SMU signee and the No. 29 player in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, said he is excited to play in his home state.
“Pretty much any tournament in Texas nowadays has awesome players and the Hunter Mahan is not an exception to that,” Baxter said. “It will be good to get my season going a bit.”
All in all, 28 players in the field have committed to play collegiate golf, including six players that have pledged their commitment to Texas A&M.
Here are five players to watch this weekend:
• Benjamin Baxter – The high school senior has five top-10 showings in his career.
• Courtney Dow – Dow, a Texas A&M commit, has a win at the Junior All-Star at Galloping Hill and will not be out of her comfort zone as a Frisco native.
• Brandon Smith – Smith, another future Aggie, nabbed a top 10 at the David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior in 2013.
• Gabriela Coello – Coello, the No. 20th player in the class of 2016 in Golfweek’s rankings, is making her debut at the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship.
• Ryan Grider – Grider, who is committed to join Baxter at SMU, is the No. 4 class of 2017 in Golfweek’s rankings. He notched a T-5 at the event last year.
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AJGA Junior at Spring Valley
Where: Spring Valley Country Club in Columbia, S.C.
When: March 29-30
Notes: Spring Valley will host its first AJGA event this weekend, bringing in a field of 54 boys and 24 girls for 36 holes.
Players to watch: Ailin Li, a class-of-2015 golfer, nabbed five top-10 finishes last year. Scott Stevens was runner-up at the Under Armour/Scott Stallings Championship last year. Will Minton will look for his third top 10 at an AJGA event.