Logan McAllister out to prove worthy of No. 1 junior ranking

Logan McAllister (AJGA) AJGA

Logan McAllister out to prove worthy of No. 1 junior ranking

Digital Edition

Logan McAllister out to prove worthy of No. 1 junior ranking

Logan McAllister would like to forget last May’s AJGA Thunderbird International Junior. Struggling with a left miss, McAllister beat just three golfers that week, finishing 44th at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“On that course, if you’re in the fairway you’re going to go really low,” McAllister said. “I was hitting everything in the desert, and I ended up losing by a ridiculous amount.”

McAllister shot 12-over 228, 27 shots worse than winner Jacob Bergeron.

Ten months later, though, McAllister finds himself in a much different position. The 18-year-old Oklahoma signee is No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Boys Rankings after recently finishing second at the AJGA Simplify Boys Invitational, his second career runner-up finish in an AJGA invitational.

“I honestly was kind of surprised when I checked the rankings and I was No. 1,” McAllister said. “It’s always a great feeling to be able to do that, and it’s some sort of pressure because the other players in the field know that and expect you to go out there and be at the top, but it’s a good pressure. … It gives me added motivation to keep playing well and maintain that spot, because that’s obviously a spot that you want to stay in as long as possible.”

McAllister, who lives in Oklahoma City, credits his turnaround to a lesson he had with instructor Cameron McCormick in Dallas right after his poor showing at the Thunderbird. McAllister’s natural shot is a high draw, but he was hooking the ball too much. McCormick got McAllister’s hands more in front of his body so that McAllister could square the clubface better at impact.

The fix worked. In his next tournament, the Oklahoma Junior Boys Championship in early June, McAllister captured the stroke-play portion and won three matches before losing in the final. He then notched his best finish in an AJGA invitational later that month, tying for sixth at the Haas Family Invitational, and in July advanced to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Junior Amateur.

“I had my confidence going again,” McAllister said.

Entering the AJGA Junior Players Championship in early September, McAllister had a shot at making the inaugural Junior Presidents Cup team; all he needed to do was win. So it was only fitting that McAllister turned in a career effort during the second round at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course, where the PGA Tour hosts the annual Players Championship.

“That was the best round I’ve ever played,” said McAllister of the 9-under 63 he shot to break the tournament record and grab a two-shot lead entering the final round.

“It was just one of those rounds where you just kind of feel something is different.”

Unfortunately for McAllister, he closed in 74 to fall into a three-way tie. He then double bogeyed the final hole of a three-hole aggregate playoff to lose to Ben Wong. His Junior Presidents Cup chances were dashed, as well.

But McAllister has used the shortcomings as motivation.

“It was disappointing, but if you would’ve told me going into the week that I would’ve gotten second, I would’ve taken it,” McAllister said. “When I was so close and the way that tournament ended, it really set a fire in me to go prove that I’m one of the 12 best Americans. I knew I had the game to do it, I just hadn’t quite proven myself yet, so that made me want to step it up a notch.”

Now, as junior golf’s top-ranked player, he has. Gwk


More Digital Edition