GRANITEVILLE, S.C. –– Doug Ghim has found his college. Now he hopes to find a few victories on the junior circuit this year.
The Arlington Heights, Ill., native committed to Texas last month. He arrived at Sage Valley Golf Club this week with plenty of burnt orange and white, including Longhorns head covers.
“He’s excited,” Ghim’s father, Jeff Ghim, said. “He really feels that this could be his year.”
Ghim returns to the Junior Invitational after a T-10 finish last year. The high school junior plans to have a busy summer, too, including making trips to the FootJoy Invitational and U.S. Junior Amateur.
He didn’t play much during the winter: “There was even snow on the ground back home earlier this month,” Ghim said. So he worked on his swing instead, and he’s ready for that hard work to pay off this week in Graniteville.
Ghim’s last tournament was last month’s Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions, where he finished T-4. He also was T-24 at the HP Boys Championship in February. Those finishes come after a 2012 season that included top 10s at the Ping Invitational, FootJoy Invitational and U.S. Junior, and ...
GRANITEVILLE, S.C. -- Our junior golf crew has made its way to the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley and spent time Tuesday night debating on how the course would play a factor in this week's tournament.
The field of 54 is in for a stiff test -- a test that includes a 235-yard par-3, a new green location on the 17th hole and greens that will challenge the best of putters.
Here are three key questions to consider before play begins on Friday just north of Augusta, Ga.:
• • •
1. After studying Sage Valley's layout, which hole will be the toughest and why?
• Brentley Romine, Assistant editor: The 235-yard par-3 No. 7 hole is a monster. Sure, the green is a big one, but players must carry a valley in front of a raised green. For those coming in low, it will be tough to get out of this hole with par.
• Cassie Stein, Assistant editor: Coming down the stretch on Sunday afternoon, No. 17 could be a big factor, especially depending on where the hole location is. It’s the No. 1 handicap hole Sage Valley has to offer. They added length to 17 to incorporate the water on ...
American to watch: Brad Dalke – What’s not to like about his game? He’s coming off a victory at the HP Boys Championship in February. He’s got the game for these big tournaments.
International to watch: Max Orrin – Last big junior win was here in the United State at the 2012 AJGA Thunderbird International. It’s almost been a full year since his victory and he’s poised for another win.
Winner: Cameron Champ – The Texas A&M commit and U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team member is looking for his breakout win. He has three top-10 finishes this season.
• • •
American to watch: Doug Ghim – Don't count out the Arlington Heights, Ill., native. He finished T-10 a year ago at Sage Valley and although he has yet to breakthrough with a notable junior victory, he has a good track record in high-profile tournaments, including top 10s at last year's Ping and FootJoy invitationals.
International to watch: Matthew Fitzpatrick – He is the highest-ranked player in the field according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking, which ranks him at No. 12. He will play at Northwestern in the fall, and Wildcats head ...
Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas, won the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship on April 21 at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. He shot a pair of 3-under 69s to win by three shots over George Cunningham and Corbin Kasten.
Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas, shot two consecutive 69s at TPC Craig Ranch to win the AJGA’s Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship on April 21. George Cunningham and Corbin Kasten both shot 70-71 to finish second.
Connelly is No. 34 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings and No. 6 in the Class of 2016. He had just one bogey in the second round, at the second hole. He made birdies on Nos. 5, 7, 11 and 14. He was the co-leader after the first round.
“I hit a lot of greens and made a couple of dagger putts out there,” Connelly said. “It was especially nice to birdie No. 14 today after doubling it yesterday.”
Sierra Sims of Austin, Texas, shot a final-round 70 to win the girls’ title with a 3-under 141. It was her second consecutive win in the event. Sims, who started the day with a one-shot lead, made her first birdie of the day on the par-4 third hole. She added two more throughout the day, including No. 18.
“I didn't know whether I was leading or not,” said Sims, No. 23 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings. “So it was really nice to ...
Robby Shelton, the No. 1 player in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, has chosen a college. Unlike most of the nation's top juniors, Shelton, who attends St. Paul's Episcopal School in Mobile, Ala., waited until the late signing period to make his selection official. He's headed to Alabama after signing a national letter of intent Thursday.
Shelton is No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Ranking and AJGA Polo Golf Rankings and a Rolex Junior All-American. He won the 2012 Junior PGA Championship and Junior Players Championship, and was member of the United States' Junior Ryder Cup team.
"Robby is the best player in the country, and we are very excited to have him as part of our program," Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. "The heart of our recruiting is the state of Alabama, and we are even more excited that he is a product of St. Paul's and the Mobile area."
Shelton was the runner-up at the 2013 Terra Cotta Invitational, the 2012 AJGA Polo Junior Golf Classic (73-69–142) and tied for second at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.
Alabama previously signed Ireland's Gavin Moynihan, the 2012 Irish Amateur champion. Moynihan ...
The Sage Valley Junior Invitational is one of the marquee events on the junior golf calendar. It draws an exceptionally strong field, but there are still a few names outside the mainstream. With just over a week before the opening tee shot is struck, here are five players toutsideGolfweek’s top 50 to tuck into the back of your mind. Each is listed with his crowning achievements:
Derek Castillo, Yorba Linda, Calif.: Golfweek readers know Castillo as the champion of the 2012 Golfweek West Coast Junior Invitational. The 15-year-old shot 2-under 142 at PGA West’s Norman Course to achieve that victory. Castillo also won the AJGA’s ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior in 2012, played at the same club as the LPGA tour’s opening major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The next thing up for debate is whether Castillo’s game can travel east.
Jeremy Grab, Daniel Island, S.C.: Grab’s coming-out party happened at the 2011 Junior Azalea Championship. Grab qualified into the tournament early-week, took the first-round lead with a 67, then finished runner-up to Andrew Novak. He won the South Carolina Junior the following summer and has since signed with Wofford. Grab is a ...
Russell Henley wasn’t your typical junior player.
He played for his high school team, the Stratford Academy Eagles, in Macon, Ga., and played only a few American Junior Golf Association events. Henley limited most of his junior play to the Southeastern U.S.
“I was still playing basketball when I started to take golf seriously, so I played basketball throughout high school,” Henley said. “I enjoyed those tournaments more because I played in those tournaments with friends from high school.”
He didn’t have to play the flashy tournaments to make his childhood dream a reality.
Now in his rookie season, Henley is a winner on the PGA Tour.
He will be the Nike Night guest speaker at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, which will be played April 26-28 at Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, S.C. He intends to talk about his experiences on the Web.com and PGA tours, but also discuss his unconventional route through junior golf to college at Georgia.
Henley had dreams of playing on tour, and even winning, but not necessarily to break through so early in his career.
“I definitely didn’t plan on it, having success this early, but ...
As preparations continue for the third Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, we sit down with Matthew Fitzpatrick, 18. Fitzpatrick hails from Sheffield, England and is ranked No. 12 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and will attend Northwestern University in the fall.
• • •
5 Questions with Matthew Fitzpatrick
1. How have you been playing?
I have been playing okay which is pleasing to say since I have not played much due to the weather and my school commitments here in England. I have exams coming up soon so that will put a halt to my golf for a month or so.
2. How have you been preparing for Sage Valley?
Fortunately, I played a bit of golf on holiday in South Africa last week. It was good to have some warm weather and good course conditions. Also, I have a tournament in England the two days before I fly out to Sage Valley.
3. What are you most excited about for Sage Valley?
I'm most excited about seeing the course and the whole set up. I have heard a lot about the facilities and the event and I have been told it is the equivalent to the Masters for junior ...
The third annual Junior Invitational at Sage Valley is set to start on April 26, and here is a look at the final field:
• Zachary Bauchou
• Andrej Bevins
• Sam Burns
• Derek Castillo
• Cameron Champ
• Austin Connelly
• Brad Dalke
• Rigel Fernandes
• Matthew Fitzpatrick
• Dominic Foos
• Nicolo Galletti
• Jorge Garcia
• Doug Ghim
• Matt Gilchrest
• Jeremy Grab
• Max Greyserman
• Benjamin Griffin
• Danny Guise
• Rico Hoey
• Sam Horsfield
• Jacob Joiner
• Patrick Kelly
• Peter Kim
• Romain Langasque
• Austin Langdale
• Tae Wan Lee
• Won Jun Lee
• Ki Taek Lee
• Thomas Lim
• Jaime Lopez Rivarola
• Jack Maguire
• Alexander Matlari
• Maximilian Mehles
• Jose Montano
• Gordon Neale
• Zachary Olsen
• Max Orrin
• Corey Pereira
• Michael Pisciotta
• Davis Riley
• Robby Shelton
• Greyson Sigg
• Emil Sogaard
• Kyle Sterbinsky
• Jan Szmidt, Jr.
• Alejandro Tosti
• Austen Truslow
• Kristoffer Ventura
• Victor Wiggins
• Aaron Wise
• Adam Wood
• Dylan Wu
• Carson Young
• Carl Yuan
Much attention was on Augusta National this past week, including that of some of the top junior golfers in the country. Here is some of the Masters reaction from golf's younger generation on Twitter.
First, juniors sounded off the Tiger Woods' penalty:
• Bethany Wu, @bethwuuuuu: Another penalty?! Seriously? i would never wanna wake up to be told that i got 2 stroke penalty #TheMasters
• Brad Dalke, @BradDalkeGolf: Crazy though how a player that has worked his whole life on his game doesn't know a simple rule like that. Rules are a part of the game too
Then one golfer showed his support for Angel Cabrera after Cabrera sent the tournament to a playoff:
• Jack Maguire, @JMAJ94: He doesn't always show up, but when he does he wins #Angelissuchaballer nobody can do what he does #nobody
But in the end it was Adam Scott wearing the green jacket. Scott was a popular champion according to Twitter:
• Andy Zhang, @AndyTheZhang: Ladies and gents I give Adam Scott!!! #unbelievable #awesome #wow
• Kendrick Vinar, @kjrvinar: What an incredible Masters. Congratulations to Adam Scott on the win, especially after last year's British Open. Classy response by Cabrera.
• Sierra Sims, @sies07: SO ...
The 40th annual Pepsi Titan Little People’s Golf Championships will take place June 17-19 in Quincy, Ill.
The tournament is for golfers ages 3-17, with boys and girls each divided into seven age divisions.
The Pepsi Titan LP Collegiate Golf Championships for men and women will also take place at Western Illinois University’s Harry Mussatto Golf Course in Macomb, Ill. Ages 18-22 are allowed to participate.
Before the tournament begins, an optional nine-hole, alternate-shot parent-child event will take place June 16. After the tournament two international team events will be held June 20.
Little People’s tournament started in 1974 on a nine-hole course in Quincy; in 2000, the tournament hosted a record number of participants. Little People’s have hosted PGA Tour stars such as Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, Ben Curtis, Todd Hamilton, D.A. Points, Dicky Pride and Luke Guthrie.
I just played in the Terra Cotta Amateur at Naples (Fla.) National Golf Club.
The golf course was just featured in the April 5, 2013 issue of Golfweek. It is an amazing course! It was my third major amateur event and I'm starting to get used to these tough fields and playing with some incredible amateurs.
I ended up finishing in sixth place with rounds of 74-71-71. I played well, but had some opportunities during the three rounds that I didn't take advantage of. I putted well, too, but hit too many lips! My ballstriking was great until the last day. Fortunately, the recent extra work on my short game paid off and I made a lot of saves.
Overall, it was a really good finish and I'm very happy about it! My mental game is continuing to improve and actually, it's getting a little easier to manage. I played with two good friends of mine during the first 36 holes: George Cunningham from Arizona, who just won the AJGA TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook, and Cameron Champ from California, my partner in the Winn Junior Cup in Las Vegas, who hits it farther than any ...
Davis Baxter, of Nolensville, Tenn., won the SJGT Hampton Cove Junior Classic at RTJ Trail Hampton Cove course April 7. Baxter shot rounds of 72-70 to finish the tournament at 2 under for a three-shot victory.
AUGUSTA, Ga. In hopes of growing the game, the Masters Tournament Foundation, the PGA of America and the U.S. Golf Association announced in early April the formation of the Drive Chip & Putt Championship at Augusta National.
Registration closes April 30 for the free competition, which will test the skill of juniors ages 7-15 – with the finals culminating at Augusta National on the Sunday before the Masters.
“Generations of players have been inspired by the dream of sinking a winning putt on the 18th green at Augusta National,” said Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament Foundation. “Now an exciting opportunity exists to make that dream a reality. I am confident that our collective efforts with the USGA and the PGA of America will showcase the talents of kids who already play this game and motivate others to give the sport a try.”
Local qualifiers will take place in 19 states and the District of Columbia, leading to 11 regional qualifiers.
The final 88 players will be invited to the finals at Augusta National next April.
“It is our collective hope and belief that this quest to make it to Augusta National will become the ...
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