News from Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Allen Wins Inaugural Fall Challenge with a Birdie on First Playoff Hole

BRYAN, Texas – Tucker Allen of Granbury poured in a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the inaugural Fall Challenge at the Traditions Club Sunday afternoon.

Magnolia’s Halle Whitney won her first Legends Junior Tour event in the Girls 12-18 division after carding an even-par 72 in the Sunday’s final round. Treed Huang of Katy captured his second LJT title of the 2017 season in the Boys 14 & Under division with a wire-to-wire victory Sunday afternoon.

Conducted by the Legends Junior Tour, the inaugural Fall Challenge took place at the Jack Nicklaus designed Traditions’ Club. The LJT returned to the club for the first time since the 2013 Jackie Burke Cup. The Traditions Club is home to the men’s and women’s Texas A&M University Golf Teams. The Boys 15-18 division is playing 6,907 yards, the Boys 14 & Under division is playing 6,297 yards and all girls are playing 6,007 yards.

Following Saturday’s first round at Traditions Club, Allen sat five shots back of the lead and in a tie for eighth place. With the conditions much more difficult on Sunday’s final round due to consistent 15-20 mph winds, Allen just maintained his composure and carded an even-par 72, the second best round of the day. Playing in the third to last group, he slowly moved up the leaderboard and had to wait around following his round. He had played his way into a playoff once all the scores came in.

Pearland’s Vishnu Sadagopan was his playoff competitor. Sadagopan was two shots off the lead entering the day, and had a one shot lead after a 1-under 35 opening loop. The back nine proved much more challenging for the 2016 Boys 14 & Under LJT Player of the Year. One of shorter hitters on the Tour, Sadagopan struggled with several holes playing into the wind, but
managed to find himself in a playoff when he finished.

The pair went back to the 18th hole where both found the fairway with their tee shots. Sadagopan was first to play and hit it to roughly 30 feet for a birdie. Allen then hit his approach to roughly 10 feet and sank the birdie putt to win his first LJT tournament of the 2017 season.

Sadagopan finished in second place, earning his best finish to date in the Boys 15-18 division and securing a spot in next month’s prestigious Texas Cup Invitational. Dallas’ Holden Wisener and Temple’s William Paysse finished in a tie for third place just one shot back of Allen and Sadagopan. Damin Strydom had Sunday’s best round with a 2-under 70 to vault him all the way into a tie for fifth place with Matthew Griggs.

Magnolia’s Halle Whitney secured her first LJT victory after an impressive even-par 72 in Sunday’s tough conditions. She started with a bogey on the difficult par-5 10th hole, but stayed calm. She caught fire in the middle of her round, carding four birdies in a five hole stretch.

Whitney won by two shots over Katy’s Isha Dhruva, who carded a 4-over 76 in the final round. College Station local and a member of Traditions Club, Amanda Jones finished tied for third with Zoe Slaughter and Elise Parel.

In the Boys 14 & Under division, Huang started his final round with a four shot lead and played bogey-free through the first 12 holes, with one birdie on the par-5 15th hole. That effectively put the tournament away for him as his competitors could not cut the lead down. He had a few mishaps down the stretch, but by that time, the tournament had all but ended. He finished with a final-round 2-over 74 to win by five shots.

Austin’s Keaton Vo finished in second place after carding the low final round score in the division at 1-over 73. Shaheen Momin and Jack Usner finished in a tie for third place, nine shots back of Huang. Sebastian Moss rounded out the top five.

The Legends Junior Tour heads to Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 4-5 for the Texas Cup Invitational next. This is the last stroke-play event for the 2017 season before wrapping up the year with the Jackie Burke cup the following weekend.

For more information on the Fall Challenge or the Legends Junior Tour, please visit

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