News from Around the Green

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

Brookhaven Country Club to Host Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship

FARMERS BRANCH – For the first time in its 12-year history, the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship will be held at Brookhaven Country Club’s Masters Course in Farmers Branch. The field of 120 of the top junior golfers in Texas will take on the par-72 layout from July 1-2.

The Masters Course is one of three championship courses at Brookhaven Country Club. It was built in 1959 and designed by Press Maxwell with the help of one of golf’s legendary icons, the great Byron Nelson. In the early 1990s, Jeff Brauer renovated the track creating tight landing areas, and now boasts a brand-new set of bent-grass greens from work done in 2002. The Masters Course is the most difficult test of golf at the club, and Director of Golf Jeff Anderson is excited for the opportunity to host some of the top juniors in the state.

“We are honored to be a part of the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship,” Anderson said. “The Legends Junior, Texas Golf Association and its Foundation have made a tremendous stride in promoting the game and giving Juniors the opportunity to compete.”

Lanny Wadkins won the 1970 U.S. Amateur Championship and turned professional the following year. He went on to win the 1977 PGA Championship at Pebble Beach in a three-hole sudden-death playoff against Gene Littler. It was the first sudden-death playoff for the event. Wadkins also won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in 1979. He was a perennial member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, playing on eight teams, and winning 20 matches and 21.5 points. Wadkins was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.
Frisco’s Henry Frizzell won last year’s championship in the Boys 15-18 Division. Frizzell carded rounds of 71-65 at Gentle Creek Country Club to post 8-under for the championship and two strokes ahead of Trophy Club’s David Harrison. Amari Smith of McKinney won the Girls 12-18 Division at 1-over 145 overall, while Driftwood’s Grant Yerger won the Boys 14 & Under Division.
This year’s field is split into three divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under. The championship is one of four remaining open events on the Legends Junior Tour schedule. Past champions include Sam Rosenberg, Blaine Hale Jr., Matthew Zampello, Travis McInroe, Ryan Grider, Pierceson Coody, Grace Do, Amber Wang and Callie Scheffler.
Open events on the Legends Junior Tour are open to all players with an active membership with a Texas Junior Golf Alliance Member, which includes the North and South Texas PGA Sections along with the Houston Golf Association. Open tournaments are filled first based on the LJT Priority Entry System and then on order of signup with any remaining open spots.
With the 2019 season approaching the halfway mark, the race for the LJT Player of the Year Awards is starting to heat up. Matthew Watkins leads the Boys 15-18 Division, Grant Yerger leads the Boys 14 & Under Division and Hailey Jones leads the Girls 12-18 Division. The Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship will offer player of the year points to the top half of each division. For full standings in the Player of the Year Awards, click here.
Along with LJT Player of the Year Points, players will compete for exemptions into LJT Invitational events this fall. The winner of the Boys 15-18 Division earns exemptions into the George Hannon Junior Invitational, Texas Cup Invitational and 2020 Byron Nelson Junior Championship. The top three finishers earn exemptions into this year’s Texas Junior Amateur. In the Girls 12-18 Division, the champion earns a spot in the George Hannon Junior Invitational, while the top three receive exemptions into the Texas Girls’ Invitational.
For more information about the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship, click here.