News from Around the Green

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

Harper, Kim and Jackson Win the Fall Challenge

Briefly: Luke Harper of Dallas cruised in with a 67 on the final day to finish the tournament at 8-under par and secure the Boys Division of the Fall Challenge at Nutcracker Golf Club in Granbury. Ashley Kim of Westlake won the Girls Division at 4-under, while Henry Jackson from Lantana won the Boys 14 & Under Division at 2-under.  This was the first Legends Junior Tour win for all three champions.

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Division Winners: Luke Harper eagled the 16th hole and followed that up with a birdie on the 17th hole to pull away from a tight field of golfers to finish the tournament at 8-under 136. The first time LJT winner showed the poise of a champion down the stretch. In the Girls Division, Ashley Kim fired a 3-under par round of 69 to finish with a 3-stroke victory.  Ashley was 4-under par on her first nine holes, including an eagle on the 11th hole.  She finished the tournament with a statement birdie on her final hole to post 4-under par 140. Henry Jackson played steady golf over both days of the event and was the only player in his division to shoot under par in each round.  Jackson posted matching 71’s to finish the tournament at 2-under par 142.

Top Finishers: In the Boys Division, finishing in a three way tie for second was Blake Taylor of Mansfield, Austin Hofferkamp of The Woodlands and San Antonio’s Matt Pawly who all finished the tournament at 6-under par 138.  Rounding out the top 5 was Southlake’s Jason Lew who finished at 5 -under par 139. In the Girls Division, Lauren Madson of Arlington finished second at 1-under par, while Prosper’s Lucy Kate Smith and Dallas’s Adrienne Ahn wound up in a tie for third at 1-over. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Austin’s Luciano Follmer and College Station’s Ryan Lee finished in a tie for second two strokes behind the leader. Houston’s Mason An wound up fourth with a 4-over per total of 148.

Golf Course: Nutcracker Golf Club, located in Granbury, TX is hosting the Fall Challenge for the first time. It was designed by Lee Singletary and opened in 1992. The course was initially carved out of the Leonard Bend Pecan Orchard and still features those same Pecan trees which line its fairways.  The course will play to 6805 yards in the Boys 15-18 Division, 6,495 yards in the Boys 14 & Under Division and 5,944 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

Weather: Temperatures started in the lower 60s for the final round and crept up into the mid 80s. Bright sunshine and a light breeze made for perfect conditions.

Tournament Format: The Fall Challenge is a 36-hole stroke play event with players ages 12-18 that have an active membership within the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. The 84-player field is split into a Boys Division, Girls Division and a Boys 14 & Under Division.

Texas Junior Golf Alliance: The Alliance is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, Northern and Southern Texas PGA and Houston Golf Association. The goal of the Alliance was to allow junior golfers a clear path to the best tournaments in Texas. Each of the three tier-two organizations (STPGA, NTPGA, HGA) conduct events that serve as qualifiers into the statewide tier-one events run by the Legends Junior Tour (LJT). This allows players to compete in local events in which they can earn spots to play in statewide tournaments.

Next Up: The Legends Junior Tour heads to Corpus Christi for the James A. Ragan Memorial on Oct. 9-10. The 84-player field will take on the Lozano Golf Center as players continue to position themselves for Player of the Year and Jackie Burke Cup team places.

For more information on the Fall Challenge, click here.