News from Around the Green

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

Luo, Burton and Simmons Lead Divisions at Spring Preview

College Station, Texas – Xing Luo fires a 5-under 66 in the opening round of the Spring Preview to lead the Boys 15-18 Division at The Golf Club at Texas A&M. Mimi Burton leads the Girls 12-18 Division at 2-over, while Brooks Simmons leads the Boys 14 & Under Division at 1-over.

Leaders: Luo of Katy posted the best round on Saturday making six birdies and one bogey in his first 18 holes, including three in a row on holes four through six. Austin’s Burton leads by one stroke in the Girls 12-18 Division after shooting 73 in the first round. Burton made a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole and looks to capture her first victory with the LJT. Brooks Simmons of Dallas leads the Boys 14 & Under Division by one stroke after shooting 72. The 2020 Texas Junior Amateur Champion in the Boys 14 & Under Division made four birdies en route to his 1-over round.

In Contention: Four players are tied for second in the Boys 15-18 Division and trail Luo by two strokes heading into the final round. Dallas’ Joe Stover, Pflugerville’s Eston Duff, Boerne’s Jacob King and Frisco’s Nathan Ty Pheng all shot 3-under 68 on Saturday. Richardson’s Preston Stout is sixth at 2-under, while Daniel Zou, Ryan Shellberg, Pierce Johnson and Daniel Moon are tied for seventh at 1-under. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Avery Blake of The Woodlands sits alone in second at 3-over, while Frisco’s Caroline Kent and Cedar Park’s Jiyu Han are tied for third at 4-over. Jenna Madden rounds out the top five in the division at 5-over. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Elijah Estonilo of Allen and Coltrane Mittag of Ashland, Neb. are tied for second at 2-over, while Brooks Harper is fourth at 3-over and Eli Walker Campbell is fifth at 4-over.

Weather: The wind was gusting at The Golf Club at Texas A&M on Saturday. Winds stayed around 20 miles per hour with gusts upwards of 35 mph. The temperature crept up around 80 degrees in the afternoon, but players had to battle wind all throughout the day.

Host Course: The Golf Club at Texas A&M is hosting the Spring Preview for the first time in the event’s 16-year history. The club took on a $5 million renovation in 2013 and Texas A&M’s own Jeff Blume handled the redesign. The par-71 course is playing at around 6,700 yards in the Boys 15-18 Division, 6,300 yards in the Boys 14 & Under Division and 5,800 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

What’s at Stake: This is the third Open Event on the LJT schedule in 2021 and player of the year points are going to be awarded to the top half of each division. Along with points, the top finishers will get AJGA Stars and exemptions into future LJT Majors like the Bluebonnet Championship, Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship and Texas Junior Amateur. The event is ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard and Golfweek.

Next Up: Pairings for the Final Round of the Spring Preview are available and can be viewed by clicking here. The morning wave will start at 8:00 AM and feature the Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under Divisions, while the afternoon wave will start at 11:30 AM and feature the Boys 15-18 Division.

To see all the scores from Saturday’s first round, click here. For more information on the LJT Spring Preview, click here.