News from Around the Green

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

Mierl, Bellendir, Dent Win at Spring Preview

Dallas, Texas – Trenton Mierl claims the Spring Preview’s Boys 15-18 Division title with late round theatrics. Alicia Bellendir overcomes a two-shot deficit to win the Girls 12-18 Division and Declan Dent goes wire to wire to win the Boys 14 & Under Division.

Winners: Austin’s Trenton Mierl emerged victorious from a crowded leaderboard in the Boys 15-18 Division. Mierl started the final round three shots off the lead, but stayed within striking distance entering the back nine. After playing the first 15 holes 3-over par, Mierl holed a bunker shot for eagle on the par-5 16th and rolled in a clutch birdie putt on the par-4 18th to record an even-par 70 and finish at 1-under par 139 for the championship. This is Mierl’s first LJT victory in the Boys 15-18 Division. Playing in the final group, Coppell’s Alicia Bellendir began the final round two shots off the division lead. Bellendir recorded birdies on the par-5 14th, par-4 18th, and par-4 4th enroute to a final round score of 4-over par 74. Bellendir finished the championship at 8-over par 148 after posting consecutive rounds of 74. This is Bellendir’s first victory with the LJT. Grapevine’s Declan Dent slept on a three shot lead after recording a first round 70, but completed the wire to wire victory after posting 1-over par 71 in the final round. Dent recorded five birdies in his final round, including three in a row between holes 14-16.

Top Finishers: In the Boys 15-18 Division, Duncanville’s Daniel Ferguson finished runner up at even-par 144 after recording a pair of even-par 70’s for the championship. Overnight leader Eli Walker Campbell finished third at 1-over par 141 after a final round 75. Rockwall’s Lucas Latimer recorded the low round of the day, 1-under 69, to move up into fourth place at 2-over 142. Wylie’s Jacob Lewallen, Norman’s Collin Bond, Dallas’s Andy Lieu, and Oklahoma City’s Ben Lathrop all finished tied for fifth at 4-over par 144. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Southlake’s Stephanie De Marco claims the runner-up title at 10-over 150, after a final round score of 1-over par 71. McKinney’s Kenzi Cho and Katy’s Maye Huang finished tied for third at 11-over par 151. McKinney’s Daniela Sitompul and Wichita’s Meg Tilma rounded out the top five tied for fifth at 12-over 152. In the Boys 14U Division, The Woodlands’ Anthony Butt finished in second, three shots off the pace at 4-over 144. Edmond’s Ainslie Stanford III and Tyler’s Davis Green finished tied for third at 8-over par 148. Flower Mound’s Nathan Lee rounded out the top five at 9-over par 149.

Weather: Sunday’s weather started with temperatures in the upper 50’s and rose throughout the day topping out at 80 degrees.  A challenging south wind blew all day long at 15-20 mph with 30 mph gusts adding another layer of difficulty.

Host Course: Cedar Crest Golf Course is located in South Dallas and opened in 1919. The former Country Club that turned public in 1946 was designed by A.W. Tillinghast who also is the creator behind courses such as Brook Hollow GC, Dallas CC, Lakewood CC, Colonial CC, and Oak Hills CC. The course hosted the 1927 PGA Championship won by 11-time major winner Walter Hagen. The course also hosted the Dallas Open in 1926 won by Macdonald Smith and the USGA Public Links Championship in 1954. The course built a clubhouse in 2001 and was eventually renovated in 2004 by D.A. Weinberg. The course is a favorite amongst Metroplex golfers.  

Cedar Crest Golf Course is home to the “I Am a Golfer Foundation”. Established in 2018, IAMGF’s mission is to be a “Catalyst for community renewal and transformation in South Dallas through Programming, Preservation, and Promotion”.  IAMGF has engaged over 650 area youth in instructional programming, created and hosted over 90 paid internships, and awarded more than $300,000 in college and higher education scholarships. For more info on the IAMGF click here. 

Tournament History: The Spring Preview has been played every year since its inception in 2006. Past champions of this event include William Zalatoris, Maddie Szeryk, Stratton Nolen, Brad Dalke, Nathan Weant, Brendan Redfern, Travis Vick, Julia Beck, Cole Hammer, Hailee Cooper, Kyle Hogan, Turner Hosch and Hanna Alberto.

Player of the Year Points: With their wins today Trenton Mierl, Alicia Bellendir, and Declan Dent all earn 1000 points toward the 2024 Player of the Year Standings.

Next Up: The Legends Junior Tour heads to Bullard on March 11-13 for the Texas Cup Invitational. Eagle’s Bluff Country Club is hosting the first Major event for the Boys in 2024, after hosting the Texas Girls’ Invitational earlier this month.

To see all the scores from the Spring Preview, click here. For more information on the LJT Spring Preview, click here.