News from Around the Green

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

Texas Junior Golf Alliance Partners with LPGA Tour Event

The Texas Junior Golf Alliance and Volunteers of America Classic recently partnered to give junior female golfers in the state of Texas an opportunity to earn an exemption into an LPGA Tour event.
The Volunteers of America Classic Match Play Championship will present an opportunity for 16 players to work their way through a bracket and earn a spot in the 2020 Volunteers of America Classic, one of the most established events on the LPGA Tour.
Texas Golf Association Executive Director Stacy Dennis and Northern Texas PGA Executive Director Mark Harrison announced the partnership in early October at the seventh staging of the Volunteers of America Classic at Old American Golf Club in The Colony.
“This means that Texas female amateur golfers will have the chance to play in the LPGA event next year and gain experience which will be beneficial for their career,” Dennis said. “It will be very exciting, very dramatic and very good for Texas amateur golf.”
The Volunteers of America Match Play Championship will be conducted at Old American Golf Club in late summer of 2020. The tournament will feature 16 female junior golfers: seven from the Legends Junior Tour, four from the NTPGA’s All American Tour, four from the STPGA Prestige Tour and one from the Houston Golf Association’s Performance Series. Final details about the guidelines and qualifying events will be announced in February. 
“Most of these participants will have an opportunity to play collegiate golf and play amateur golf at an elite level,” Dennis said. “Most of them have aspirations of playing professionally. To get a firsthand shoulder-to-shoulder look at that and to be able to do it through their local tours, they have the opportunity right in their own backyard to earn this chance.”
Harrison pointed to the national success enjoyed by a group of Texas juniors now on the PGA Tour. He highlighted Jordan Spieth, and said next year’s event could help produce a similar run of triumphs by young women from the Lone Star State.
“There is no doubt about the dominance on the boys’ side, but now with the ladies and the match-play right before the LPGA tournament it will help encourage them as well,” Harrison said. “There is no doubt we have some world-beaters coming up through the ranks and this will
only help encourage their development.”
Cheyenne Knight, a native Texan and Legends Junior Tour alumnus, won the 2019 Volunteers of America Classic. It was the 22-year-old rookie’s first LPGA Tour title and secured her tour card for the 2020-2021 season. She is one of many LPGA Tour stars who played their junior golf in Texas. This partnership is another step to promote the success of future female golfers in Texas as they aspire to play professionally.
“I can’t imagine a young girl with aspirations to play professional golf not wanting to sign up for everything they can and do whatever they can do to make it into the field for the Volunteers of America Classic Match Play Championship,” Dennis said.