News from Around the Green

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

Watts, Nguyen and Burkholder Lead Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational

Mont Belvieu – Kevin Watts shoots 3-under 68 at Eagle Pointe Golf Club and leads the Boys 15-18 Division of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational. Lauren Nguyen leads the Girls 12-18 Division at even-par, while Finn Burkholder leads the Boys 14 & Under Division at 1-under.


Boys 15-18

Girls 12-18

Boys 14 & Under

Full Leaderboard

Leaders: Watts is looking to win his first LJT event after finishing second at the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational in 2019. The Dallas native made three birdies and zero bogeys on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Boys 15-18 Division. Nguyen, who is the reigning LJT Girls Player of the Year leads the Girls 12-18 Division after making three birdies and three bogeys in the first round. She finished sixth in last year’s Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational. The Woodlands’ Burkholder started his first round with a double-bogey 7 on No. 1, but settled down making four birdies in his final 17 holes including a bogey-free final nine holes.

In Contention: Trailing Watts in the Boys 15-18 Division are Houston’s Preston Rouse and Bryant Hiskey, who both sit at 2-under 69. Austin’s Shoichiro Kato sits alone in fourth at 1-under, while Van Miller of Katy and Matthew Spaulding of Spring are tied for fifth at even-par. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Katy’s Maelynn Kim trails Nguyen by five strokes after shooting 5-over 76 on Saturday. Five players are tied for third in the division at 6-over. In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Dallas’ Brooks Harper is in second at even-par, followed by Austin’s Blake Burt at 1-over and Bellaire’s Jason Schwartz at 3-over.

Event Format: The Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational is a 36-hole stroke play event with players competing in three divisions: Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under. The field was selected using exemptions from Texas Junior Golf Alliance Events throughout the year and through the LJT Player of the Year Standings which players earn points in by competing in Alliance events.

About the Texas Junior Golf Alliance: The Texas Junior Golf Alliance was formed in 2012 and offers junior golfers a clear path to the best tournaments in Texas. The alliance is made up of the Legends Junior Tour, the South Texas PGA, the North Texas PGA and the Houston Golf Association. The alliance allows players a chance to compete at all levels and to grow their games as they progress.

Weather: Temperatures stayed in the mid-60s throughout the day and crept up to 70 degrees on Saturday. Players faced little to no wind in the first round and enjoyed sunshine throughout the afternoon.

Golf Course: Eagle Pointe Golf Club opened for play in 1999 and was designed by Rick Forester. The rolling hills and elevation changes make Eagle Pointe very different from most Houston area course. The fairways are surrounded by towering pine trees and the Cherry Point Gully weaves its way through the course, while the Old River is the boundary on several holes. The course stretches out to almost 7,000 yards in the Boys 15-18 Division, 6,500 yards in the Boys 14 & Under Division and 5,900 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

What’s next: The Final Round of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational is scheduled for an 8:00 am start on Sunday, Nov. 1 with tee times going until 12:00 pm off the No. 1 tee. At the conclusion of play on Sunday, the top finishers will be awarded.

What’s at Stake: The event is ranked by Golfweek as well as Junior Golf Scoreboard and players are competing for points towards the LJT Player of the Year Award and a spot on their respective Jackie Burke Cup teams. The Legends Junior Tour Players of the Year will be determined following this weekend.

For more information on the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational, click here.