BRYAN, Texas – In a two-year agreement announced today, the boys’ and girls’ division champions in both the 2014 and 2015 Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Genesis Networks will earn an exemption to compete on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, respectively.
The boys’ division champion this year will compete at the 2015 Valero Texas Open, March 26-29, at TPC San Antonio in Texas. The girls’ division champion this year will receive an exemption into the 2015 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, April 24-27, at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, Calif. The agreement was reached between the PGA of America, which conducts the Junior PGA Championship, the Valero Texas Open, and the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.
“We are incredibly honored to partner with events on both the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, which allow our Junior PGA Champions a chance to test their skills against the world’s best players,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “The Junior PGA Championship is one of the premier events in all of junior golf, and this further illustrates just how strong the field is each year.”
The Valero Texas Open is the sixth-oldest professional golf tournament worldwide and no city has hosted a professional golf event longer than San Antonio’s 93 years. Further enhancing the Valero Texas Open’s support of junior golf and its partnership with the PGA of America, the champions of the boys’ and girls’ divisions of the Valero Junior Texas Open, will directly qualify for the Junior PGA Championship in 2015 and 2016.
“The Valero Texas Open has long been a proud supporter of junior golf and initiatives that help grow the game,” said Valero Texas Open Executive Director Larson Segerdahl. “We are delighted to partner with the PGA of America and provide a PGA Tour playing opportunity for one of the game’s top young talents. We look forward to welcoming the 2014 Junior PGA Champion to the Valero Texas Open this coming March.”
Earlier this year at the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Lydia Ko birdied the 18th hole to defeat Stacy Lewis by one stroke at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, Calif.
“The 2015 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic is proud to extend an invitation to the girls’ winner of the Junior PGA Championship,” said Chairman Johnson Wang, head of the Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation. “It is our mission to promote the growth of the game worldwide, and we are delighted to provide a worthy champion the opportunity to compete against the best LPGA players in the world next April at Lake Merced Golf Club.”
Since its inception in 1976, the Junior PGA Championship has been a popular stop on the national junior circuit for many of today’s PGA Tour and LPGA Tour professionals.
Past competitors who have gone on to successful professional careers include: Phil Mickelson, Inbee Park, Jordan Spieth, Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie and Tiger Woods.
This year, an elite field of 156 players – 78 boys and 78 girls – will descend on Miramont Country Club in Bryan, Texas, July 29 – Aug. 1, for the 39th edition of the Championship.
“Since Under Armour began its sponsorship of the Junior PGA Championship in 2010, the brand has worked with the PGA of America to continuously grow and enhance the experience of the best junior golfers in the world," said Leon Duncan, Director, Global Golf, Under Armour. "We are honored that the Valero Texas Open and the Swing Skirts LPGA Classic have recognized all of the hard work that has gone in to empowering the next generation of elite golf athletes and elevating the game through this championship.”
James Goodman, Founder and Chairman of Genesis Networks, added: “We are excited about the wonderful opportunity that the boys’ and girls’ champions will have to compete in a PGA Tour and LPGA Tour event. This continued growth and success of the Junior PGA Championship is one of the reasons why we wanted to partner with the PGA of America.”