Junior PGA Championship Notebook: Field has players from far and wide

Junior PGA Championship
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Rules Official Mike Healy demonstrates rules during the Player Rules Meeting before the Junior PGA Championship.
By
Randy Stutzman
The PGA of America

Series: PGA

Published: Monday, July 28, 2014 | 5:12 p.m.

BRYAN, Texas – The 39th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Genesis Networks, one of the nation’s premier events in junior golf, is making its first visit to the state of Texas. The 72-hole Championship, featuring an elite field of 156 juniors, will begin play Tuesday at Miramont Country Club.

The Championship will have a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties.

2014 JUNIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

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The boys’ division champion will earn the Jack Nicklaus Trophy while the girls’ division champion will receive the Patty Berg Trophy.

AN INTERNATIONAL FIELD: The 156-player field will feature participants from 37 states, and three additional countries. Players from Costa Rica, Japan and the Philippines, along with the United States, will be competing this week.

The 2014 field includes all eight PGA Junior Series event champions, the 41 PGA Section champions, many of the top players from the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and Polo Golf Rankings, as well as select national junior tournament winners.

MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP PARTICIPANTS TEEING IT UP: Two girls and one boy who are competing in the Junior PGA Championship this week, also had a chance earlier this year to play in a major championship.

Megan Khang of Rockland, Mass., and Bailey Tardy of Norcross, Ga., both participated in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst Resort in June.

Khang finished in a tie for third in the 2013 Junior PGA Championship, while Tardy finished 31st. Both players missed the cut at this year’s U.S. Women’s Open.

Will Grimmer of Cincinnati, Ohio, who finished 32nd in the Junior PGA Championship last year, missed the cut at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

HALL-OF-FAMER WADKINS TO SPEAK: Lanny Wadkins, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, will be the keynote speaker at Monday night’s Welcome Dinner. The 1977 PGA Champion and 1995 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, Wadkins is also a veteran of eight U.S. Ryder Cup teams. 

Wadkins, who now resides in nearby Dallas, Texas, has 31 worldwide professional victories.

Wadkins speech will center around what he learned as a junior golfer that he took with him throughout his professional career, the importance of the PGA Professional to the game of golf, and his career as a both a professional golfer and broadcaster.

JOHNSON WITHDRAWS: Julia Johnson of St. Gabriel, La., withdrew from the Junior PGA Championship. No reason was given.

Johnson was replaced in the field by Maddie Luitwieler of Katy, Texas. Luitwieler competed in the 2013 Junior PGA Championship, missing the cut.

Luitwieler won the 2013 South Central Junior PGA Championship, and earlier this year won the 2014 Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions in Bryan, Texas.

WEATHER REPORT: A very weak cool front will track southward toward the area today, but stall just north of Miramont Country Club. This boundary will result in isolated thunderstorms late this afternoon through Tuesday before it dissipates. 

Temperatures will continue to reach the middle and upper 90s each afternoon through Wednesday before a stronger frontal system brings slightly cooler readings by week’s end. The chance for showers and storms will increase Thursday into Friday as this front stalls over the region.