13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
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, as an elite field of 156 junior golfers have descended on Miramont Country Club in Bryan, Texas.
The 72-hole Championship, which begins Tuesday, will feature a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties.
They boys’ division champion will receive the Jack Nicklaus Trophy while the girls’ division champion will receive and the Patty Berg Trophy.
Sibling Rivalry at the Junior PGA Championship
Two sets of siblings will compete in the Championship this week.
Sisters Hannah and Haley Thiele of Wahoo, Nebraska, will be competing against each other, but both earned a spot in the Championship in different ways.
Hannah won the 2014 Nebraska Junior PGA Championship to earn a spot in her first Junior PGA Championship, while Haley will be making her second appearance in the Championship, earning a PGA Junior Series special exemption this year. Haley competed in 2013, missing the cut.
Haley was runner-up to Hannah at the Nebraska Junior PGA Championship, and finished third at the PGA Junior Series event at ArborLinks in Nebraska City, Neb.
Maddie and Allen Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, won’t be going head-to-head this week, as Maddie will be competing in the girls’ division and Allen will play in the boys’ division.
Maddie earned a spot after winning the 2014 Kentucky Junior PGA Championship, while Allen was given a PGA Junior Series special exemption. Allen finished fourth at this year’s PGA Junior Series event at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, Kentucky.
Maddie finished in a tie for 23rd in her first appearance at the Junior PGA Championship in 2013. This will be Allen’s debut in the Championship.
Top-Ranked Andrea Lee, U.S. Junior Amateur Runner-Up Davis Riley, Withdraw
Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, the top-ranked girl in both the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and Polo Golf Rankings, withdrew from the Championship, siting exhaustion.
Lee is No. 1 in the girls’ United States Junior Ryder Cup point standings.
She was replaced in the field by Emily Campbell of Lewisville, Texas.
Davis Riley of Hattiesburg, Miss., withdrew from the boys’ division of the Championship because of health concerns.
Riley played a total of eight competitive rounds in six days at the U.S. Junior Amateur, which concluded yesterday. Including practice rounds, he has played 10 rounds since last Friday.
“He has blisters on his feet and he’s extremely tired,” said his father, David.
It was the second consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up finish for Riley.
Riley was replaced in the field by Grayson Davis of Franklin, Tennessee.
Miramont Country Club to Provide Tough Test
Miramont Country Club, which opened in 2005 and was designed by world-class golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., will provide a stern test of golf this week.
Located in Bryan, about 90 minutes from Houston, Miramont is regarded as one of the elite private facilities in Texas. Currently, it’s 13th in the Golf Digest “Best-In-State Rankings” for Texas and was a Golfweek “Top 100 Residential Course” in 2010.
The par-71 layout will play 7,010 yards for the boys’ division and 6,240 yards for the girls’ division.
Weather Forecast for Texas
A weak cool front will drop southward over Texas Tuesday morning, spreading a few showers and possible storms into the area Monday night and through Tuesday. This will lift north of Bryan/College Station, Texas on Wednesday, but then return southward Friday.
The coolest day of the week will be Friday, as mostly cloudy skies develop, along with areas of showers and storms.
Follow All the Action from Miramont
You can follow all the action beginning Tuesday on PGA.com, and follow the Social Media conversation using the hashtag #JuniorPGA.
The 2014 field includes all eight PGA Junior Series event champions, 41 PGA Section winners, many of the top players from the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and Polo Golf Rankings, as well as select national junior tournament winners.
Begun in 1976, the Junior PGA Championship has been a popular stop on the national junior circuit for many of today’s PGA and LPGA touring professionals.
Past competitors who have gone on to successful professional careers include: Phil Mickelson, Inbee Park, Jordan Spieth, Alexis Thompson, Michelle Wie and Tiger Woods.