Across the country in competitive amateur golf, no two
months are busier than June and July. That certainly holds true for the Texas
Golf Association and Legends Junior Tour. During the six-week stretch between
June 13 and July 24, three of the most celebrated statewide championships will
take place in Dallas and Houston.
It all gets started with the oldest, most significant
amateur championship in the state. The 110th Texas Amateur will be played June
13-16 on Dallas Athletic Club’s Jack Nicklaus-designed Blue Course. The Golden
Bear won his third professional major title on the Blue Course at the 1963 PGA
Championship. The club, which this year commemorates its centennial
anniversary, then hired Nicklaus to come back in 1986 to renovate the iconic
One hundred and forty-four of the most talented male
amateurs in Texas will play 72 holes of stroke play – with a 36-hole cut – to
identify the state’s top player. That champion will join the list of Texas
Amateur winners that includes Masters champions Ben Crenshaw and Charles Coody,
PGA Championship winner Mark Brooks, as well as decorated professionals such as
Bruce Lietzke, Scott Verplank, Marty
Fleckman and Bob Estes.
In more recent years, current young PGA Tour pros Kelly
Kraft and Will Zalatoris hoisted the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy as Texas
Amateur champions. This June, another name will be added to the distinctive
About a month after the final putt drops at DAC, the best
female amateurs in Texas take their turn in the spotlight at the 98th Women’s
Texas Amateur. The match play-based event is set for July 16-19 at Bent Tree
Country Club in Dallas. The most prestigious women’s amateur event in the
southwest opens with an 18-hole, stroke play qualifying round with the top 32
scores advancing to the Championship Match Play Bracket.
From there, it takes five match play victories in three days
to take the title. It can be a grueling test; only the strongest survive this
championship’s grinding format.
“Especially in the afternoon matches, after you’ve already
played 18 or 19 holes that morning, you really need to think about every shot,”
said Prestonwood Christian Academy senior Julia Gregg, who finished runner-up
in last summer’s 97th Women’s Texas Amateur. “You’re a little tired, but you
have to focus on your routines and really concentrate.”
The triumvirate of statewide championships culminates with
the 93rd playing of the Texas Junior Amateur, set for July 22-24 outside of
Houston at the Clubs of Kingwood. For nearly a century, the Texas Junior
Amateur has featured some of the nation’s strongest fields in junior golf. A
quick look at some of the notable past champions – Ben Crenshaw, Jordan Spieth,
Jeff Maggert, Scott Verplank, Angela Stanford and Nancy Hager among them – underscores
the elite status of the event.
There are four separate divisions involved in the Texas
Junior Amateur. The Boys and Girls Divisions (for juniors ages 15-18) each play
54 holes of stroke play. The younger contestants, boys and girls ages 14 and
under, play 36 holes. All four divisions are ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard
and Golfweek, while the Boys and
Girls 15-18 Divisions are World Amateur Golf Ranked. American Junior Golf
Association Performance Stars also are awarded to top finishers of each
division. LJT Player of the Year points are doubled for this event, too.
On the following pages, find out more about these three illustrious
championships and what makes each one so unique and their titles so coveted.