Starting Monday, July 16, the best golfers in the world 18 years of age and under will begin the ultimate tests in junior golf when #USGirlsJunior gets underway at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California. From the iconic venue, to the legendary champions this championship boasts, to the spoils that go to the winners, there is a lot to look forward to next week for BGGA’s Annie Kim, Siyan Chen and alumni Jordan Cornelius.
In the last decade, the U.S. Girls’ Junior has been one of the fastest growing USGA championships, reaching four figures in entries nine consecutive years with a record total to 1,606 this year, nearly 200 more than the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Raising the age limit from 17 to 18 for both USGA Junior Championships has helped both in numbers of entries and quality of field. This year, three golfers with a year of college golf under their belt qualified.
Kim, Chen, Cornelius and the rest of the 155 competitors would love nothing more than to etch their name on the Glenna Collet Vare Trophy while punching their ticket to next year’s Women’s Open.
They may be young, but they have experience. Four players in the U.S. Girls’ Junior field will be making their fifth (!) starts in the championship.
Notable U.S. Girls’ Junior champions include Hall of Famers and multiple U.S. Women’s Open champions Mickey Wright (1952) and JoAnne Gunderson Carner (1956), Hall of Famer and 1980 U.S. Women’s Open champion Amy Alcott (1973), Lexi Thompson (2008), reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanuygarn (2011), two-two U.S. Women’s Open champion Inbee Park (2002) and four-time LPGA Tour winner Minjee Lee (2012).
Field breakdown by age:
11: 1 player
12: 1 player
13: 5 players
14: 13 players
15: 22 players
16: 35 players
17: 39 players
18: 40 players
There are 14 countries represented in the championship: Argentina (2), Australia (3), Canada (6), Chinese Taipei (2), Colombia (2), Hong Kong China, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico (4), Nigeria, the People’s Republic of China (7), the Philippines (2), the Republic of Korea (2), and the United States (122).
There are 33 states represented in the championship: Alabama (2), Arizona (4), Arkansas (2), California (34), Colorado (2), Connecticut (2), Delaware, Florida (10), Georgia (3), Hawaii (2), Idaho, Illinois (2), Indiana (2), Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland (3), Massachusetts, Michigan (2), Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey (5), New Mexico, New York (5), North Carolina (6), Ohio (4), Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina (2), Tennessee (3), Texas (13).
Best of luck Annie Kim, Siyan Chen and Jordan Cornelius! We are so proud of you.