AJGA alumnus Wenyi Ding, from China, won the 74th U.S. Junior Amateur at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Ding made history becoming the first male from mainland China to win a USGA title.
Ding, currently No. 20 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, carded a 2-under-par 69 at Bandon Trails and a 2-under-par 70 at Bandon Dunes to finish at T11 in the stroke play. The 17-year-old won his first three rounds of match play smoothly, 5&4 over Rocco Salvitti and Shubham Jaglan, and 5&3 over John Broderick to get into quarterfinals.
Ding met current AJGA alumnus Luke Potter of Encinitas, California, in the quarterfinals and the competition was fierce. Each of them won four holes and tied on the par-4 No. 15, until Ding won No. 16 and kept the advantage to head into semifinals, 1-up. Eric Lee of Fullerton, California, who just competed on the victorious West Team at 2022 Wyndham Cup, was waiting for Ding in the semifinal match. After 18 holes the two were all-square and extended the competition to 20 holes. Ding putted for par on hole No. 20, while Lee bogeyed the hole and lost his chance to compete in the finals.
The 36-hole final pitted Ding against AJGA alumnus Caleb Surratt of Indian Trail, North Carolina. Surratt is a rising freshman at the University of Tennessee. Ding built an 8-up lead with eight holes to play. Surratt fought back winning five consecutive holes down the stretch to move to only 3-down. Ding held on to defeat Surratt, 3&2, and brought home the U.S. Junior Amateur Trophy.
Ding, who is a 2023 verbal commitment to Arizona State University, competed in two AJGA tournaments and three qualifiers in 2019. He qualified into the 2019 Enagic Junior Championship and Callaway Golf Junior Championship through the AJGA qualifier series and finished T11 and T5 in his only two AJGA tournament starts.