Ticket to the TOUR
Playing in the AJGA provides many opportunities for juniors to compete against the top junior golfers in the world, but one particular event offers the chance to play with the top professional golfers. The Puerto Rico Junior Open presented by EaglesDream Golf Academy is the only event on the AJGA schedule where the champion earns a spot in the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open.
Unlike past AJGA events to offer a PGA TOUR exemption, the Puerto Rico Junior Open presented by EaglesDream Golf Academy is the only Open event – any AJGA boy can apply for a chance to play the Championship Course at Trump International Golf Club, and potentially earn the opportunity to make his PGA TOUR debut.
Staple of success
Historically, winning the Puerto Rico Junior Open presented by EaglesDream Golf Academy has been a highlight of a successful junior career. In 2013, Venezuela’s Jorge Garcia of Miami, won his first career AJGA title in Puerto Rico – then went on to win the Thunderbird International Junior. Similarly, 2014 champion Austen Truslow of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, followed his 2013 campaign – which included winning The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf – with a victory at Trump International.
Ahead of the game
Juniors who compete in the Puerto Rico Open have an advantage over their professional counterparts, as the AJGA field competes on the same course with a nearly identical set-up. Garcia, who earned his spot in the TOUR field by way of a first-round 63 at the 2013 Puerto Rico Junior Open presented by EaglesDream Golf Academy, made TOUR history when he carded back-to-back 70s to become the eighth-youngest player in history to make a TOUR cut.
“Some holes were a little longer than the AJGA tournament so I played a few of those more aggressively,” Garcia said. “But the holes that were the same, I stuck to my strategy that worked in January.”
Test against the best
The Puerto Rico Junior Open presented by EaglesDream Golf Academy has always attracted strong competition to the 72-player field, but in 2015, the stakes will be higher. The event has moved to a 100-point level, becoming one of the strongest non-Invitational fields on the AJGA schedule.
The application for the 2015 event which will be contested January 16-19, will open in mid-November and the deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. ET. Applications can be submitted in the Player Center.