The Blessings Golf Club has been host to the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational four of the past five years. The Blessings is one of the most exclusive and prominent golf clubs on the AJGA’s schedule this year. The golf club is most recently notable for hosting the 2019 NCAA DI Men’s and Women’s Golf Championship.
The club is located in Johnson, Arkansas, and is the home to the University of Arkansas Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams. The impeccably manicured golf course stretches over 7,900 yards from the back tee and is designed to test championship golfers on every shot. The course was originally designed by architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. with a redesign in 2017 completed by architect Kyle Phillips.
This week, the players are tasked with taking on one of the most challenging golf courses in the United States. The Boys Division is playing from 6,935 yds and the Girls Division is playing from 5,944 yds. When the players asked LPGA Professional Stacy Lewis for her advice on the Blessings, she provided several pointers that many of the juniors took into account in their first and second round.
“Take your medicine and don’t be a hero,” Lewis said.
The final round of the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational is currently underway at the Blessings Golf Club.
Pairings to watch
9:39 am off No. 1 – Gaven Lane of Argyle, Texas and Michelle Zhang of (China) Plano, Texas
· Lane carded the lowest second round in the Boys Division with a 2-under-par 70 adding five birdies on the day. He is currently verbally committed to Oklahoma State University.
· Zhang sits tied for second at a two-day total of 1-under-par 143. She already has one win this year at the 2019 AJGA Junior All-Star at Squaw Creek.
9:48 am off No. 1 – Garrett Engle of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Leigh Chien of Irvine, California
· Engle sits three strokes back from the lead at 2-over-par 146. The rising junior has six top-10 AJGA career finishes including a third-place finish at last year’s KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star.
· Chien sits tied for second at 1-under-par 143. She has six AJGA career top-10 finishes.
9:57 am off No. 1 – You Seong Choi of Hacienda Heights, California and Taylor Kehoe of (Canada) Strathroy, Ontario
· Choi continues his lead in the Boys Division after shooting a second round even-par 72. He recorded five birdies on the day and carded a bogey-free back nine to shoot 2-under-par 34.
· Kehoe fired the lowest second round between both the boys and the girls at 3-under-par 69. She recorded five birdies and one eagle to gain a two stroke lead at 3-under-par 141. The rising sophomore has one AJGA win at the 2017 Mill Creek Foundation Junior All-Star.
About the field
· Two current Rolex Junior All-Americans
· Twenty-five AJGA Champions
· Seven total players committed to play college golf
· Eighteen total states and six countries represented in the field
All aged 12-15 years old
This AJGA “major” is formatted differently than any other AJGA tournament. Pairings for this event will be mixed with boys vs. girls – Stacy Lewis wanted to create an event where boys and girls could play together to promote equality. One boy and one girl will be paired together in each group. The low four scores each day will count toward team competition (boys vs. girls).
Schedule of events
Monday, June 24 –
· 7:45 am – Practice Round
· 5:00 pm – Player Registration
· 6:00 pm – Welcome Dinner
· 7:00 pm – Stacy Lewis Q&A
Tuesday, June 25 –
· 8 – 9:57 am – First Round off Nos. 1 & 10 tees
Wednesday, June 26 –
· 8 – 9:57 am – Second Round off Nos. 1 & 10 tees
· 3:00 pm – Skills Challenge
Thursday, June 27 –
· 8 – 9:57 am – Final Round off Nos. 1 & 10 tees
· 2:30 pm – Awards Ceremony
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 7,000 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade and adidas are the AJGA’s National Sponsors, supporting the AJGA for more than 25 years. TaylorMade has served as the Official Ball of the AJGA since 2016. adidas has been the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA since 2017. Rolex, in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.