Four AJGA players earn Byron Nelson Junior Golf Award


By Haley Hodoval, AJGA Communications

Seasoned AJGA players Sam Burns, Austin Connelly, Brad Dalke and Davis Riley will be honored at the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving, Texas, for receiving the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award. Since its 2008 launch, the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award recognizes junior golf’s top performing athletes who demonstrate strong character, consistent sportsmanship, a commendable academic background as well as a commitment to serving others.

Sam Burns of Shreveport, Louisiana, holds the No. 1 spot in the Polo Golf Rankings and was named the Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 2014. With 22 top-10 finishes in his five seasons at the AJGA, he has signed a National Letter of Intent with Louisiana State University and recently made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with fellow recipient Austin Connelly. Connelly will not have to travel far to attend this meaningful occasion as he is a native of Irving, Texas, home to TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas. Connelly is partaking in his fourth season with the AJGA with an impressive record that consists of 18 top-10 finishes, including four AJGA titles.

Brad Dalke of Hobart, Oklahoma, currently has a Polo Golf Ranking of No. 6 and has signed his National Letter of Intent with the University of Oklahoma. Dalke is a three-time Invitational winner, and in 2011 he became the youngest boy to win an Invitational when he won the Thunderbird International Junior at the age of 13. Just one spot above Dalke in the Polo Golf Rankings is No. 5 Davis Riley of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Riley is in the midst of his seventh AJGA season and has 16 career top-10 finishes. He is a four-time Mississippi MAIS Class AAA State Championship Medalist as well as a four-time Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame “Pop Star” Award winner. Burns, Connelly, Dalke and Riley were all members of the victorious Team USA at the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup.

On Friday, May 29, Burns, Connelly, Dalke, and Riley will attend a private awards dinner with three-time AJGA champion and PGA TOUR rookie Justin Thomas, who will be the keynote speaker. Past winners of the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award include Jordan Spieth, Cody Gribble, and Thomas, and all three will be playing in this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson.