On Friday, October 10, the nation’s best junior golfers will meet in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the ninth annual PING Invitational. Held at Karsten Creek, the home course of the Oklahoma State University’s men’s and women’s golf teams, the field consists of 48 boys and 24 girls, and two will earn the honor of adding their names to the prestigious list of PING Invitational champions.
Notable AJGA alumni to earn the trophy include Jordan Spieth and Alison Lee. Spieth was a two-time winner at Karsten Creek in 2008 and 2010, as well as a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and 2009 Rolex Junior Player of the Year. Lee, who won The PING Invitational in 2012, now plays for UCLA. She was a six-time Rolex Junior All-American and recently received the inaugural ANNIKA Award presented by 3M for the best female collegiate golfer.
In 2013, Brad Dalke of Hobart, Oklahoma, took home the trophy with a dramatic finish on the 18th hole. He returns in an attempt to become the first person to win back-to-back titles. The three-time Rolex Junior All-American already has three top-three finishes this year, including runner-up honors at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf in August.
Reigning Girls Division champion Megan Khang also returns in 2014, seeking a second title. In order to secure the victory, the Rockland, Massachusetts, native will have to fend off 2013 runners-up Lilia Vu and Andrea Lee. Vu, of Fountain Valley, California, comes off a close finish at the AJGA Girls Championship, where she was runner-up. No. 1 girl in the Polo Golf Rankings, Lee, from Hermosa Beach, California, had a breakout year, winning the Rolex Tournament of Champions and Yani Tseng Invitational presented by the Swinging Skirts in consecutive weeks earlier this summer.
This year, in a Sooner State showdown, Oklahoma State University commits Zachary Bauchou and Tyson Reeder will test their mettle against the defending Dalke who is committed to The University of Oklahoma. Bauchou, of Forest, Virginia, finished T6 in the event last year and has two top-five showings this year, including T5 at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Reeder, a native of Edmond, Oklahoma, finished in the top 20 at Karsten Creek in 2013.