The PING Invitational Preview


Entering the 12th year at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Oklahoma, The PING Invitational will again provide one of the best fields in junior golf.

The Boys Division consists of 48 players, including 14 of the top 20 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Noah Goodwin, the No. 1 player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, will look to win his first PING Invitational after finishing as the runner-up in both 2015 and 2016.

Historically, the Boys Division has produced champions who have gone on to accomplish success at the collegiate and professional level. Jordan Spieth won the event in 2008 and 2010. Emiliano Grillo won the tournament in 2009 and Rickie Fowler finished third in 2006. Last year’s champion, Noah Norton, is a freshman at Georgia Tech.

The Girls Division includes 24 players with 15 of the top 20 set to compete. Lucy Li, the No. 2 player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, finished runner-up at Karsten Creek last year. Joining Li will be Erica Shepherd, the No. 3 player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. In July, Shepherd won the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and has finished top five in her past three AJGA tournaments.

The Girls Division has also had its fair share of accomplished past competitors. Alison Lee carded a second-round 4-under-par 68 on her way to a win in 2012, while Nelly Korda won the 2015 title in her final AJGA event. Other notable past competitors include Jessica Korda and Danielle Kang. Last year, Paphangkorn Tavatanakit set a tournament record with a 12-under-par 204. The current UCLA freshman set the new mark by six strokes with rounds of 68-67-69.

The practice round will take place on Friday, October 6, while tournament rounds will run from Saturday, October 7, to Monday, October 9.