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adidas Golf Three Things to Watch: Round 1 #JrPLAYERS

One final hurrah for Class of 2020 grads, first-round trends and first-time Invitational players
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1. One last ride: Yuki Moriyama of (Japan) Las Vegas, Nevada, and Karl Vilips of Perth, Australia, will close out their junior golf careers in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Because of the disruption in 2020 of college operations, some schools, including Oregon and Stanford, will begin later in September than usual. Moriyama will start at Oregon on September 29, while Vilips will be at Stanford on September 14.

Moriyama is No. 16 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and finished T3 at the AJGA Boys Championship at Carlton Woods. Vilips owns the record for most Junior PLAYERS Championship appearances (5) and best record (all four previous finishes in the top nine).

2. History of success: The Junior PLAYERS Championship started in 2007 - as a special partnership between the AJGA, PGA TOUR and TPC Sawgrass - for future investment in the next generation. Since its inception, 13 #JrPLAYERS champions were crowned and 34 have graduated to compete in the professional event.

But, just how much has the opening round influenced the outcome over the years?

Only four champions claimed wire-to-wire victories and just one - 2010 champion Michael Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama - was a solo leader in all three rounds.

2009's Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Alabama, 2012's Robby Shelton IV of Wilmer, Alabama, and 2013's Austen Truslow of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, started with at least a share of the lead and left TPC Sawgrass with the trophy.

Eventual champions were as far down the leaderboard as T18 (2015 Chun-an Yu of Taoyuan, Taiwan) and T17 (2016's Khavish Varadan of (Malaysia) Wesley Chapel, Florida). Five winners started the week inside the top five after the opening 18.

Related: Playoff History | Tournament History

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Jase Summy, who finished second at the 2020 Under ArmourĀ® / Jordan Spieth Championship

3. Invitational newcomers: Jase Summy of Keller, Texas, is the highest-Rolex AJGA Ranked (No. 20) of the 17 players making their AJGA Invitational debut on September 4, including five 2020 champions (bold):

  • Kevin An of Riverside, Calif.
  • Kaelen Dulany of Keller, Texas
  • Garrett Endicott of San Antonio, Texas
  • Jack Gilbert of Houston, Texas
  • Jordan Gilkison of Springboro, Ohio
  • Zach Heffernan of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas
  • Daniel Kim of Mukilteo, Wash.
  • Zach Kingsland of Austin, Texas
  • Rohit Madireddi of Flower Mound, Texas
  • Shaheen Momin of Sugarland, Texas
  • Dylan Oyama of Carlsbad, Calif.
  • John Peters of Carlisle, Pa.
  • Lukas Roessler of Santiago, Chile
  • Braeden Sladek of Alexandria, Minn.
  • Jase Summy of Keller, Texas
  • Matthew Troutman of Louisville, Ky.
  • Jordan Wilson of Edmond, Okla.

Follow along on @AJGAGolf with #JrPLAYERS.