The 14th PING Invitational will be the ultimate test for 78 of the best junior golfers in the world. The field is split down the middle with 39 boys and 39 girls set to take on one of the most challenging courses on the schedule in Karsten Creek Golf Club. The 54-hole, stroke-play tournament will take place October 9-12 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The PING Invitational, organized in partnership between PING, the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and Karsten Creek Golf Club - ranked No. 20 in Golf Digest's list of "America's 100 Greatest Public Courses" for 2019-20 - will challenge the 78 AJGA golfers invited to play through the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
About The PING Invitational Field
From Rolex Junior All-Americans to AJGA Champions and college commits, the 2020 PING Invitational field is loaded with talent.
- 22 Rolex Junior All-Americans
- 52 AJGA Champions
- 44 college commits
- 4 international countries represented (China, Mexico, Portugal, South Korea)
- 23 states represented
AJGA Champion Highlights
Of the 52 players who’ve won an AJGA event, 29 enter the week with victories this year. Here are a few highlights:
- David Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, is looking for his third AJGA Invitational victory of the year. The University of North Carolina verbal commit won the AJGA Invitational at Sedgefield in June and The Junior PLAYERS Championship in September. The four-time AJGA Champion is No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
- Rose Zhang of Irvine, California, is teeing it up at The PING Invitational as the top-ranked girl in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. She's held the No. 1 spot for 86 consecutive weeks. The 2019 Rolex Junior Player of the Year won the U.S. Women's Amateur in August and followed up that triumph with a victory at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship just a couple weeks later. She's seeking her ninth AJGA title this week and already has one win at Karsten Creek at the 2018 PING Invitational.
- Xin (Cindy) Kou of Whittier, California, is an 11-time AJGA Champion. She's tied with Morgan Pressel and Lindsey Weaver for the fifth-most individual victories in AJGA Girls Division history. Kou already has two victories this year at the AJGA Girls Invitational at Stanford and the AJGA Longbow Golf Club Open. She is No. 3 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
The Top 10 Boys in the Rolex AJGA Rankings Compete
1 David Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia
2 Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Virginia
3 Luke Potter of Encinitas, California
4 Jackson Van Paris of Pinehurst, North Carolina
5 Wells Williams of West Point, Mississippi
6 Gordon Sargent of Birmingham, Alabama
7 Benjamin James of Milford, Connecticut
8 Thomas Morrison of Dallas, Texas
9 Maxwell Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia
10 Preston Summerhays of Scottsdale, Arizona
Seven of the Top 10 Girls in the Rolex AJGA Rankings Compete
1 Rose Zhang of Irvine, California
2 Bohyun Park of Farmers Branch, Texas
3 Xin (Cindy) Kou of Whittier, California
5 Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Florida
6 Zoe Antoinette Campos of Valencia, California
7 Leigh Chien of Irvine, California
8 Lynn Lim of Gallatin, Tennessee
The PING Invitational History
The inaugural PING Invitational took place in 2006. The first edition of the tournament was won by 5-time Rolex Junior All-American Andrew Yun and four-time Rolex Junior All-American Esther Choe. In addition to her victory at The PING Invitational, Choe also won the Rolex Girls Junior Championship and the Polo Golf Junior Classic that year.
Jordan Spieth is the only two-time champion in tournament history (2008 and 2010). Canon Claycomb broke Spieth's 54-hole scoring record in 2017 when he eagled the final hole of the tournament to reach 9-under-par 207.
Past champions are listed below:
2018 - Michael Thorbjornsen and Rose Zhang
2017 - Canon Claycomb and Lucy Li
2016 - Noah Norton and Paphangkorn Tavatanakit
2015 - Spencer Soosman and Nelly Korda
2014 - Donnie Trosper and Kaitlyn Papp
2013 - Brad Dalke and Megan Khang
2012 - Gavin Hall and Alison Lee
2011 - A.J. McInerney and Jaye Marie Green
2010 - Jordan Spieth and Kristen Park
2009 - Emiliano Grillo and Rachel Morris
2008 - Jordan Spieth and Victoria Tanco
2007 - Gregor Main and Vicky Hurst
2006 - Andrew Yun and Esther Choe
PING, a golf club manufacturer with the goal to help golfers play their best, has been an AJGA supporter since 1990 and began supporting the PING Phoenix Junior in 1991. The PING Invitational, one of the AJGA's top Invitationals held over Columbus Day weekend, began in 2006 at Karsten Creek. The PING Junior Solheim Cup, the all-girls match play biennial event, has received worldwide recognition and many participants are able to say they played for their country as a junior and professional.
PING, an Official Partner since 2002, sponsors PING College Golf Signing Day and in 2009, became "The Official Bag of the AJGA." In 2010, PING debuted golf bags for all AJGA champions.
About Karsten Creek Golf Club
Former Oklahoma State University head golf coach and current Athletic Director Mike Holder first envisioned Karsten Creek Golf Club in the 1970's. His goal was to create a sanctuary for college golf. With the help of renowned golf course designer Tom Fazio, that dream took shape over the next two decades.
On May 9th, 1994, Karsten Creek Golf Club officially opened, and was named "Best New Course" in the country by Golf Digest.
The course was named in honor of the late Karsten Solheim, founder of Karsten Manufacturing (PING). Lake Louise, featured on the finishing holes, was named in honor of Karsten's wife.
Karsten Creek Golf Club is home to the Oklahoma State Men's and Women's golf programs.