PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida - Jeffrey Guan of Bexley, Australia, wins the 16th edition of The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex.
Guan, No. 37 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and No. 109 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, crushed the 54-hole tournament scoring record previously set at 8-under par. Guan finished with a total of 16-under-par 200 with rounds of 67-69-64.
To be honest I'm pretty speechless. I had no idea of the record until just now. But I'm so honored to be here and compete and I can't wait to see where this takes me and how it shapes my future.
The record was previously set in 2016 by Cole Hammer and Khavish Varadan. The duo forced a playoff after tying at 10-under-par 206. Varadan went on to win The Junior PLAYERS in the only year it was held at Sawgrass Country Club (due to renovations on TPC Sawgrass).
Guan's 8-under-par 64 was also the lowest final round in the 16-year history of the event. He was nearly flawless in his third time around TPC Sawgrass - THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, carding nine birdies and one bogey. He went on a stretch of four consecutive birdies on Nos. 8-11 to pull away from the field, sealing his first Invitational victory.
The 2023 grad will head back to Australia for one final event before making the trip back to the U.S. to compete for the International Team at the Junior Presidents Cup held later in September.
One of the top Australian amateurs in the world, Guan also tied the largest margin of victory at The Junior PLAYERS, finishing four shots ahead of the field.
I've seen a lot of golf played at this course on TV and it helps to know where not to miss. A lot of pins were tucked on the yardage book, but then you remember the shots the pros hit on TV and how they use the slopes and saw how well it worked for myself. It makes it even more special to pull off the win here.
He won the UNIQLO / Adam Scott Junior Championship in February and advanced to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Junior Amateur before losing to Eric Lee of Fullerton, California, in 20 holes. Guan also won the 2022 Australian Boys' Amateur.
Guan also spent his week getting to know his future International teammates for the Junior Presidents Cup. Four additional players were in the field - Indonesia's Rayhan Abdul Latief, Russia's Yurav Premlall and New Zealand's Jayden Ford and Joshua Bai.
Guan also spent time with International Team captain Tim Clark. Clark, originally from South Africa, won The PLAYERS Championship in 2010 for his first PGA TOUR win. Ironically, Clark also finished at 16-under par at TPC Sawgrass on The PLAYERS Stadium Course.
It was really special getting to know them this week, watch them play and spend time together. Meeting (International Team Captain) Tim Clark was surreal. I've never been a part of an event of this level and I'm really honored to be representing my country in this way.
Thanks to a longtime partnership between the PGA TOUR and the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), 78 of the world's top-ranked male junior golfers, invited through the Rolex AJGA Rankings, competed in a 54-hole, stroke-play event mirroring THE PLAYERS Championship setup, hole locations, and three-hole aggregate playoff format. Rolex also added support in 2022 becoming a presenting partner.
The 16th annual Junior PLAYERS Championship showcased the best of the next generation of future college and professional stars. To date, 45 past players have graduated to play in the PGA TOUR's PLAYERS Championship. Justin Thomas became the first Junior PLAYERS Championship alumni to win the professional event in 2021. He competed as a junior in 2008 and 2009.
Representatives from a record-high 14 foreign countries and 18 U.S. states (seven from Florida) competed in one of the AJGA’s annual top boys fields, and featured seven of the top 10 boys in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
In second place, Jackson Koivun of Chapel Hill, N.C., finished at 12-under par 204. This is his second Junior PLAYERS and he carded 17 birdies and one eagle on the week. Koivun, the 2023 graduate, is ranked No. 5 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and is verbally committed to Auburn University.
In third place, Ethan Fang of Plano, T.X., finished 11-under par 205. At his third Junior PLAYERS, Fang carded 15 birdies and one eagle on the week gaining his third top-10 finish for the year. Fang is ranked No. 50 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and verbally committed to the University of California, Berkeley.
Rounding out the top 10 are:
- 4: Carson Kim (-9) of Yorba Linda, California
- T5: Cam Smith (-5) of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
- T5: Joshua Bai (-5) of Auckland, New Zealand
- T5: Rylan Johnson (-5) of Gilbert, Arizona
- T8: Connor Williams (-4) of Escondido, California
- T8: Eric Lee (-4) of Fullerton, California
- T10: Kush Arora (-3) of Pleasanton, California
- T10: Bryan Kim (-3) of Brookeville, Maryland
- T10: Ethan Gao (-3) of Alpharetta, Georgia
- T10: Nicholas Prieto (-3) of Miami, Florida