The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex
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The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex

The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex returns to TPC Sawgrass

The iconic all-boys Invitational features seven of the top 10 in Rolex AJGA Rankings
TPC Sawgrass clubhouse - Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex - 2022.jpg

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The 16th edition of The Junior PLAYERS Championship will take place September 1-4 at TPC Sawgrass, the home of The PLAYERS Championship.

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, will compete 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.

About The Junior PLAYERS Championship Field
Representatives from a record-high 14 foreign countries and 18 U.S. states (seven from Florida) are set to compete in one of the AJGA’s annual top boys fields, featuring seven of the top 10 boys in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.

Of the 78 boys competing, 42 players are signed or verbally committed to play college golf. There are 11 sets of future college teammates in the field led by Stanford with four and the University of Oklahoma with three players committed.

Top Players to Watch

Eric Lee of Fullerton, California, enters the week as the top-ranked player in the field at No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The 2023 grad has been on an impressive stretch of golf this season, starting with a win at the 2021 Rolex Tournament of Champions last November. Lee has yet to finish outside the top 10 this year in five nationally ranked junior golf events. The University of California, Berkeley commit was also named a member of the U.S. Team for the upcoming Junior Presidents Cup.

Nicholas Gross of Downington, Pennsylvania, holds the No. 3 spot in the Rolex AJGA Rankings entering the week. The 2024 grad won the 2021 AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational presented by adidas Golf last October and has continued his success at the next level. Gross has eight top-10 finishes in national junior golf events this season and became the youngest player to advance to the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals since 2007 in August. He was also named to the U.S. Team for the Junior Presidents Cup.

Henry Guan of Dallas, Texas, is the top-ranked player in the field from the class of 2026. Guan is one of four incoming high school freshmen in the field. Another member of the U.S. Team for the Junior Presidents Cup, Guan is making his debut at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex. Guan has one Invitational victory this year - as the youngest player in the field he won the Wyndham Invitational presented by Truist, another PGA TOUR-style event.

The Junior PLAYERS Championship History

Since 2007, the top boys have traveled to Ponte Vedra in search of a signature victory. Past champions include:

  • 2007 Morgan Hoffmann
  • 2008 Evan Beck
  • 2009 Bobby Wyatt
  • 2010 Michael Johnson
  • 2011 Gavin Hall
  • 2012 Robby Shelton IV
  • 2013 Austen Truslow
  • 2014 Sam Horsfield
  • 2015 Chun-an Yu
  • 2016 Khavish Varadan
  • 2017 Shuai Ming (Ben) Wong
  • 2018 Travis Vick
  • 2019 Jayden Schaper
  • 2020 David Ford
  • 2021 Benjamin James

TPC Sawgrass has hosted the iconic event each year except in 2016 (Sawgrass Country Club) during extensive renovations on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. From 2011-2013, the first two rounds were played on Dye’s Valley with the final round on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course.

Now-PGA TOUR alum Morgan Hoffman won the inaugural The Junior PLAYERS Championship in 2007. Hoffmann’s junior golf career featured five AJGA victories, including four Invitationals, and a selection as Rolex Junior All-American.

The lowest round in the history of the Junior PLAYERS Championship was set by Logan McCallister of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the second round of the 2017 tournament at 9-under-par 63. McCallister ultimately tied for second after a three-hole aggregate playoff with Shuai Ming (Ben) Wong of (Hong Kong) The Woodlands, Texas, and Jake Beber-Frankel of Miami. Wong secured his first AJGA Invitational victory with a par on No. 18, the final playoff hole.

Gavin Hall of Pittsford, New York, set the low 36-hole total at 8-under-par 136 on his way to winning the 2011 tournament at 5-under-par 211.

The low 54-hole total of 8-under-par 208 at TPC Sawgrass was shared in 2018 by Travis Vick of Houston, Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Bo Jin of (China) Encinitas, California. The ensuing sudden-death playoff began on No. 18, where Jin chipped in for birdie and Vick buried a 12-footer to move on to No. 16. Jin found trouble off the tee, while Vick hit the fairway and two-putted for birdie and the win. Ben James also tied the low 54-hole total on his way to victory at the 2021 event.

Related: Playoff History | Tournament History

Graduation to THE PLAYERS Championship

The AJGA has a storied history of junior, amateur, college and professional success and The Junior PLAYERS Championship showcases an impressive list of 45 alumni who graduated to the PGA TOUR stage.

Major winner and AJGA tournament host Justin Thomas made history at the 2021 PLAYERS Championship when he became the first The Junior PLAYERS Championship alumni to win the professional event. Thomas won the tournament by one stroke at 14-under-par 274.

Thomas, a two-time Rolex Junior All-American as a junior golfer, has hosted his own AJGA tournament since 2016 and spends time on-site hitting shots with sponsors and sharing advice with juniors. He also supports kids who need a financial boost to play through his ACE Grant  endowment.

He led the contingent of 31 The Junior PLAYERS Championship alumni to compete in the 2022 PLAYERS championship. Thomas competed twice at TPC Sawgrass as a junior (2008  and 2009 ).

International Exposure

Since the tournament's inception, international players from every corner of the globe gather to test their skills against top players from the U.S.

In 2019, Jayden Schaper of South Africa, played in his third The Junior PLAYERS Championship and won, becoming the fifth champion with international ties. The 2020 grad carried that momentum into the 2020 European Tour's South African Open where he finished T6 and became the first amateur to finish in the top-six since Ernie Els in 1989.

In this year's event, there are five players from the Junior Presidents Cup International Team competing.

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