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The PING Invitational
Tournament Schedule of Events Field Leaderboard
The PING Invitational

The PING Invitational continues its legacy at Karsten Creek

Tournament features 52 past champions and 39 college commits
Karsten course photos18.JPG

The 16th PING Invitational will be the ultimate test for 72 of the best junior golfers in the world. The field is split down the middle with 36 boys and 36 girls set to take on one of the most challenging courses on the schedule at Karsten Creek Golf Club. The 54-hole, stroke-play tournament will take place October 7-10 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The PING Invitational is organized in partnership between PING, the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and Karsten Creek Golf Club - ranked No. 24 in Golf Digest's list of "America's 100 Greatest Public Courses" for 2021-22.

About The PING Invitational Field
From Rolex Junior All-Americans to AJGA champions and college commits, the 2022 tournament field is loaded with talent.

Here are some highlights from the field:

  • Seven international countries represented (Canada, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand)
  • 22 states represented (California has the most juniors in the field with 17)
  • 39 college commits
  • 20 Rolex Junior All-Americans
  • 52 AJGA champions

AJGA Champion Highlights
Of the 52 players who've won a tournament, three players enter this weekend with an AJGA Invitational title already this year. One past PING Invitational champion returns to defend her title.

  • Leigh Chien of Irvine, California, is the second highest-ranked player in this year's field at No. 4 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The Stanford commit started the year off strong with a win at the 2022 Mariah Stackhouse Girls Invitational. Chien's best finish at The PING Invitational came at the 2021 event where she tied for tenth place. She is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American and represented the victorious West Team at the 2022 Wyndham Cup.

  • Gianna Clemente of Warren, Ohio, is the top-ranked player in this year's field at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The 14 year-old looks to defend her 2021 win at The PING Invitational where she became the youngest-ever winner in event history. Clemente was the runner-up at the 73rd U.S. Girls' Junior, runner-up at the 2022 Rolex Girls Junior Championship and represented the East at the 2022 Wyndham Cup. On top of these achievements, she also qualified for three straight LPGA events this past summer. Clemente is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American.

  • Henry Guan of Dallas, Texas, enters his first PING Invitational already with a win at the Wyndham Invitational presented by Truist. Guan represented the United States at the 2022 Junior Presidents Cup and the West Team at the 2022 Wyndham Cup. He is currently ranked No. 13 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.

  • Alice Ziyi Zhao of (China) Irvine, California, is making her debut at The PING Invitational after a dominant year of golf. The 13-year-old won the 2022 Jim Click Automotive / HSL Properties Championship presented by the Tucson Conquistadores and the 2022 KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational. She is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American and is currently ranked No. 17 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.

Six of the Top 10 Boys in the Rolex AJGA Rankings to Compete
5. Ethan Gao of Alpharetta, Georgia
6. Johnnie Clark of Mesa, Arizona
7. Carson Kim of Yorba Linda, California
8. Bryan Kim of Brookeville, Maryland
9. Aaron Pounds of The Woodlands, Texas
10. Byungho Lee of Plano, Texas

Four of the Top 10 Girls in the Rolex AJGA Rankings to Compete
1. Gianna Clemente of Warren, Ohio
4. Leigh Chien of Irvine, California
5. Jasmine Koo of Cerritos, California
7. Jaclyn LaHa of Pleasanton, California

The PING Invitational History
The inaugural PING Invitational took place in 2006. The first edition of the tournament was won by five-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 Boys Division champion in tournament history (2008 and 2010). Spieth's 2010 tournament record of 8-under-par 208 was broken by Canon Claycomb in 2017 when he eagled the final hole of the tournament to reach 9-under-par 207.

Noah Goodwin, a two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year, fired the lowest round in tournament history during the second round in 2016. His 9-under-par 63 remains the lowest round to this day. Ariya Jutanugarn holds the Girls Division record at 6-under-par 66, which she shot in 2011.

Two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year Rose Zhang joined Spieth as a two-time winner of the event when she came from behind in 2020. Her first PING Invitational victory came in 2018 when she won by one stroke over Erica Shepherd, Sadie Englemann and Bohyun Park. Zhang and Spieth remain the only two-time winners of the event.

Gianna Clemente became the youngest PING Invitational champion in 2021. At 13 years, 6 months, 18 days, Clemente held off Lucy Yuan of San Diego, California, and Jaclyn LaHa of Pleasanton, California, by four strokes.

Past champions are listed below:
2021 - Benjamin James and Gianna Clemente
2020 - Kelly Chinn and Rose Zhang
2019 - Event was canceled due to weather
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

About PING
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.

An Official Partner since 2002, the golf club manufacturer sponsors PING College Golf Signing Day and became "The Official Bag of the AJGA" in 2009. In 2010, PING debuted golf bags for all AJGA champions. PING also became the AJGA's first Legacy Partner in 2020.

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.

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