The 17th AJGA Invitational presented by PING 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 The Pfau Course at Indiana University. The 54-hole, stroke-play tournament will take place October 6-9 in Bloomington, Indiana.
The venue change takes place after Karsten Creek, located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, undergoes renovations in 2023. This year, it finds its home at The Pfau Course and is eager to showcase its excellence and reputation in the golf world. The Pfau Course tied for No. 2 on Golfweek’s list of top public courses in Indiana in 2023 and has been ranked in the top three in the rankings in each year since opening. It also earned honors at No. 76 of Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.
About the Field
From Rolex Junior All-Americans to AJGA champions and college commits, the 2023 tournament field is loaded with talent. Here are some highlights from the field:
- Eight international countries represented (Canada, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Morocco, South Korea, Taiwan, United States)
- 21 states represented (California has the most juniors in the field with 16)
- 33 college commits
- 25 Rolex Junior All-Americans
- 57 AJGA champions
Top players to watch
- Entering the field at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, defending champ Gianna Clemente of Estero, Florida, is back in the field. Clemente won the 2021 and 2022 editions of the PING Invitational and is looking to become the first player to win this event for the third time at the AJGA Invitational presented by PING. Clemente has held the top spot in the rankings for seven consecutive weeks and was a member of the 2023 United States PING Junior Solheim Cup and Junior Ryder Cup Teams. She also won the Girl's Junior PGA Championship.
- Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nevada, is the second highest-ranked player in this year's field at No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The Oregon commit has two Invitational wins already this season at the Mizuho Americas Open and AJGA Girls Invitational. Wilson was also a member of the United States PING Junior Solheim Cup and Junior Ryder Cup teams. She will be making her tournament debut at the AJGA Invitational presented by PING.
- Jay Leng Jr of San Diego, California, is the top-ranked player in the Boys Division in this year's field at No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Leng Jr is the defending champ of the PING Invitational and looking to join Jordan Spieth as the only repeat winners of the event in the Boys Division. Leng Jr has one Invitational win this season at the Polo Golf Junior Classic.
- Henry Guan of Dallas, Texas, enters the field at No. 9 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Guan has five top-10 Invitational finishes this year with a runner-up finish at the Jack Burke Jr. Invitational. The 15-year-old will be playing in his second AJGA Invitational presented by PING. Guan was also a member of the victorious 2023 Wyndham Cup West Team.
The inaugural PING Invitational took place in 2006 and in the tournament’s 17-year history, has crowned many notable past champions. Jordan Spieth is the only two-time Boys Division champion, winning in 2008 and 2010. Other notable champions include PGA TOUR player Emiliano Grillo and college standouts – Stanford senior Michael Thorbjornsen and 2023 Walker Cup team member Ben James, a sophomore at the University of Virginia.
Rose Zhang, two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year and LPGA Tour star, joined Spieth as the first two-time champion in the Girls Division with victories in 2018 and 2020. In 2021, Gianna Clemente of Estero, Florida, became the youngest champion at 13 years, 6 months, and 18 days old. Clemente successfully defended her title in 2022, winning by seven shots to join Spieth and Zhang. The 2026 grad will return to the event for a third year this October. Notable Girls Division champions also include: Nelly Korda, Alison Lee and Patty Tavatanakit.
Past champions are listed below:
2022 - Jay Leng Jr and Gianna Clemente
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
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 The Pfau Course
The Pfau Course at Indiana University is the home course of the flagship university in the state of Indiana.
Opened in 2020, the course was designed by highly-acclaimed architect Steve Smyers and two-time major winner and Hoosier native Fuzzy Zoeller, The Pfau Course at Indiana University offers a unique, world-class layout that is set in the natural beauty of southern Indiana. It’s drawn rave reviews since opening, highlighted by its No. 76 ranking in Golf Digest’s 2023 Top 100 Public Golf Courses in the United States list.
Among the course’s many take away features is 147 bunkers spread out amongst the 18 championship holes. The bunkers come in a wide variety of sizes and depths, offering players with creative ways to navigate them. Like the bunkers, The Pfau Course at Indiana University’s greens come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. The average green size is 6,680 square feet, and they range in size from 4,145 square feet on No. 10 to 10,014 square feet on No. 7.
In addition to offering a supreme test for championship-caliber players, the Par-71 design is also accessible to players of all skill levels. It features six tee options, offering an 18-hole experience that ranges from 4,586 to 7,908 yards.