PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The 17th edition of The Junior PLAYERS Championship will take place August 31 - September 3, 2023 at TPC Sawgrass, the home of The PLAYERS Championship.
Thanks to a longtime partnership between the PGA TOUR and the American Junior Golf Association, 78 of the world's top-ranked male junior golfers will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play event mirroring THE PLAYERS Championship setup and hole locations. Rolex also added support in 2022 becoming a presenting partner.
About The Junior PLAYERS Championship Field
The international contingent highlights the field with representatives from a record 15 foreign countries and three new nations competing: Bulgaria, Iceland and Ukraine. Players from 21 U.S. states (nine from Florida) are set to compete in one of the AJGA’s annual top boys fields, featuring 12 of the top 20 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Of the 78 boys competing, 24 players are signed or verbally committed to play college golf. There are two sets of future college teammates in the field, led by Stanford and Texas A&M each with two commits.
Top Players to Watch
Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, enters the week as the top-ranked player in the field at No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Russell, the local 2027 grad, is one of the youngest competing this weekend. He has been on an impressive stretch of golf in his first AJGA season, starting with back-to-back Junior All-Star wins in April. He then competed at his first Invitational, the Team TaylorMade Invitational in May, in which he fell short in the playoff. Russell also won the Boy's Junior PGA Championship earlier this month.
Blades Brown of Nashville, Tennessee, holds the No. 6 spot in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The 16-year-old also has the most AJGA wins this season with two Open events and his first Invitational title in June at the Wyndham Invitational presented by Odyssey, another PGA TOUR-style event hosted at Sedgefield Country Club, home of the Wyndham Championship. Brown also gained attention at the U.S. Amateur becoming the youngest co-medalist in Championship history and won the Tennessee Junior Amateur Championship.
Jeffrey Guan, of Bexley, Australia, is returning to the field to defend his title at the Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex. Guan, No. 18 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and No. 51 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, finished third at the 2023 Pacific Coast Amateur and Southern Amateur Championship. In 2022, 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 final round, 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. After his win, Guan went on to compete for the International Team at the Junior Presidents Cup and won both his Four-Ball and Foursome matches.
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
- 2022 Jeffrey Guan
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.
The new low 54-hole total of 16-under-par 200 at TPC Sawgrass was set in 2022 by Guan. His rounds of 67-69-64 shattered the previous record from 2018 of 8-under-par 208 originally held by Travis Vick, Akshay Bhatia and Bo Jin. Ben James also tied the previous low 54-hole total on his way to victory at the 2021 event.
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 53 alumni all-time 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. Thomas competed twice at TPC Sawgrass as a junior (2008 and 2009 ).
Scottie Scheffler led the contingent of 32 The Junior PLAYERS Championship alumni to compete in the 2023 PLAYERS Championship. Scheffler won the PLAYERS with a score of 17-under par. In his junior days, Scheffler a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and the 2013 Rolex Junior Player of the Year. He played in the Junior PLAYERS from 2011-2013 with his best finish as fifth place.
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.