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Junior Invitational images courtesy of Montana Pritchard Photography.
The Sage Valley Junior Invitational (SVJI) Sports Foundation announced that the 12th Junior Invitational will be held March 16-18, 2023, at Sage Valley Golf Club with a number of the top boys and girls from around the world already committed to participate.
The inaugural 24-player girls competition debuted at the 2022 Junior Invitational, with Danish golfer Amalie Leth-Nissen donning the prestigious gold jacket following a playoff win over Bailey Shoemaker (Dade City, Florida). Similarly, in the 36-player boys’ competition, Caleb Surratt (Indian Trail, North Carolina) defeated Luke Potter (Encinitas, California) in the event’s first-ever boys’ playoff.
The girls’ field will consist of 24 of the world’s top players, and to date, the 2023 field includes the top 10 girls per the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. The 36-player boys’ field has long been considered one of the best in junior golf, and 2023 is no exception, with the top 10 boys per Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings committed to date.
“2022 was such an exciting year for the Junior Invitational with the addition of the highly-anticipated girl’s competition and incredible finishes to both competitions,” said Pete Davis, chairman of the SVJI Sports Foundation. “We look forward to creating and continuing both new and storied traditions at our 12th tournament this March.
“As we enter our 12th year, we are now seeing many of our former participants excelling at the professional and collegiate levels,” added Davis. “From winning majors to being named to Walker Cup, Palmer Cup and Curtis Cup teams, it’s exciting to see these young people build upon their experience at the Junior Invitational.”
Recognized by Golfweek as the No. 1 junior event in golf, the Junior Invitational welcomes the best golfers from around the world to Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, S.C. Founded in 2011, the Junior Invitational has become one of the most desired invitations in the world of competitive junior golf. Past participants have included some of the top names in golf: Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Colin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Cameron Young, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Anna Davis, Megha Ganne and more. Scheffler, the 2014 Junior Invitational champion, followed up his appearance at the 2022 Junior Invitational by capturing his first major at The Masters.
Each year, the SVJI Sports Foundation––the nonprofit entity established to run the Junior Invitational––supports The First Tee Chapters of Augusta and Aiken in their efforts to grow the game throughout the local communities.
Since the tournament’s inception, its charitable efforts have generated more than $2 million to these local chapters of The First Tee.
Sage Valley Golf Club, the host of the Junior Invitational, is located only minutes from historic Augusta, Georgia, and is surrounded by several thousand acres of preserved southern pine forest.
For more information, visit JuniorInvitational.com.
––LIST OF FIELD COMMITMENTS TO DATE FOLLOW––
2023 Girls Field:
· No. 1 Maria Jose Marin, who won the 2022 Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship and eight junior tournaments in her native Columbia in 2022.
· No. 2 Gianna Clemente, a 14-year-old who Monday-qualified for three consecutive LPGA tournaments in 2022.
· No. 3 Yana Wilson, winner of the 2022 U.S. Junior Championship.
· No. 4 Bailey Shoemaker, runner-up at the 2022 Junior Invitational, winner of the 2022 Florida Women’s Amateur Championship and 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur semifinalist.
· No. 5 Kaitlyn Schroeder, the 2022 Girls Junior PGA Champion.
· No. 6 Kiara Romero, with six top-10 2022 finishes in counting WAGR events.
· No. 7 Anna Davis, who captured the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
· No. 8 Katie Li, who finished runner-up at the 2022 Dixie Amateur and advanced to the round of 16 in the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
· No. 9 Jaclyn LaHa, winner of the 2022 Under Armour® - Albane Valenzuela Girls Invitational.
· No. 10 Alice Ziyi Zhao, who earned co-medalist honors at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
· Leigh Chien, the 2022 Mariah Stackhouse Girls Invitational champion and quarterfinalist in the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
· Ting-Hsuan Huang, winner of the 2022 Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship and the 2022 North and South Junior Amateur and is ranked 44th in WAGR.
· Meja Örtengren, No. 14 in WAGR and winner of the 2022 Rolex Tournament of Champions.
· Jiyoo Lim, No. 15 in WAGR and winner of the 2022 Dream Park Cup.
· Minsol Kim, No. 16 in WAGR and winner of both the 2022 Korea Junior Championship – Blue One Cup and the 2022 Song Am Cup.
· Andrea Revuelta, ranked 92nd in WAGR, captured the 2022 Toyota Junior World Cup.
· Nika Ito, who advanced to the round of 32 in the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
2023 Boys Field:
· No. 1 Preston Stout, the 2022 Byron Nelson Junior Champion and 2022 C.T. Pan Junior Champion.
· No. 2 Eric Lee, the 2022 American Junior Golf Association’s (AJGA) boys Player of the Year.
· No. 3 Ethan Fang, who posted top-five finishes at the 2022 K.J. Choi Foundation Texas Junior Championship presented by Mediheal and the 2022 Junior Players Championship.
· No. 4 Ethan Gao, runner-up at the 2022 Jack Burke Jr. Invitational and the 2022 Boy’s Junior PGA Championship.
· No. 5 Nicholas Gross, who has carded eight top-10 junior tournament finishes in 2022.
· No. 6 Jackson Koivun, the 2022 Rolex Tournament of Champions champion.
· No. 7 Carson Kim, with five top-five tournament finishes in 2022.
· No. 8 Jay Leng, winner of the 2022 PING Invitational
· No. 9 Bryan Kim, a 2022 U.S. Amateur participant.
· No. 10 PJ Maybank III, who has notched three wins and eight top-10 finishes in his junior career.
· No. 17 Henry Guan, the 2022 Wyndham Invitational champion.
· Jackson Byrd won the 2021 Matthew NeSmith Junior Championship and has four top-10 junior finishes in his career.
· Albert Hansson, winner of the 2022 R&A Boys Amateur Championship and the 2022 Toyota Junior World Cup.
· Max Herendeen, winner of the 2022 Boys Junior PGA Championship and the 2022 Coachella Amateur.
· Jorge Siyuan Hao ranked 131st in the WAGR rankings and has seven career junior wins.
· Aldrich Potgieter of South Africa, the 2022 winner of the Amateur Championship.
· Aaron Pounds ranked No. 27 by Golfweek/Sagarin and won the 2021 Texas Junior Amateur.
· Dylan Shaw-Radford, who captured the 2022 English Boys’ Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
· Jack Roberts, the 2021 Southern Junior winner and runner-up at the 2022 Dustin Johnson World Junior.
· Harley Smith, who has two junior titles and ten top-10 finishes.
· Frank Kennedy, winner of the 2022 Portuguese Internacional Amateur Championship.
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