Junior Invitational Announces 2017 Field

GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (March 7, 2017) – The Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club has announced the field for its seventh annual tournament to be held April 20-22 at Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, SC. Recognized as the most competitive junior golf event in the world, the 2017 Junior Invitational will host 54 of the world’s top junior golfers from 14 states in the United States and 17 other countries.

Leading the 2017 field is defending Junior Invitational champion Austin Eckroat of Edmond, OK, along with second-place finisher Min Woo Lee of Australia. Georgia junior champion Justin Kim of Rome, GA and South Carolina junior champion Trent Phillips of Inman, SC will be on hand, as well as Paul Chaplet of Costa Rica who played in the 2016 Masters at the age of 16.

Players in the 2017 Junior Invitational hail from 14 states in the United States and the countries of Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, South Africa, South Korea, Spain and Sweden. The 2017 field includes top finishers in the USGA Junior Amateur, the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, the Latin American Amateur Championship, along with members of both the US and European Junior Ryder Cup Teams. There are 25 returning players in 2017, with Won Jun Lee of South Korea setting a record by playing in his 5th and final tournament.

"The Junior Invitational is the most competitive junior golf event in the world, and the place to see tomorrow’s collegiate stars and PGA tour professionals," said Tom Wyatt, tournament chairman and president of Sage Valley Golf Club. "Junior Invitational players have gone on to notable amateur and collegiate careers, with several finding tremendous success on the PGA Tour including Emiliano Grillo and Justin Thomas."

To achieve the highest level of play, the Junior Invitational adheres to stringent invitation guidelines to ensure that the field features the game’s top 54 junior players. Beginning with the 2017 competition, the tournament adjusted its definition of "junior" to reflect similar changes made by the AJGA and USGA. That adjustment means that players who have not reached their 19th birthday as of January 1 of the competition year are now eligible for invitation to the event. Players who have enrolled in a college or university are no longer eligible regardless of age.

The following players comprise the 2017 field for the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley:
Alejandro Aguilera, Spain
John Axelsen, Denmark
Garrett Barber, Stuart, FL
Jacob Bergeron, Slidell, LA
Ricky Castillo, Yorba Linda, CA
Edgar Catherine, France
Paul Chaplet, Costa Rica
Austin Eckroat, Edmund, OK
Wilson Furr, Jackson, MS
Ryan Gerard, Raleigh, NC
Brandon Gillis, Nashua, NH
Noah Goodwin, Corinth, TX
Jonathan Goth-Rasmussen, Denmark
Cole Hammer, Houston, TX
Falk Hanisch, Germany
Garrick Higgo, South Africa
Eugene Hong, Sanford, FL
Matias Honkala, Finland
Cameron John, Australia
Justin Kim, Rome, GA
Eddy Lai, San Jose, CA
Won Jun Lee, South Korea
Fred Lee, Australia
Min Woo Lee, Australia
Walker Lee, Houston, TX
Kaiwen Liu, China
Nicholas Lyerly, Salisbury, NC
Brandon Mancheno, Jacksonville, FL
Sean Maruyama, Japan
Thomas Mulligan, Ireland
Joaquin Niemann, Chile
Mason Nome, Houston, TX
Noah Norton, Chico, CA
Kaito Onishi, Japan
John Pak, Scotch Plains, NJ
Jeewon Kim, South Korea
Adrien Pendaries, France
Trent Phillips, Inman, SC
Reese Ramsey, Austin, TX
Kristoffer Reitan, Norway
Charlie Reiter, Palm Desert, CA
Max Schmitt, Germany
David Shore, Knoxville, TN
Marcus Svensson, Sweden
Rayhan Thomas, India
Jack Trent, Australia
Kyle Vance, Audubon, PA
Khavish Varadan, Malaysia
Travis Vick, Houston, TX
Karl Vilips, Australia
Patrick Welch, Providence, RI
Trey Winstead, Baton Rouge, LA
Matthew Wolff, Agoura Hills, CA
Wo-Cheng Ye, China

For more information, visit or follow the Junior Invitational on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club

Since 2011, the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club has been recognized as the most competitive junior golf event in the world. The game’s top 54 players are invited to participate in a professionally styled event, where they have the opportunity to meet sponsors and NCAA coaches, while playing one of the country’s most exciting courses. The generous support of these benefactors allows players to attend at no personal cost for travel or accommodations, while raising nearly $1.5 million for the First Tee chapters in Aiken and Augusta in the first six years. Tournament organizers are looking forward to supporting additional children's charities that provide programs focused on asset building and life skills enrichment. The 2017 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club will be held April 20 – 22. For more information, visit