Fifty-four of the world’s best junior golfers will descend upon Sage Valley Golf Club April 22-27 to compete for the “Golden Jacket” in the 9th Junior Invitational, one of the most exclusive and competitive annual junior events.
DANIEL AZALLIONUNITED STATES
Hometown: Hilton Head, S.C., United States // Daniel is an honor student and four-year letterman at Hilton Head Christian Academy, where he is captain of the golf team and a three-time All-State selection (2016, 2017, 2018). He represented the Carolinas team in the Virginias/Carolinas Junior Team Matches in 2017 and 2018, and the South Carolina team in the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Team Matches this past summer. In 2018, he won both the South Carolina Junior Championship and the South Carolina Independent High School Championship. He recently signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Virginia Tech and play golf for the Hokies in fall 2019.
JAKE BEBER-FRANKELUNITED STATES
Hometown: Miami, Fla., United States // Jake finished second at The Junior PLAYERS Championship in 2017. He finished seventh in the 2019 Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship. He was runner-up in the FSGA Boys Junior (ages 13-15) and Junior Players at TPC Sawgrass in 2017. He finished seventh in the 2018 FSGA Boys Junior (ages 16-18). His father, David, has directed several successful studio films, including “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Marley & Me,” while their mother owns a Miami advertising agency. Their grandfather, Max, was the executive editor of the New York Times.
AKSHAY BHATIAUNITED STATES
Hometown: Wake Forest, N.C., United States // Akshay was the 2018 Junior Invitational winner and returns to defend his title in 2019. He was the 2017 Junior PGA Champion, 2017 Joe Chavez Invitational champion and a member of the 2017 U.S. Junior Presidents Cup championship team. He sits atop the 2018 Boys U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team standings and is ranked No. 1 for the Class of 2020 by Golfweek. Excelling on and off the green, Bhatia is also a McConnell Scholarship Recipient.
RICKY CASTILLOUNITED STATES
Hometown: Yorba Linda, Calif., United States // Ricky won the Los Angeles City Junior in 2018, then backed it up with a win at the PING Heather Farr Classic. To date, he has won the Pre-Qualifiers for the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open and PGA Tour Genesis Open. Additionally, he won the Yorba Linda City Championship in March 2019 by 12 shots and is ranked No. 2 in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings. Ricky will join the University of Florida roster in the fall.
KELLY CHINNUNITED STATES
Hometown: Great Falls, Va., United States // Kelly earned medalist honors at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in 2018 and was the No. 1 seed heading into the match play. As a freshman, he won the Virginia Class 6A individual state title and helped Langley High to the state team title. In 2017, at age 13, he became the youngest player to win the Army Navy Country Club championship and repeated his victory the following year. He is currently committed to Duke University.
BRANDON CHOUNITED STATES
Hometown: Suwanee, Ga., United States // In 2017, Brandon, at the age of 15, became the youngest player ever to win the Georgia State Junior Championship. He was runner-up in 2018. He was also the 2017 Georgia State Golf Association Junior Player of the Year. He was the youngest player in the 2017 Georgia Amateur, and finished 10th in a Georgia PGA Open event.
LUKE CLANTONUNITED STATES
Hometown: Miami Lakes, Fla., United States // Luke is the third-youngest player in the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur field. Luke, who is home-schooled, captured two AJGA and four FJT tournament victories in 2018. In 2017, he won the AJGA Junior at Blue Hills and the South Florida Junior Open. He also captured the South Florida PGA Junior and tied a course record with a 7-under 65.
CANON CLAYCOMBUNITED STATES
Hometown: Bowling Green, Ky., United States // Canon was one of five 15-year-olds to compete in the 2017 U.S. Open sectional qualifying. He made the inaugural Junior Presidents Cup team in fall 2017 and shortly after captured his first AJGA Invitational title at the PING Invitational at Karsten Creek. He made the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team in 2018 and was the runner-up at the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Upon graduation in 2020, Canon has committed to attend and play golf for Alabama.
CONNOR CREASYUNITED STATES
Hometown: Abingdon, Va., United States // Connor attends Abingdon High School where he won three individual state titles and led the team to two state championships. Connor earned medalist honors in 40 of 52 events and was recently named a second-team Rolex Junior All-American by the American Junior Golf Association. He competed in the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship at Riviera Country Club and advanced to round 16 at the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club. He signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Georgia Men’s Golf Team for the 2019-2020 season.
LUKE DASHERUNITED STATES
Hometown: Macon, Ga., United States Luke is making his first Junior Invitational appearance after winning the 2018 Georgia State Golf Association’s Georgia Junior Championship. He, along with one of his high school teammates, made history in 2017 as they were the youngest team to finish in the top 10 at the Peach Blossom Invitational Golf Tournament in Macon, Georgia. Luke placed second in the AGJA’s 2017 EZ-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship.
GEORGE DUANGMANEEUNITED STATES
Hometown: Fairfax, Va., United States // George took home first place in the Boys 12-13 Division at the National Finals for the Drive, Chip & Putt competition in 2015. He’s competed in several major AJGA and other junior events, winning the AJGA Hunter Mahan tournament in 2018. He placed fourth at the IMG Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines in 2018. He expects to graduate in 2020 and has verbally committed to the University of Virginia.
NICHOLAS DUNLAPUNITED STATES
Hometown: Greer, S.C., United States // Last year, Nicholas fired a final round 6-under-par to win the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship at the age of 14. He used that momentum and added a top-five finish at the 24th Annual Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational and a 12th place finish at the AJGA Rolex Junior Tournament of Champions in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. In 2016, at the age of 12, he shot an incredible 59 at Highland Park Golf Course during a Birmingham Golf Association Junior Tour event.
CHRISTOPHER FOSDICKUNITED STATES
Hometown: Middlefield, Conn., United States // Christopher lost his mother to a rare liver cancer when he was 11. After her passing, he turned to Lyman Orchards Golf Center and took up the game. His story was featured in a Golf Digest article, “The Game is Helping Raise My Son.” He has been among the top finishers at the CIAC Division I state high school championship and won the inaugural CIAC State Open in 2018. He was chosen as the 2016 New Haven Register Area Player of the Year and was Southern Connecticut Conference Player of the Year in 2017.
Hometown: Stoke Poges, England // Conor won the 92nd Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush in 2018. He is a member of the Stoke Park Club in Buckinghamshire and became the first Englishman to win the Boys Amateur Championship title since Matthew Fitzpatrick in 2012. The 15-year-old has now earned a place in final qualifying for next year's Open Championship and has set his sights on a return to Portrush next year.
AUSTIN GREASERUNITED STATES
Hometown: Vandalia, Ohio, United States // Austin is a two-time, first-team all-Greater Western Ohio Conference selection and finished fifth in the 2017 Division I state tournament. He was also the player of the year in GWOC American North Division. He was one of 16, 16-year-olds to qualify for the 2017 U.S. Open Qualifier. In early 2018, Austin won back-to-back tournaments on the AJGA Tour, including the Justin Thomas Junior Championship. He has committed to continuing his academic and golf career at the University of North Carolina this fall.
JONATHAN GRIZUNITED STATES
Hometown: Hilton Head Island, S.C., United States // Jonathan was the second youngest player in the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur field. He shared medalist honors with a 68, which included six birdies and one double bogey, in qualifying at the Country Club of South Carolina, in Florence, S.C. He was also the 2016 Hurricane Junior Golf Tour player of the year when he won 12 events and the 2017 club champion at Colleton River Plantation, the site of the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur.
Hometown: Okayama, Japan // Ryo individually placed eighth in the 2018 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan where he was the youngest member of his team, which placed fourth overall in the Boys’ Team event. He participated in the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics, representing Japan, and finished T5 behind fellow Junior Invitational competitors Karl Vilips, Akshay Bhatia and Jerry Ji.
J. HOLLAND HUMPHRIESUNITED STATES
Hometown: Austin, Texas, United States // Currently a sophomore at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, J. Holland has already had an impressive competitive career. He placed first in the Texas Junior Golf Tour’s Holiday Classic at Barton Creek with a three-day total of 9-under-par. Last year, he competed in the Boys Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla against several fellow Junior Invitational players and won the AJGA’s Tathata Golf Junior All-Star Championship in Oro Valley, Arizona.
Hometown: Hartland, Wis. // Piercen won the WSGA Junior Boys Championship at Rolling Meadows Golf Course in August 2018. He is a two-time WIAA Division 1 state champion and is one of three individuals who made first-team all-state for the second straight season in 2018. Piercen is a verbal commit to the University of Illinois.
Hometown: Amsterdam, Netherlands // He has been a member of the Dutch National Team since 2010. He was the 2017 Junior Orange Bowl Champion, the Dutch National U21 Champion and the Dutch Amateur Spring Champion. His other achievements in 2018 include first place at the Dutch National Stroke Play, and a tie for second at both the European Amateur Championship and the stroke play qualifying event at the European Team Boys Championship.
BO JINUNITED STATES
Hometown: Encinitas, Calif., United States // Bo fired a tournament-total of 12-under-par (204) to win the 2017 AGJA Junior at RiverWatch. In 2018, he was tied for the lead after the first round of the Junior Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass and finished the event T2 with defending Invitational champion, Akshay Bhatia.
MAX KREIKEMEIERUNITED STATES
Hometown: Chesterfield, Mo., United States // Max is coming off his 2018 summer season in which he captured the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour's Nike Junior Invitational and the Gateway Section Qualifier for the Junior PGA Championship. He won the Gateway Section Junior Tour title at The Legends Country Club and finished second at Crescent Farms, while placing third at the American Junior Golf Association's event at The Legends Country Club. He claimed the Metropolitan Junior Amateur Championship in 2016 and was Gateway Junior Player of the Year in 2015. He will play for the Missouri State Bears this fall.
JONAH LEACHUNITED STATES
Hometown: Windermere, Fla., United States // Jonah finished first at the St. Francisville Area Foundation Junior at The Bluffs and second at the AJGA Junior at Saddlebrook in 2018. He came in fourth at the Jim Bell Memorial Junior presented by PerryGolf in 2018. Last year, at just 15-years-old, he committed to the University of Florida and will join Joe Pagdin and Tyler Wilkes in the Gators’ 2020 class.
Hometown: Newtownabbey, Ireland // Tom won both the 2018 Junior Honda Classic U18 and the 2018 Faldo Major Champions Invitational. He won the Major Champions Invitational in 2018 and finished second in 2019. He is an Official Ambassador to Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and helps raise funds for the organization.
DYLAN MENANTEUNITED STATES
Hometown: Carlsbad, Calif., United States // Dylan was named to the 2018 AJGA Rolex All-American honorable mention team and is currently ranked No. 23 by the AJGA and No. 11 in the class of 2019. He has two AJGA wins and three top 10 finishes at AJGA invitational events. He played in the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship and placed third at the 2017 California State Boys Junior Amateur Championship. He has signed with Pepperdine University to start in the fall of 2019.
CLAY MERCHENTUNITED STATES
Hometown: Noblesville, Ind., United States // Clay won the 2017 AJGA Junior Open and the 2017 Indiana Junior PGA Championship. Clay placed second in the 2017 Indiana Junior Stroke Play Championship and was the only contestant to win all three matches in the 2017 AJGA Jimmy Walker Match Play. He delivered a top 10 finish at The PING Invitational in 2018. He competed in his first U.S. Junior Amateur in 2018.
MAXWELL MOLDOVANUNITED STATES
Hometown: Uniontown, Ohio, United States // Maxwell qualified for the National Drive, Chip & Putt finals at Augusta National in 2015 and since then has had impressive successes on the course. He won an outright Division I state championship as a sophomore in 2017 and then shared the Division I state title as a junior in 2018. Maxwell also set a NOPGA Junior Tours scoring record with his 9-under-par win during the Northern Ohio PGA Boys Junior PGA Section Championship where he qualified for the Boys Junior PGA National Championship last year.
WILLIAM MOLLUNITED STATES
Hometown: Houston, Texas, United States // William is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American and No. 5 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. He has two top-five AJGA Invitational finishes in 2018 and finished in the top 10 at the 2018 Boys Junior PGA Championship. The high school senior was also a member of the 2018 Wyndham Cup West Team with a 2-2-0 record. He is a verbal commit to Vanderbilt University and won the 2017 Jones Cup Junior Invitational.
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev., United States — representing Japan // Yuki took first place at the FCG International Junior Championship and fourth at the PING Heather Farr Classic. He also captured the Golf Digest Japan Junior Classic and the Optimist International Junior Championship in 2018. Yuki competed in the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship after winning the medalist award at the qualifier in Salisbury, North Carolina. Born in Japan, Yuki has committed to attend and play for the University of Oregon in 2020.
WILLIAM MOUWUNITED STATES
Hometown: Chino, Calif., United States // William was a member of the winning United States Junior Presidents Cup team in 2017. He won the 2017 Western Junior Championship and the 2015 IMG Academy Junior World Championships. William finished second in the 2018 AGJA PING Heather Farr Classic and ninth at the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship. He will be attending Pepperdine University in 2019.
GAVIN NOBLEUNITED STATES
Hometown: Ringgold, Ga., United States // Gavin has played well in a number of junior golf majors and big events in 2018 including the AJGA's Polo Junior Classic, the Junior PLAYERS Championship, the PING Invitational and the Rolex Tournaments Champions. A winner of 11 world and international tournaments during his junior career, including the 2016 AJGA Windham All-Star Champions event, he most recently finished as the runner-up in both the 2018 Southern Junior AM and the 2018 AJGA Vaughn Taylor events. Gavin was featured at No. 6 on ESPN's Top Plays of the Week when he was just two years old. He signed with Coastal Carolina for the 2019 season.
Hometown: Orlando, Fla., United States — representing England // Joseph has an impressive list of championships and top 10 finishes dating all the way back to 2014 when he was just 13 years old. His most recent highlights include finishing third in the 2018 Boys Amateur Championship and fourth in both the 2018 AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods and 2018 Rolex Tournament of Champions. He finished T2 at both the 2017 and 2018 Azalea Invitational. Now 17, Joseph became the youngest recruit to the University of Florida program at 13 years old.
JEEWON PARKSOUTH KOREA
Hometown: Lake Mary, Fla., United States — representing Korea // Jeewon played his way on to the East Team of the AJGA Wyndham Cup with top finishes at the Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T and the Sergio and Angela Garcia Foundation Junior Championship. He is currently No. 13 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Currently, he is verbally committed to play at Arizona State University.
COLE PONICHUNITED STATES
Hometown: Farmington, Utah, United States // Cole’s 2017 victories include Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational, the FCG Las Vegas Championship and the AJGA Preview at La Purisma. In 2018, he finished second at the Rolex Tournament of Champions. He was a Rolex All-American and placed second in the Junior North and South Amateur in 2017. He plans to play for Brigham Young University in 2019.
LUKE POTTERUNITED STATES
Hometown: Encinitas, Calif., United States // Luke qualified for the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur in 2018 through the Southern California Golf Association’s event and also played for Team USA in the 2018 Evian Championship Junior Cup where he finished with a final score of 10-under-par. He was named to the 2018 Rolex Junior All-America Boys Second Team and earned first place at the AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee.
Appearances in the Junior Invitational: First (2019) // David has been part of the Spanish junior national squads since the age of 14, and is currently a part of the Catalan Golf Federation’s high performance Eagle program. In addition to being part of Team Europe in the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup, he has a variety of National Championships under his belt, including U12 and U14 titles and a runner-up U16 finish. David won the Spanish U18 Stroke Play Championship and competed for the Continent of Europe and the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
JACKSON RIVERAUNITED STATES
Hometown: Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., United States // Jackson knew where he wanted to go to college before he knew which high school he’d be attending. As a freshman last year, he verbally committed to USC. In 2017, he won the AJGA KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational and the Golfweek West Coast Junior Invitational. He participated in the 2018 Wyndham Cup, Boys Junior PGA Championship and represented the United States at the biennial in The Junior Open Championship on the Eden Course at St. Andrews.
Hometown: Rome, Italy // Andrea started the year off right with a win at the 2019 Junior Orange Bowl this past January. The five-time Italian U18 champion is coming off of a solid 2018 season, placing eighth at the Portuguese Amateur Championship and winning the Italian Amateur Championship. Andrea also took home a victory at the 2018 French International Boys Championship and competed in the Youth Olympic Games representing Italy.
GORDON SARGENTUNITED STATES
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala., United States // Gordon is a two-time AJGA Champion, was co-medalist at the AHSAA 7A-State High School Championship and finished seventh at the 2018 Future Masters. Gordon also qualified for the 2018 Junior PGA Championship and has multiple AJGA and SJGT top 10 finishes. Last year, he co-created the Alabama Cup hosted at Shoal Creek to benefit Children’s Harbor and the American Cancer Society Alabama Chapter. He has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University when he graduates in 2021.
Hometown: Cologne, Germany // Last summer, Laurenz put on an outstanding performance to win the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters by 10 strokes. Later that year, he had another victory at the German National Boys Championship and participated in the European Boys’ Team Championship, Jean-Louis Dupont Trophy. He is currently ranked No. 1 in the German Junior Golf Ranking.
Hometown: Victoria, B.C., Canada // At the age of 15, Jeevan joined the Canadian men’s golf team as the youngest member in 2019. He earned his spot after top five finishes at the Glencoe Invitational, AJGA Las Vegas Junior and Future Links, driven by Acura Pacific Championship. In 2017, Jeevan captured titles at the Future Links, driven by Acura Pacific Championship and B.C. Juvenile Boys. He also participated in the 2018 Boys Junior PGA Championship and placed second at the Kyle Stanley Championship.
BRIAN STARKUNITED STATES
Hometown: Kingsburg, Calif., United States // As a freshman in 2016, Brian shot an impressive 12-under-par 60 during one of his high school golf tournaments. He has seen great success with victories at the 2017 Northern California Junior Championship and the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior. Last year, he was chosen to play in the Challenge Cup in Monterey and tied for 15th in the AJGA’s Simplify Invitational. Upon graduation this spring, he will attend and compete for Oklahoma State University.
PRESTON SUMMERHAYSUNITED STATES
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz., United States // Last year, at the age of 15, Preston became the youngest winner of the Utah State Amateur. He followed up the victory by qualifying for the U.S. Amateur with scores of 65 and 60 at the qualifying event. His 60 broke the course record at Soldier Hollow Golf Course and came just one week before his 16th birthday. In addition to these amazing achievements, Preston also took home third at the IMG Academy Junior World Championships and fifth at the Aaron Baddeley International Junior Championship.
MICHAEL THORBJORNSENUNITED STATES
Hometown: Wellesley, Mass., United States // Michael’s had a number of junior tournament wins, including The PING Invitational and the U.S. Junior Amateur Invitational in 2018. In 2017, he came in fifth at the Massachusetts Open Championship and finished T5 at Rolex Tournament of Champions. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA rankings and is a verbal commit to Stanford University.
Hometown: Canberra, Australia // Adam won the 2018 IMG Academy Junior World Championships. He came in third at the South Australian Junior Masters and the South Australian Junior Amateur Championship in 2018. He finished second in the 2017 Jack Newton International Junior Classic and the NSW Junior State Championship.
BRENDAN VALDESUNITED STATES
Hometown: Orlando, Fla., United States // In 2018 Brendan won the Florida Junior Tour at Fairwinds G.C. and the Florida Junior Tour Championship in the boys 16-18 field. He came in seventh at the 2018 AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions and second at the 2018 AJGA Jr. All-Star Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee. The 2021 graduate has committed to Auburn University.
JACKSON VAN PARISUNITED STATES
Hometown: Pinehurst, N.C., United States // Jackson played in the Rolex Junior All American in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, he won the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship. He played a round of 32 in 2018 US Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach as 14-year-old, the youngest to win match in US Am since Bobby Jones in 1916. He has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University.
TRAVIS VICKUNITED STATES
Hometown: Houston, Texas, United States // Travis won the 2018 AJGA Junior PLAYERS Championship. In addition to golf, he was a TAPPS Division II honorable mention all-state linebacker and all-district quarterback and a pitcher/third baseman on the baseball squad. Vick is a family friend of Hal Sutton, the 1983 PGA champion who competed in 18 U.S. Opens and won the 1980 U.S. Amateur. He is committed to attend and play at the University of Texas.
Hometown: Perth, Australia // Karl compete in his first U.S. Junior Amateur in 2018 after playing in two U.S. Amateurs (2016, 2017). He won the Wyndham Invitational by six strokes when he equaled the course record with a third-round 62. In 2017, he captured the Southern Amateur title and matched Bob Jones (1917) as the youngest champion in tournament history. Upon graduation in 2020, he has committed to represent Stanford University.
TYLER WILKESUNITED STATES
Hometown: Tampa, Fla., United States // Tyler became the Foley Performance AJGA Champion in 2019. In 2018 he won the Jim Bell Memorial Junior. He finished first in the 2017 and 2018 Florida Boys Junior Championship. He has committed to play at the University of Florida upon graduation in 2020.
ANDI XUUNITED STATES
Hometown: San Diego, Calif., United States // Andi finished ninth at The Junior PLAYERS Championship in 2018. He came in fifth place at the 2018 IMG Academy Junior World Championships.
ALEXANDER YANGUNITED STATES
Hometown: Carlsbad, Calif., United States // In 2018 Alexander came in first at the AJGA Junior at Yolo Fliers and T2 at the PING Invitational. He finished third at the 2018 Junior PGA Championship. He finished T5 at the 2017 TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook.
Hometown: Orlando, Fla., United States — representing China // Sampson won the AJGA Junior at The Seagate in 2017 and the AJGA Daniel Berger Championship in 2018. He came in fifth at the Orlando International Amateur Championship in 2018. He finished second at the 93rd New Year’s invitational Amateur in 2019.
JIMMY ZHENGNEW ZEALAND
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand // Jimmy is the 2018 Ryan Moore AJGA Junior Champion and the 2018 New Zealand South Island Under 19 Champion. He came in fifth at the IMG Academy Junior Championship in 2018. He was nominated Auckland Young Sportsperson of the Year in 2017.