GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (Updated March 7, 2022) – Sixty of the world’s best junior golfers are set to take on one of the South’s most beautiful and challenging courses at the 11th Junior Invitational, held March 17-19 at Sage Valley Golf Club. This year’s event marks the highly anticipated addition of the girls competition and one of the most accomplished boys fields in the history of the event.
With the help of LPGA Tour stars Lexi Thompson and Lorie Kane, the SVJI Sports Foundation announced in 2020 that the tournament would include a girls competition moving forward. Due to the cancellation of the 2021 event, the 2022 girls field is now the first in the event’s history.
It is comprised of 24 of the world’s top players, including eight of the top 10 girls per Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings: No. 1 Alexa Pano, who became the youngest player to compete in the inaugural 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur at 14 years old; No. 3 Bailey Shoemaker, who won both the 2021 Sung Hyun Park Junior Championship and 2021 Kathy Whitworth Invitational; No. 4 Kaitlyn Schroeder, a 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior Quarterfinalist; No. 5 Jacqueline Putrino, the 2021 Dustin Johnson World Junior Champion; as well as No. 6 and 2021 Girls Junior PGA Champion Anna Davis. Gianna Clemente (No. 15) is the youngest player in the event at 13 years old.
“It’s a significant year for the Junior Invitational with the debut of the girls competition, and we’re excited to return with such a strong field across the board,” said Pete Davis, chairman of the SVJI Sports Foundation. “We’re looking forward to seeing these accomplished junior golfers vie for the prestigious golden jacket.”
The 36-player boys field is equally dotted with top contenders who are both alumni and newcomers to the tournament. Nine of the top 10 boys per Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings will compete in the event, including 2021 PING Invitational Champion and No. 1 Ben James (2020); 2021 Boys Junior PGA Champion and No. 2 Caleb Surratt; 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Semifinalist and No. 4 Luke Clanton (2019-2020); and No. 5 Jonathan Griz (2019-2020), the 2020 South Carolina Amateur Champion and North and South Junior Amateur Champion. Luke Poulter, son of Ian Poulter, as well as Daniel Choi, son of K.J. Choi, will both compete in the event for the first time.
The competitors will play practice rounds on March 15-16, with the official opening ceremony taking place on March 15. Tournament play begins on Thursday, March 17. Competitors will tee off daily at 9 a.m., with the closing ceremony and crowning of the 2022 champions scheduled for approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. The 2022 Junior Invitational will be conducted with patrons, and tickets for daily tournament rounds will be available at the gate.
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 its inception in 2015, the SVJI Sports Foundation has donated more than $2 million to these local chapters of The First Tee.
Recognized by Golfweek as the #1 junior event in golf, the Junior Invitational welcomes the very best golfers from around the world to Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, South Carolina. Founded in 2011, it 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: Justin Thomas, Colin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Joaquin Niemann, Scottie Scheffler, Matthew Wolff, Akshay Bhatia and more. For more information, visit JuniorInvitational.com.
Sage Valley Golf Club, 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.