GREENSBORO, N.C. - Many of the best junior golfers in the world are set to play in the 11th annual AJGA FJ Invitational beginning Monday, June 11, 2012 at The Cardinal Golf & Country Club.
This year's tournament boasts one of the strongest fields in tournament history with the top eight of the top-10 players in the country including the top four according to the most recent AJGA Polo Golf Rankings.
In addition, the field features 15 of the top-25 players and 26 of the top-50 in the nation. The field also includes 10 of the top-16 golfers in the May 31 Golfweek Junior Boys rankings including five of the top eight and the top two junior golfers in the country. Following are pre-tournament notes on the 84-player field for the 2012 FJ Invitational.
¦ No. 1 Junior in the Country Playing: Shun Yat Hak of China and Lake Mary, Fla., the No. 1 player in both the AJGA Polo Golf Rankings and the Golfweek Junior Rankings, will play the FJ Invitational. In the 2008 Hong Kong Open, he broke Sergio Garcia's record for the youngest player to make a European Tour cut and tied for 46th.
¦ Winner Plays the Wyndham: Since the 2008 FJ Invitational, Wyndham Championship tournament director Mark Brazil has offered a Wyndham Championship sponsor's exemption to the FJ Invitational winner. Last year, FJ Invitational winner Billy Kennerly shot rounds of 70 and 71 in the Wyndham to miss the cut by four strokes.
2009 FJ winner Justin Thomas fired a five-under-par 65 in the first round and a two-over-par 72 in the second round at the 2009 Wyndham to become the third youngest player in PGA TOUR history to make a cut. Thomas shot a one-over-par 71 in the third round and did not advance into the final round finishing tied for 78th. The AJGA will conduct 95 events in 2012, and the FJ Invitational is one of just two tournaments at which a PGA TOUR exemption goes to the winner.
Previous FJ winners and their Wyndham results are below:
? 2008: Cameron Peck, 71-71, missed cut by five strokes
? 2009: Justin Thomas, 65-72-71, made cut but missed Saturday cut finishing T-78
? 2010: Tanner Kesterson, 72-74, missed cut by nine strokes
? 2011: Billy Kennerly, 70-71, missed cut by four strokes
¦ Top North Carolina Juniors will play: In previous years, North Carolina junior golfers ranked among the top 25 of the May Carolinas Golf Association rankings received an invitation to participate in the FJ Invitational qualifying tournament held the weekend prior to the tournament.
The top-two finishers from that event joined the FJ Invitational field. Due to conflicts with high school graduation and other end-of-school events, many of the top 25 were unable to play in the qualifier. This year, the qualifier has been replaced with the following guaranteed exemptions into the FJ Invitational: The top-three golfers in the May CGA rankings, the winner of the NC Junior and the winner of the Carolinas Junior; all five are confirmed for the 2012 FJ Invitational and listed below.
The year of high school graduation follows the name; CGA junior boy's rankings are in parentheses:
? Benjamin Griffin, 2014, Chapel Hill (1) ? Miller Capps, 2012, Denver (2)
? Tanner Owen, 2014, High Point (3) ? Stanhope Johnson, 2012, Greensboro (4)
? Will Long, 2013, Gastonia (6) ? Grayson Murray, 2012, Raleigh (27)
? Chad Cox, 2012, Charlotte (23) ? Thomas Walsh, 2015, High Point (42)
Note: Grayson Murray, Chad Cox and Thomas Walsh qualified for the tournament on their own but are listed here with the other North Carolina players.
¦ Future ACC Players in the field: Nearly one sixth of the golfers in the FJ Invitational field have made commitments to play their college golf in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 13 players are listed below with their year of high school graduation and their school. Those with a (v) have only made verbal commitments.
? Anthony Alex, 2013, Florida State (v) ? Chad Cox, 2012, NC State
? Benjamin Griffin, 2014 North Carolina (v) ? Shun Yat Hak, 2012, Georgia Tech
? Stanhope Johnson, 2012, NC State ? Kyle Kochevar, 2012, Virginia
? Jake McBride, 2013, NC State (v) ? Grayson Murray, 2012, Wake Forest
? Tanner Owen, 2014, Wake Forest ? Michael Pisciotta, 2014, Georgia Tech (v)
? Cody Proveaux, 2012, Clemson ? Clancy Waugh, 2013, Wake Forest (v)
? Motin Yeung, 2012, Duke University
¦ FJ Invitational Tournament Schedule:
? Monday: Morning practice rounds; Junior-Am Tournament at 1:30
? Tuesday: First-round tee times 7 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
? Wednesday: Second-round tee times 7 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
? Thursday: Third-round tee times 7 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
? Friday: Final-round tee times 7 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Awards Ceremony following play.