The second annual Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship is poised to tee off with an elite field and a near-perfect weather forecast at TPC Myrtle Beach, one of America’s premier courses.
The game's next generation of stars will be competing Feb. 24-26 at TPC Myrtle Beach, which was the home course of Johnson, the event's host and No. 1 ranked golfer in the world.
The tournament will feature a 104-player field - 72 boys and 32 girls – with golfers from 19 states and five countries participating in the 54-hole, college style event. After a practice round Thursday, tournament play begins Friday.
Eight of the top 10 junior boys and 11 of the top 12 junior girls in South Carolina have committed to play in the tournament. Twenty participants have signed National Letters of Intent to play collegiate golf this fall.
The field is headlined by Trevor Phillips, the No. 1 junior in South Carolina and the 24th ranked player in the AJGA Polo rankings. JonErik Alford, an Ohio State signee, is among the other high profile participants.
On the girls side, Latanna Stone, who is No. 92 in Golfweek's junior rankings, leads the way.
There will be a strong contingent of local players led by a pair of Murrells Inlet residents. Patrick Golden, the fifth-ranked player in South Carolina and a College of Charleston signee, could contend on the boys side, while Smith Knaffle, class of '19 and reigning 4A individual state champion, leads the local girls.
Temperatures are forecast to be in the mid to upper 70s over the weekend, meaning golfers will get to enjoy the sunshine that helps make Myrtle Beach a popular year-round destination.
“Dustin's goal when we launched this tournament was to make it one of the premier events on the junior golf calendar,” said Allen Terrell, Director of Coaching/Managing Partner of the Dustin Johnson Golf School. “We've taken another big step toward that goal this year, enhancing the quality of the field, and we will again deliver on the experiential side as well. Dustin is thrilled with where the tournament is in Year 2, and we are as well.”
Among the countries that will be represented are Canadian, Sweden, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
A significant part of the event’s appeal is TPC Myrtle Beach, one of the best Myrtle Beach golf courses. TPC Myrtle Beach has hosted the Senior PGA Tour Championship and been ranked among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest, making it an ideal venue to test golf’s rising young stars.
With the support of Johnson, who secured the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings with his win at Riviera Country Club on Sunday, the tournament will provide participants a PGA Tour-like experience, and the chance to challenge themselves against their peers from others parts of America and the world.
The Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship is being sponsored by Founders Group International, the Dustin Johnson Golf School, and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.
Johnson’s involvement with the tournament reflects his long-time commitment to junior golf, particularly in South Carolina, where he grew into one of the world’s best players. Through the Dustin Johnson Foundation, which is headquartered in Myrtle Beach, Johnson has donated more than $250,000 to junior golf, sponsoring numerous events throughout the state and helping cover entry costs for kids who need financial assistance.