This week, the PGA Junior Series supported by Genesis Networks arrives at ArborLinks, an Arnold Palmer par-72 design. The course has played host to multiple tournaments, including a PGA Tour Q-School Pre-Qualifier, a U.S. Open Qualifier, a U.S. Amateur Qualifier, and the Nebraska Match Play Championships.
Approximately 130 players from 14 states and Canada will be competing at the 54-hole event, which begins tomorrow. The field is comprised of four divisions: a boys’ and girls’ 13-15 year-old division and a boys’ and girls’ 16-18 year-old division.
The boys’ 16-18 and overall girls’ division winner will each earn an exemption into the 37th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Heritage Food Service Group, staged Aug. 2-5, Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind. Each event is nationally ranked in the Golfweek/Titleist Performance Index and Junior Golf Scoreboard.
In the field is Carson Schaake of Omaha, Neb., who is coming off a win at the Nebraska Class A State Championship last month. Other notables in the boys’ 16-18 division include Rylee Reinertson of Gibbon, Neb. who finished tied for third in last year’s event at ArborLinks and Mitchell Klooz of Laurel, Neb. who finished sixth.
Notable players in the field this year also include Garrett Loomis of River Falls, Wis., who won the boy’s 13-15 division in 2011 at ArborLinks.
Nine of the top ten finishers in the boys’ 13-15 division from last year’s event will also be present and include Garrett Morehead of Bellevue, Neb., who finished second, and Jeffrey Paschal of Papillion, Neb., who finished third.
Seven of the top eight players from last year’s girls’ 13-15 division are returning, including defending champion Sarah Jo Pravecek of Omaha, Neb.
In the girls’ 16-18 division, Jordan Chael of Overland Park, Kan. who finished fourth in this event last year is also in the field.
Cha Cha Willhoite of Palm Desert, Calif., the 2011 California Girls State Runner-Up and ranked in the top-100 by Golfweek, will be looking to make a strong showing.
Jeff Porter, the PGA head professional at ArborLinks, has been hosting the PGA Junior Series since 2009. Jeff touted the links style course as an excellent venue for tournament golf.
“It will hold itself very well against a very good set of contestants,” said Porter. “The wind in Nebraska this time of year blows. It will make for a really good test of golf.”
About the PGA Junior Series
The PGA Junior Series is one of the premier junior circuit's in the country hosting tournaments across the country for the entire summer. It features excellent junior golfers at top golf facilities every week.
The mission of the PGA Junior Series is to promote the enjoyment of golf by junior golfers through affordable and competitive playing opportunities in professionally supervised events organized by the PGA of America and supported by PGA Professionals. Now in its 17th year, the PGA Junior Series has conducted over 163 events in 41 states.