The Legends Junior Tour announced today that 10 of its fields during the 2013-14 season were ranked in the top 100 by Golfweek. Out of 300 national tournaments, seven boys and three girls fields were ranked among the toughest in terms of competition. For the boys, the highest ranked strength of field was the 2013 Texas Cup Invitational, which came in at No. 35. On the girl's side, the 2014 Winter Classic was the top-ranked at No. 54.
"When we formed the Texas Junior Golf Alliance, we set out to have the strongest fields possible in LJT events and focus on quality over quantity," said David Prinz, LJT Director of Operations. "The addition of our Priority Entry System this year enhanced that goal."
The list of 2013-14 LJT champions includes Charles Kim of Cedar Park (ranked No. 25 by Golfweek), Chandler Phillips of Huntsville (No. 28), Hailee Cooper of Montgomery (No. 35), Vanessa Ha of Allen (No. 45), Ryan Grider of Lewisville (No. 71), Cooper Dossey of Austin (No. 77) and Braden Bailey of Groves (No. 89).
In total, 29 LJT alumni are currently ranked in the top-100 by Golfweek, including 16 on the boys side.
The strength of Texas players is not only on display at LJT events, but also on the national stage. Since the Tour's inception in 2005, more than 100 former players have won 164 American Junior Golf Association events. In addition, five of the past eight winners of the U.S. Junior Amateur have been LJT alumni: Corey Whitsett in 2007, Jordan Spieth in 2009 and '11, Scottie Scheffler in 2013 and Will Zalatoris this summer. The reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion, Kristen Gillman of Austin, also is a past LJT participant and member of the 2011 Jackie Burke Cup South team.
Spieth, now 21, was the first LJT alumnus to achieve widespread success on the professional level. The three-time winner of the HP Byron Nelson Junior Championship was named the 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on this year's U.S. Ryder Cup team. Carlos Ortiz of Mexico, who finished runner-up to Spieth at the 2009 HP Byron Nelson Junior, recently won his third Web.com title to earn a PGA Tour card for 2015.
"One of our main goals is to prepare kids for play on the national, collegiate and professional level," added Prinz. "We don't want our players to be intimidated when they step up to the 1st tee at an AJGA, USGA or NCAA event so we make our events feel as big as those."