As more big national junior tourneys canceled, former 2020 U.S. Girls’ Junior host Eisenhower GC steps up as site for another JGAC major; Legacy Ridge, Walnut Creek reopening after being closed almost 2 months
By Gary Baines – 5/8/2020
It’s been a particularly tough stretch — from a tournament cancellation standpoint — for top junior golfers in Colorado and elsewhere.
Many of the most prestigious junior events on the international, national and regional level have been nixed for 2020 due to concerns related to the coronavirus.
The latest on the big-time cancellation front came this week as the PGA of America announced that the 2020 national Boys and Girls Junior PGA Championships won’t be held. Both tournaments were planned for Port St. Lucie, Fla., with the boys tourney set for July 13-16 and the girls July 28-31.
It should be noted that those cancellations won’t affect the Colorado Junior PGA Championship, which is still set for June 15-17 at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
Last year, four Coloradans — Charlotte Hillary, Lauren Lehigh, Marie Jordaan and Hailey Schalk — competed in the national Girls Junior PGA. Two Colorado golfers — Dillon Stewart and TJ Shehee — played in the national Boys Junior PGA.
The list of canceled 2020 international/national/regional junior tournaments now includes:
— The U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, which was to be played in Colorado, at the Air Force Academy
— The U.S. Junior Amateur in Minnesota
— The IMG Academy Junior World Championships in California
— The Optimist International Junior Golf Championship in Florida
— The Girls Junior Americas Cup in Idaho
— The national Boys Junior PGA Championship in Florida
— The national Girls Junior PGA Championship in Florida
(Updated May 12) — Western Junior in Illinois
— Women’s Western Junior in Illinois
In addition, the three 2020 girls Colorado state high school tournaments, set for May 18-19, were also canceled. And the two Colorado-based AJGA events — the AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior and the AJGA Aspen Junior All-Star — have been postponed and their status remains up in the air. The AJGA next plans to announce an update regarding its 2020 schedule on May 20.
Some big national/regional junior tournaments remain on the schedule, at least for the time being, including the boys Junior America’s Cup, set for late July in Genoa, Nev.
One local positive that could come out of the national and regional cancellations may be further bolstering the fields of Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado tournaments. On Friday, the JGAC announced that its third major of the season, the Colorado Junior Match Play, will be conducted July 28-30 at Eisenhower Golf Club, which was to have been the site for the 2020 U.S. Girls’ Junior. The Blue Course there has hosted a JGAC major each year since the Alliance’s first season of 2016. Since then, three Colorado Junior PGAs and one Colorado Junior Amateur have been held at Eisenhower.
The first two 2020 JGAC majors, which were previously divulged, were the Colorado Junior PGA (June 15-17 at CC of Colorado) and the Colorado Junior Amateur (July 6-8 at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora). The fourth major, the JGAC Tour Championship, is set for Oct. 10-11, though the site hasn’t been finalized.
Before the national cancellations, the Colorado Junior Amateur would have been held opposite of the IMG Junior Worlds, and the Colorado Junior Match Play would have been conducted at the same time as the national Girls Junior PGA.
In other Colorado golf-related coronavirus developments:
— The City of Westminster announced this week that its two golf course — Legacy Ridge and Walnut Creek Golf Preserve — will re-open on Saturday (May 9), with many of the same restrictions in place as other golf facilities. Both courses will have been closed just shy of two months.