About the Tournament: The Northern Junior Championship presented by The Golf Peformance Center is a nationally ranked junior golf tournament that was created in order to provide the highest level of competition for top junior players. The 36-hole stroke play event will be contested over two days at Great River Golf Club in Milford, Connecticut and is open to amateur boys and girls under the age of 19 who have not entered their first year of college. Our goal is to provide the same first class championship experience and red-carpet treatment offered at the top level junior and amateur events around the country and around the world.
About the Course: Designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio, Great River Golf Club opened for play in 2001. Set along the scenic Housatonic River, the course features a mix of parkland and links style holes paired with a challenging set of green complexes that will surely test the elite field of junior competitors. The course is owned by Sacred Heart University, who purchased the property in 2015 and which is home to both the Men’s and Women’s Division I golf teams.
Eligibility: The Northern Junior is open to amateur Boys and Girls who have not reached their 19th birthday before August 8th, 2018, and who have not fully enrolled in their first year of college.
Format: All players will play 18-holes of stroke play on Tuesday, August 7th and Wednesday, August 8th at Great River Golf Club in Milford, Conn. Tee times will run from 7:00 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. both days, and the low 36-hole competitor in the Boys and Girls Championship will be declared the respective Champion. There will be an awards ceremony and trophy presentation following the conclusion of play on Wednesday at approximately 6:00pm.
Who’s Here: The field of 120 players consists of 78 Boys Competitors and 42 Girls Competitors. The average age of the field is 16.3 years of age.
Widely Represented: 21 states, provinces and countries are being represented this week. By country, they are: Canada (Ontario), China (Beijing), Germany (Munich), Hong Kong, Philippines, and United States (Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont). Connecticut has the most players of any state, with a total of 34 players seeking to capture the Northern Junior title in their home state.
Breakdown by Graduation Year: Of the 123 competitors, below is the breakdown by high school graduation year:
– 2017 – 1 player
– 2018 – 19 players
– 2019 – 53 players
– 2020 – 23 players
– 2021 – 15 players
– 2022 – 8 players
– 2023 – 3 players
What's at Stake: In addition to national exposure to college coaches across the country, both the Boys and Girls Champion will receive numerous tournament invitations and exemptions. The Boys Champion will receive invites to the International Junior Masters (Aurora, NY), Bobby Chapman Invitational (Spartanburg, SC), Liberty National Junior Invitational (Jersey City, N.J.), North and South Junior (Pinehurst, NC) and Northern Amateur (Chesterton, Ind.).
The Girls Champion will receive invitations to the Liberty National Junior Invitational (Jersey City, N.J.) and North and South Junior (Pinehurst, NC). The Boys Runner-Up will also receive invite to the Bobby Chapman Invitational, International Junior Masters and Liberty National Junior Invitational, and the Girls Runner-Up will receive an invite to the Liberty National Junior Invitational. Top finishers in the Boys and Girls Championship will also receive AJGA performance stars.
Past Champions: In the seventeen year history of the Northern Junior, only one person has successfully defended their title – Ryan Lee of Berlin, Conn. (2007-08). That streak won’t come to an end this year, as 2017 champions Mark Turner and Madeline Jin were unable to defend their respective titles this year.
The top two ranked Boys and Girls from Connecticut are in the field this week, and are looking to become the first player since Evan Grenus (2013) to win the Northern Junior in their home state. They are (in order of ranking):
– Maisie Filler, Bloomfield, Conn. (2020)
– Sarah Houle, Sandy Hook, Conn. (2018)
– Benjamin James, Milford, Conn. (2021)
– Christopher Fosdick, Middlefield, Conn. (2019)
Kyra Cox of South Salem, New York is the highest ranked Girl competitor in the field (ranked #89 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings). Cox is coming off a remarkable year in 2017, where she captured the Northeast Junior Classic at Bethpage State Park and finished second in the AJGA Golf Performance Center Junior Championship. The Northern Junior will mark one of her last tournaments as a junior golfer, as she heads to Furman University to compete on their Division I golf team.
Benjamin James of Milford, Conn. is the highest ranked Boy competitor in the field (ranked #82 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings). Despite only being 15 years of age, it’s hard not to pick James as the hometown favorite to win his first Northern Junior title. He finished fifth in last year’s Northern Junior, advanced to the Round of 32 at this year’s U.S. Junior Amateur, and is also a member of Great River Golf Club where he has won multiple Men’s Club Championships.
Maisie Filler of Bloomfield, Conn. enters the Northern Junior as the highest ranked girl in Connecticut and is hoping to follow in her big sister’s footsteps. Her sister, Nathalie, won the Girls Championship in 2011 with the lowest 36-hole total in Girls Championship history (141).
Carson Bacha of York, Penn. is having quite the summer, having won the Pennsylvania Junior Boys Championship and AJGA Junior All Star presented by Explore York earlier this summer. Bacha finished 22nd in his first appearance in the Northern Junior Championship in 2017.
Rylie Heflin of Avondale, Penn. shot rounds of 72-72—144 in last year’s Northern Junior to finish runner-up. Since then, she finished 10th in the prestigious Joe Cheves Junior Invitational, 2nd in the Pennsylvania Junior Girls Championship, and seventh in the AJGA Junior All-Star at Cooks Creek.
Bailey Davis of White Plains, Md. and Sarah Houle of Sandy Hook, Conn. both captured the Junior PGA Championship in their respective sections this year, which earned them a ticket to the Girls Junior PGA Championship at Kearney Hill Golf Links. Malini Rudra of Syosset, N.Y. also competed in the event, having qualified by finishing second in the Metropolitan Junior PGA Championship.
Christopher Fosdick won the 2018 Connecticut Junior PGA Championship, shooting rounds of 71-65—136 for a three stroke victory at The Course at Yale. His victory earned him a spot in the Junior PGA Championship field at Valhalla Golf Club, where he made the cut and finished tied for 17th place.
Max Wang of Brampton, Ontario (Canada) has been knocking on the door at the past two AJGA events, finishing second and tenth place with a chance to win at both. He will be making his first Northern Junior appearance.
Grace Clark of Frankfort, Ky. is hoping to cap off a stellar season, having just captured the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour Player of the Year and the Musselman-Kirchdorfer Series Player of the Year titles.
Longest Commute – Mariel Isabella Tee has the longest journey of any competitor field – an estimated 8,586 miles as the crow flies from her home town of Pasig City in the Philippines. Tee has accumulated four victories in the past year on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, and finished runner-up earlier this summer at the AJGA Killington Junior Golf Championship.
In addition to those players who gained entry by virtue of previous accomplishments, a total of 13 boys and 6 girls gained entry into the championship through two qualifying sites:
At Simsbury Farms GC, Luke Carroll (West Hartford, Conn.) was the medalist for the Boys Championship and Emma Lee (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), was the medalist for the Girls Championship.
At Whitney Farms GC, Kyle St. Pierre (Shelton, Conn.), Nathan dos Santos (Becket, Mass.), Noah Bass (Fairfield, Conn.), Andrew Curran (Media, Penn.) and Rex Riefler (Vero Beach, Fla.) were all co-medalists for the Boys Championship, and Mia Hidalgo (Cheshire, Conn.) was the medalist for the Girls Championship.
Monday, August 6th
9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Official Practice Rounds
Beginning at 6:00 p.m. – Players Welcome Reception, Dinnerand Ryan Lee Scholarship Presentation (Complimentary for all participants. Family and friends of participants are invited and encouraged to attend.)
Tuesday, August 7th
First Round of Stroke Play
7:00 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. – Starting Times (All play will be in threesomes)
Wednesday, August 8th
Second Round of Stroke Play
7:00 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. – Starting Times (Players will be re-paired by score, with leaders going off last. All play will be in threesomes.)
6:15 p.m. – Awards Ceremony and Trophy Presentation
Social Media: In addition to full championship coverage on our website at NorthernJunior.com, players and spectators can join the conversation using the hashtag #NorthernJunior.
– Like Us on Facebook at Facebook.com/NorthernJunior
– Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NorthernJunior