By Amanda Herrington (@AJGAAmanda), AJGA Communications
In a press conference at The Barclays, five-time AJGA champion Jordan Spieth addressed his early success and how the game has grown.
“The game is getting younger,” Spieth said. “There are more, younger better players, now so you already have to step up your game to compete with kids your own age. You see teenagers consistently making cuts in PGA TOUR starts. That’s to do with [organizations] like the AJGA who play golf courses that are setup like PGA TOUR events.”
Contested at the home of The PLAYERS, The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf is the ultimate “TOUR experience,” for junior golfers. Driven by the vision of Tournament Chairman, Billy Dettlaff, TPC Sawgrass General Manager Bill Hughes and AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin created the event to align with the AJGA’s mission of developing young golfers by challenging them through competition on the course.
The competition on the course is as close to the real thing as it gets. The first and final rounds are played on The PLAYERS Stadium Course. The first round features the same yardages and hole locations used in the third round of the 2013 PLAYERS Championship, while the final round uses the same setup as the final day at the TOUR’s premier event.
Here’s how the events compare:
A presidential welcome
Players register for the tournament beneath the gleam of the Presidents Cup, as Player Registration takes place in the prestigious Presidents Cup Library.
Juniors have full access to the TOUR locker room and share lockers with the pros. Upon their arrival, each player receives a welcome letter from the PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, Bill Hughes and Billy Detlaff.
The PLAYERS Championship features one of the strongest volunteer bases for a PGA TOUR event. These volunteers mark their calendars annually for the junior counterpart – as many volunteers have dedicated their time all seven years! Positions include walking live scorers, who provide hole-by-hole updates to FJ Live Scoring.
Equipped like the pros
An Official Partner since 2011, TaylorMade-adidas Golf is present with their equipment trailer in tow. Players are able to stop in for complimentary fittings, regripping and adjustments.
An international affair
Nineteen countries are represented, making this a truly international spectacle featuring top juniors from around the world. To honor the global scale, each player receives a tournament hat with his country flag proudly sported on the side.
Champions at TPC Sawgrass are made on No. 18, but they finish in the scoring rooms located inside a building known as “The Perch,” immediately behind No. 18 green. The building most recently appeared on TV, as clubhouse leader Tiger Woods waited anxiously to find out if he would win the 2013 PLAYERS. Scoring rooms for No. 9 and 18 serve the field this week. Who will replace Tiger Woods as the most recent champion to score in “The Perch?”