HARTFORD, Conn – The PGA of America’s Boys Junior Championship is Tuesday through Friday at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford.
The Girls and Boys Championships are the first national PGA events hosted by the Connecticut Section PGA. Yuka Sosa of the Philippines won the Girls Championship three weeks ago and received the Patty Berg Trophy from longtime Connecticut resident Suzy Whaley, the first female president of the PGA of America.
Whaley, who now lives in Florida, will again be on hand for the final two rounds Thursday and Friday and present the Jack Nicklaus Trophy to the boys champion.
The 144-player boys’ field is headed by Rolex Junior All-American and University of Alabama commit Canon Claycomb, who helped lead the United States to victory over Europe in the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup at Disneyland Paris. Claycomb tied for third in last year’s Boys Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky, finishing three shots behind the Akshay Bhatia, winner the last two years and the only two-time titlist in a tournament that has included Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Travelers Championship winners Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth. But Bhatia, 17, won’t be shooting for a three-peat because he’s pursuing his dream to play on the PGA Tour by trying to qualify for the Wyndham Championship. He expects to turn pro in September, four months before he’s old enough to vote.
Connecticut will be well represented at Keney Park because it got three extra players in the field as alternates because the Connecticut Section PGA is hosting the event. The state entries include Alexander Gu, 17, who will be a senior at Darien High and won the Section PGA Boys Junior Championship and CIAC State Open and tied for second in the Division I Championship this year and was a Coaches All-State selection; Alex Aurora, 18, of Hamden, who tied for second in the Section PGA Boys Championship and the CIAC Division I Championship and State Open and was a Coaches All-State selection while at Hamden High and will play at Lehigh in the fall; Ben James, 16, of Milford, the 2018 New England Junior Amateur champion who captured the American Junior Golf Association event in Killington, Vt,, four weeks ago and then the CSGA Junior Championship and finished third overall and low amateur in the Connecticut Open on July 21; Chris Fosdick, 18, of Middlefield, who won the 2018 Junior Hub Championship and inaugural CIAC State Open and finished second in the CIAC Division I Championship this year, when he was medalist in nine of 13 regular-season matches and an All-State selection for the third time while at Xavier High School in Middletown before heading to Florida Southern; Jeremy Yun, 16, of Old Saybrook, who finished second in the CIAC Division I Championship, won the AJGA Kansas Junior Championship on June 19 and then tied for fourth and parred the first playoff hole in the Section PGA Boys Championship to earn the final berth in the national championship; Tyler Woodward, 18, of Durham, who tied for second in the Section PGA Boys Championship with Aurora; Jonathan Elkins, 18, of South Deerfield, Mass., who lost a playoff to Yun and won the Challenge Cup’s Computer Merchant Cup; and Will Lodge, 15, of Darien, who finished sixth in the Section PGA Boys Championship and won the Kerry Cup.