MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship, which will be played March 5-7 at TPC Myrtle Beach, will feature the strongest field in the event’s six-year history.
The event has boys and girls tournaments with 74 of the 90 total players (60 boys, 30 girls) ranked among America’s top 100 juniors, including Brendan Valdes (Orlando, Fl.), the sixth-ranked boy in the nation, according to Golfweek magazine.
An Auburn signee, Valdes is one of 49 top 100 boys who will be competing, and he will have to hold off the likes of No. 8 Bryan Lee (Fairfax, Va.), No. 10 Maxwell Ford (Peachtree, Ga./Georgia), No. 11 Nick Dunlap (Huntsville, Al.), No. 12 Caleb Surratt (Indian Trail, N.C.) and No. 13 Luke Clanton (Hialeah, Fl.). The field will include 11 of Golfweek’s top 20 junior boys and 26 of the top 50.
Twenty-five of the 30 girls competing in the 54-hole, college-style event are ranked among America’s top 100 juniors by either Golfweek or Junior Golf Scoreboard, a group led by No. 3 Hyo Joon Jang (Howey in the Hills, Fl.). Among Jang’s primary challengers will be No. 12 Taylor Keyhoe (Ontario, Canada), No. 16 Bailey Shoemaker (Dade City, Fl.) and No. 19 Brooke Bierman (Wildwood, Mo.).
“Dustin’s goal was to make this the best junior tournament in America, and this year represents another big step in that direction,” Tournament Director Scott Tomasello said. “This year’s event will feature one of the three strongest fields in all of junior golf, TPC Myrtle Beach is an elite facility, and with Dustin’s support, the tournament will deliver on the experiential side as well. We can’t wait for the sixth annual Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship to tee off.”
Last year’s boys champion, Tyler Wilkes is playing at the University of Florida, while girls winner Taylor Roberts is teeing it up at Florida State.
With Johnson’s support, the tournament provides players a PGA Tour-like experience, and the opportunity to test themselves against a premier field.
A significant part of the event’s appeal is TPC Myrtle Beach, one of the Grand Strand’s most decorated layouts. TPC Myrtle Beach has hosted the Senior PGA Tour Championship and been ranked among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest, making it an ideal venue to test golf’s rising young stars.
The Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship is being sponsored by Founders Group International, the Dustin Johnson Golf School, and Golf Tourism Solutions.
Johnson’s involvement with the tournament reflects his long-time commitment to junior golf, particularly in South Carolina, where he grew into one of the world’s best players. Through the Dustin Johnson Foundation, which is headquartered in Myrtle Beach, Johnson has donated more than $500,000 to junior golf, sponsoring numerous events throughout the state and helping cover entry costs for kids who need financial assistance.