PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The Junior PGA Championship will transition over the next year, with an expansion of the size of the field of the new Junior PGA Championships. This presents an opportunity for the Junior PGA Championships to offer all 41 Sections a minimum of two boys and girls players each, thanks to the addition of an at-large bid, beginning in 2017.
The Country Club of St. Albans (Missouri, near St. Louis) will host the Girls Junior PGA Championship, July 18-21, 2017. The Junior PGA Championship for boys will also be contested at St. Albans, July 31-Aug. 3, 2017.
“The PGA of America is excited to significantly expand the field for our new Junior PGA Championships, beginning in 2017, at such a historically significant venue as the Lewis and Clark Course at St. Albans,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “By creating separate boys and girls events, we will double the number of players for all of our Sections. In addition, the number of boys and girls participating in each Championship will increase from 78 to 144 each. We believe this is an important investment in the future of the game, in order to provide more opportunities for top players nationwide to compete in our Junior PGA Championships.”
In 1991, the award-winning architectural firm of Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish were selected to design and build the Lewis and Clark course at St. Albans. Renowned for its natural beauty of rolling hills, wooded terrain, valleys, lakes and natural wildlife, with a true reverence for the rich history of the area, the course and the prestigious St. Albans clubhouse opened in 1992. The St. Albans property bears many historic symbols that were meticulously preserved by the designers, from Civil War era graves that dot the property to the striking stone homes designed by Theodore Link, famed architect of St. Louis Union Station.
“On behalf of the members and staff of The Country Club of St. Albans, we are honored to host the 2017 Junior PGA Championships,” said Joe Schwent, PGA Director of Golf Operations at St. Albans. “We know the players will enjoy our Lewis and Clark golf course which has consistently been ranked in the Top 10 courses in the state of Missouri by Golf Digest. We are proud to have been selected, and look forward to welcoming the PGA of America and the top junior golfers in the country.”
PGA Honorary President Allen Wronowski will serve as Junior PGA Chair for both the Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships in 2017 and 2018.
PGA Sections can opt to choose from a number of possibilities to select each at-large bid (boy and girl player) to compete in the Junior PGA Championships including:
- Runners-up of the Section Championship
- Top-Ranked Players of the Section, using either the Golfweek, Polo or Junior Golf Scoreboard Systems
- Players of the Year
- Points List
- State Junior Champions
- State High School Champions
- Other Section Invite event
The 2018 Junior PGA Championships will serve as the final PGA of America qualifying venues for the 2018 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team in Paris.