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Vegas Juniors making impact at college level

Updated August 6, 2019 - 4:56 pm

Much like the ever-growing contingent of professional tour players who have strong ties to Las Vegas, the group of local high school golfers moving on to play in college is also evolving.

More than 50 players are playing or committed to play in college. Not included in that number are top players who haven’t committed or those who just completed their college careers, like Bradley Keyer, a Coronado product who played at Creighton.

The Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association, U.S. Kids Tour and RecruitLook Tour offer high-level local tournaments, and according to experts, the future also looks bright.

“I have been involved with junior golf for over 14 years here in the valley, and the most remarkable thing has been the surge of female players,” said Paul Brown, PGA of America professional, RecruitLook and U.S. Kids Tour director, and Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association representative. “When I first held U.S. Kids events, I would be lucky to have 5-10 girls in the entire field. Now they represent 40 or 45 percent of the field. The winning scores for girls when I started, for example in the girls 12-14, would be 90 to 95. Now to finish in the top five, you need to score 75 or less. We have a young lady, Yana Wilson, 12, who shot 29 for nine holes and now we refer to her as our ‘29 club’ shooter. She might be the top ranked 12-year-old in the country.

“Also, Rock Kuperman, 6, recently beat that score with a 28 in a U.S. Kids event in San Diego. When our kids play on the national stage, they are not intimidated by players from around the country. The outlook for golf in Southern Nevada is quite promising.”

The team of Kenzi Hall, Kyndall Newman, Morgan Goldstein and Riana Mission recently finished fifth in the Girls’ Junior America’s Cup, one of the best results in Southern Nevada history.

Erickson masters Summit

At the Summit, Craig Erickson defeated former UNLV golfer Alex Jordan 3 and 2 in the 36-hole final and won the Nevada State Match Play.

Weekly deal

Buy the Siena and Arroyo 2020 players card before Aug. 31 and receive five free rounds.

Shriners Open updates

UNLV students receive free admission to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Oct. 3-6 at TPC Summerlin.

Also free are police, fire, EMT and active and retired military personnel. This group can visit the Patriots’ Outpost that offers complimentary food and beverage.

All info is at Shrinershospitalsopen.com.

The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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