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.
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 email@example.com or @LVGolfInsider.
Area golfers in college or committed
Austen Ancell, Pahrump Valley, Regis
Rose Baral, CCSD Virtual, Alabama-Birmingham
Cameron Barzekoff, Palo Verde, Boise State
Mitch Conley, Faith Lutheran, Riverside CC
Morgan Cooper, Desert Oasis, Reedley College
Gabby DeNunzio, Coronado, Weber State
Sam Dickey, Arbor View, New Mexico
Joey Dotta, Coronado, Lehigh
Victoria Estrada, Coronado Utah Valley State
Dylan Fritz, Coronado, New Mexico
Cameron Gambini, Arbor View, New Mexico State
Morgan Goldstein, Faith Lutheran, Iowa
Annick Hackziewicz, Palo Verde, Brigham Young
Jalen Hodges, Coronado, Parkland JC
Leah Im, Clark, UNLV PGM
Christian James, Gorman, Sacramento State
Veronica Joels, Meadows, UNLV
Tanner Johnson, Shadow Ridge, Utah Valley State
Vanessa Marshall Morales, Legacy, Menlo College
Noah MacFawn, Foothill, Holy Names
Charlie MacGruder, Faith Lutheran, Gonzaga
Mathew Manganello, Eldorado, Fresno State
Grant McKay, Coronado, Grand Canyon
Mackenzie McMillan, Coronado, Vanguard
Cameron Meeks, Palo Verde, Loyola Marymount
Heidi Moser, Coronado, Hardin Simmons
Yuku Moriyama, American Heritage Academy, Oregon
Erika Nakagawa, The Hill Prep, Middlebury College
Rebecca Oertel, Palo Verde, Lindenwood
Hazen Newman, Arbor View, Oklahoma State
Skyler Ngo, Gorman, San Diego St.
Canon Olkowski, Faith Lutheran, Colorado
Trevor Olkowski, Faith Lutheran, Colorado
Hunter Pate, Bishop Gorman, Long Beach State
Sami Penor, Coronado, Biola
Arpepanya Phonsavanh, Clark, College of the Canyons
Lani Potter, Boulder City, South Dakota State
Crystle Querol, Coronado, Denver Schneider-St. Edward’s
Michael Sarro, Coronado, Cal Baptist
Ben Sawaia, Coronado, UNLV
Tyler Smerz, Faith Lutheran, Grand Canyon Club
Brandon Smith, Cimarron, Charleston Southern
Jared Smith, Western, Northern Idaho JC
Savannah Smith, Green Valley, Soka America
Peyton Stage, Silverado, Buena Vista
Patrick Tasanaroungrong, Western, UNLV PGM
Cole Thompson, Centennial, San Diego State
Jack Trent, Palo Verde, UNLV
JR Tuls, Faith Lutheran, Trine
Drew Warnick, Palo Verde, BYU
Cole Wilczeck, Palo Verde, Odessa CC
Blake Woodie, Coronado, Shenandoah
What: The Northern Trust
Where: Jersey City, New Jersey; Liberty National GC (7,370 yards, par 71).
When: Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 10-11:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), Noon-3 p.m. (KLAS-8); Sunday, 9-10:45 a.m. (Golf Channel), 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (KLAS-8).
Purse: $9.25 million. Winner’s share: $1,665,000.
Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau.
FedEx Cup leader: Brooks Koepka.
What: Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.
Site: North Berwick, Scotland; The Renaissance Club (6,427 yards, par 71).
When: Thursday-Friday, 7:30-10:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 6:30-9:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 5:30-8:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $1.5 million. Winner’s share: $225,000.
Defending champion: Arijya Jutanugarn.
Race to CME Globe leader: Jin Young Ko.
What: U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Where: West Point, Mississippi; Old Waverly GC (6,509 yards, par 72).
When: Wednesday-Friday, 1-4 p.m. (FS1); Saturday, 6:30-9:30 a.m. (FS1); Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (FS1).
Defending champion: Kristen Gillman.
— The Associated Press