We are just about a month away from the start of the high boys and girls school golf season. In the summertime, many young golfers find a way to keep the dust off their clubs by competing in tournaments in either local areas or even other states. One of the annual events in Naperville is known as the Junior Amateur Golf Tournament, which has been held for over twenty years at Naperbrook Golf Course.
“Springbrook and Naperbrook alternate with the Men’s and Women’s tournament every year. But at the time that we decided to have a Junior tournament our junior program was very strong and we just decided to start here,” said Naperbrook Golf Course Assistant Pro Dick Barr.
This tournament features boys and girls between the ages of 9-17 from all over the area including golfers from Naperville Central, North, and Neuqua Valley. The format was split into three groups with eight total divisions, beginning with boys and girls from ages 9-10 teeing off to play six holes. Then came nine holes for boys and girls ages 11-13 and the traditional eighteen for ages 14-17. Even before hitting the qualifying age range, these golfers kept busy on the links to work on their games throughout the year.
“Part of the satisfaction is seeing kids that started in golf maybe 5 or 6 years ago and grew, developed, and improved their game. Now they’re playing serious golf on High School teams or they’re in Junior High and wanna be on High School teams,” said Barr.
One of those High Schoolers is Neuqua Valley golfer Ryan Watson who had the top score in the boys 14-15 division with a three under 69. Watson, who is about to enter his Sophomore campaign, is using this tournament to help boost his confidence before teeing off for the Blue and Gold in the fall.
“It’s just a career type building performance. You look back on it and it gives you a lot of confidence moving forward and you know it’s just a real confidence booster moving forward,” said tournament champ Ryan Watson. “I do like this tournament for me so it’s very fun to compete in a golf course that I really know well,” said Watson.
No matter the outcome of each performance, the success and interest in the game from the local kids are the reasons why this tournament has had a great turnout in recent seasons.
“There has been a tremendous amount of interest in Junior golf in Naperville, and the surrounding area for many years, and it was obvious that there was a lot of interest in having a Junior tournament,” said Barr.
A (boys ages 16-17) – Zach Zeader 73
B (girls ages 16-17) – Simren Sikand 97
C (boys ages 14-15) – Ryan Watson 69
D (girls ages 14-15) – Ruthie Matin 91
E (boys ages 11-13) – Evan Lee 42
F ( girls ages 11-13) – Reina Maceren 43
G ( boys ages 9-10) – Daniel Lulkiewicz 25
H ( girls ages 9-10) – Chloe Lee 24
Naperville News 17 Patrick Codo Reports