June 15, 2021 – Lafayette, LA.
Carson Cooper of Spring, Texas carded a round of two-under-par 70 to take the medalist honors at the U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier, conducted by the Louisiana Golf Association (LGA) in association with the USGA, at Oakbourne Country Club, in Lafayette, Louisiana. He will be joined by Noah McWilliams of Benton, Louisiana as they go on to the Championship proper at The Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, North Carolina, that will be held on July 19-24, 2021.
Cooper road his two-under par front nine score all the way to the end with four birdies on the day to take home the low round. His day started at 9:09 AM at Oakbourne Country Club and ended at approximately 6:30 PM after a 5 hour and 30 minute delay for dangerous weather in the area. McWilliams was in the first group of boys’ competitors to finish at approximately 12:30 PM. His score of one-under par was good enough to get him into a playoff for the second qualifying spot with Bryant Hiskey II of Houston, Texas. The sudden death playoff to determine the last qualifier and the first alternate began on the par four 1st Hole at Oakbourne Country Club. After both players found the fairway, Hiskey hit his approach shot to 25 feet while McWilliams knocked one to 3 feet. Hiskey’s birdie attempt missed just right of the hole and McWilliams sank the birdie putt to earn his trip to Pinehurst.
Held earlier on the same day, Kendall Jackson of Pearland, Texas took the medalist honors for the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Qualifier with her one-over-par round of 73. Kendall will move on to the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship to be held on July 12-17, 2021 at Columbia Country Club, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Kendall Jackson was in the final Girls’ Qualifying pairing at 7:48 AM. She caught fire on the front nine, with birdies on the par-5 #3 and par-4 #6, to finish two-under through the front. This cushion helped her hold off the rest of the field to take home the medalist honors. Finishing two strokes behind the medalist with a three-over par 75, Allyn Stephens from Houston, Texas is the First Alternate and finishing with a four-over par 76, Cassidy Lambert, from Gretna, Louisiana, will be the Second Alternate.
Both qualifying fields endured heat and humidity throughout the day and the last 4 groups of the U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier endured a 5 hour and 30 minute rain delay that started at 1:36 PM, and play resumed at 6:09 PM with our final group finishing their round at 6:30 PM. The Lightning delay at Oakbourne Country Club is common for this time of year, with the same delay taking place at the 2019 Qualifier at Oakbourne. Head Superintendent Jason Barras and his crew had the golf course in excellent condition and the golf course drew rave reviews from all of the competitors.
The U.S. Junior Qualifier was played right at 6900 yards and was one of 59 qualifying sites for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. This year there were 3,346 entries accepted and 225 spots up for grabs at the qualifying locations for the field of 264 at the U.S. Junior Championship at the Country Club of North Carolina. The Country Club of North Carolina, which has two courses that will be used for the Championship (Cardinal Course and Dogwood course), has previously hosted the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior, 1980 U.S. Amateur and most notably the 1972 U.S. Professional Match Play, won by Jack Nicklaus. This will be the first U.S. Junior Amateur hosted in the Tar Hell state.
The U.S. Girls’ Junior was played just over 6000 yards with the field of eight vying for one of the 143 spots in the field of 156 at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This year the USGA accepted 1,484 entries for the U.S. Girls’ Junior and it was the 11th straight year over 1,000 accepted entries. This will be the third U.S. Girls’ Junior in Maryland with the others taking place at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club in Owings Mills in 1999, and Manor Country Club in Rockville in 1959. Other notable championships hosted at Columbia Country Club include the 1921 U.S. Open and the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur won by PGA Tour Champion Brian Harman.