Cleveland Country Club will host the 50th annual Tennessee Junior Amateur Championship, which is conducted by the Tennessee Golf Association.
“We’ve hosted numerous TGA events. I think this is our eighth event in the last 10 years,” said Lamar Mills, Cleveland Country Club general manager. “We have a good relationship with the Tennessee Golf Association. In 2005 we hosted the Junior Am Boys, so this will be our second time hosting that at the club.”
The first round of the Junior Amateur Championship begins today, with the second round taking place on Wednesday and the final round Thursday. Practice rounds were held Monday.
According to Mills, the rounds will go off of holes 1 and 10 with a double tee, 8 a.m. start for the duration of the tournament.
The boys’ 18-and-under championship tournament held qualifiers throughout the state in June.
“You had to qualify for this event; there are 72 individuals and they are from all over the state of Tennessee,” Mills stated.
In the group of 72 individuals, there are no local Cleveland youth participating.
The Tennessee Junior Amateur Championship will take place rain or shine, and with the past week of rainy weather, the Cleveland Country Club grounds crew is hard at work ensuring that the course is ready.
“Obviously, Mother Nature has not been kind to us this past week. We’ve had 10 1/2 inches of rain since Wednesday, so our grounds crew has had their work cut out getting the golf course in shape,” Mills said. “We’ll do our best to get the golf course ready for them and make the conditions the best we can.”
The winner of the tournament is awarded the Harold Eller Trophy, which is named for the co-founder of the Tennessee Junior Golf Association and the Tennessee Junior Amateur Championship.
In Franklin, the field has been set for the 50th Annual Girl’s Junior Amateur Championship, which is scheduled for July 9th-11th at Foxland Harbor Golf & Country Club in Gallatin. The 54-hole stroke play event will have two different age divisions. Ages 10-14 will compete from the forward tees while ages 15-18 will be set farther back. The 2013 Girl’s Junior Amateur Champion will come from the 15-18 division.
Sarah Harris, the 2012 Girl’s Jr. Amateur Champion and 2013 Tennessee Women’s Amateur Champion, will not be back to defend her title as she does not meet the age limit. However, the 2011 Champion, Blakesly Warren, will be back to try for another title.
Carrying the local banner into the state championship event is Lydia Triplett and Katie Bishop.
Making a trio of TSSAA State Championships, including earning all-state honors at the last two, Triplett led the Polk County High School squad for the past four years and is heading to Tennessee Tech on a golf scholarship. She is looking to improve on last year’s tie for 21st in the Girls’ Junior Am in Murfreesboro.
Bishop has qualified for the last two TSSAA State Tournaments and will be returning for her senior season at Walker Valley in a couple of weeks.
Today’s TGA State Girls’ Junior had its beginning in 1964 at Old Hickory Country Club. Each year the winner’s name is inscribed on the Ruth Eller Trophy. Harold Eller, golf professional at Old Hickory Country Club, and his wife, Ruth, founded the Tennessee Junior Golf Association and the tournament. The TJGA was absorbed by the TGA in 2000.
— Banner Assistant Sports Editor Joe Cannon contributed to this story.