About the Tournament: The Northern Junior Championship is a nationally ranked junior golf tournament that was created in order to provide the highest level of competition for top junior players. The 36-hole stroke play event is contested over two days at New Haven Country Club in Hamden, Connecticut and is open to amateur boys and girls under the age of 19 who have not entered their first year of college. Our goal is to provide the same first class championship experience and red-carpet treatment that the best national events around the country offer.
Eligibility: The Northern Junior is open to amateur Boys and Girls who have not reached their 19th birthday before August 7th, 2019, and who have not fully enrolled in their first year of college.
Format: All players will play 18-holes of stroke play on Tuesday, August 6th and Wednesday, August 7th at New Haven Country Club in Hamden, Conn. Tee times will run from 7:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. both days, and the low 36-hole competitor in the Boys and Girls Championship will be declared the respective Champion. There will be an awards ceremony and trophy presentation following the conclusion of play on Wednesday at approximately 6:15 p.m.
Who’s Here: The field of 120 players consists of 87 Boys Competitors and 33 Girls Competitors. The average age of the field is 16.2 years of age.
States Represented: 25 states, provinces and countries are being represented. They are: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, China, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Philippines, Macau and New Zealand. Connecticut has the most players of any state, with a total of 26 players seeking to capture the Northern Junior title in their home state.
Breakdown by Graduation Year: Of the 120 competitors, below is the breakdown by high school graduation year:
2019 – 26 players
2020 – 35 players
2021 – 36 players
2022 – 17 players
2023 – 4 players
What’s at Stake: In addition to national exposure to college coaches across the country, both the Boys and Girls Champion will receive numerous tournament invitations and exemptions. The Boys Champion will receive invites to the International Junior Masters (Aurora, NY), Bobby Chapman Invitational (Spartanburg, SC), North and South Junior (Pinehurst, NC), Southern Junior (Fayetteville, AR), Northern Amateur (Chesterton, IN) and Barbasol Junior Championship (Nicholasville, KY). The Girls Champion will receive an invitation North and South Junior (Pinehurst, NC). Top finishers in the Boys and Girls Championship will also receive AJGA performance stars.
Defending Champion: There has only been one player in Northern Junior tournament history to successfully defend their title (Ryan Lee 2007-08), and Benjamin James of Milford, Connecticut will be hoping to equal that feat. James, who is the highest ranked player in the field (#39 in the country), won by one stroke over Christopher Fosdick of Middlefield, Conn., who is also competing in this year’s Northern Junior.
The 2018 Girls Champion, Kyra Cox, is unable to defend her title as she recently finished her freshman year at Furman University. However, the 2017 Girls Champion, Madeline Jin, is returning to New Haven Country Club with hopes of finishing her junior career on a high note. In 2017, Jin shot rounds of 72-70–142 (+2) to win the title by two shots.
Six of the top nine ranked Boys from Connecticut are competing in the 2019 Northern Junior Championship. They are (in order of ranking):
– Benjamin James – Milford, Conn. (2022)
– Christopher Fosdick – Middlefield, Conn. (2019)
– Tommy Dallahan – Simsbury, Conn. (2019)
– Alex Aurora – Hamden, Conn. (2019)
– Matthew Doyle – Madison, Conn. (2021)
– Connor Belcastro – Rowayton, Conn. (2019)
Five of the top seven Girls from Connecticut are competing in the 2019 Northern Junior Championship. They are (in order of ranking):
– Katie Dzialga – Greenwich, Conn. (2021)
– Alexsandra Lapple – Ridgefield, Conn. (2023)
– Sophia Sarrazin – Westport, Conn. (2022)
– Sydney Nethercott – Greenwich, Conn. (2020)
– Emily Cohen – Darien, Conn. (2019)
Benjamin James (#39) and Christopher Fosdick (#41) are the two highest ranked players in the field, and both return to this year’s tournament with impressive resumes. James recently finished ninth in the Junior PGA Championship, which was held at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford, Conn. and finished third in the Connecticut Open Championship just a few weeks ago. Fosdick, who will begin his collegiate career this fall at Florida Southern College, also made the cut at the Junior PGA Championship and finished third in the Scott Robertson Memorial earlier this summer.
Jessica Huang of Auckland, New Zealand, is the highest ranked competitor in the Girls Championship (#139). Huang represented New Zealand in the 2019 Women’s Asia Pacific Amateur and recently captured the New Jersey Junior PGA Championship. She also has the longest journey of any competitor in the field – an estimated 9,005 miles from her home country of New Zealand.
In addition to those players who gained entry by virtue of previous accomplishments, a total of 18 boys and 8 girls gained entry into the championship through one of two qualifying sites:
At Agawam Hunt Club, Raymond Dennehy (Princeton, Mass.) was the medalist for the Boys Championship, and Kaitlyn Washburn (Scituate, Mass.) was the medalist for the Girls Championship. Dennehy’s round of 68 included a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th.
At Whitney Farms GC, Kaijun Ma (Macau) and Mitchell Schwab (Westport, Conn.) were the co-medalists for the Boys Championship and Maya Beasley (Croton on Hudson, N.Y.) was the medalist for the Girls Championship.
There are two pairs of siblings competing in the 2019 Northern Junior Championship:
– Mong and Un Ning (Macau)
– Chris and Michael Walsh (Katonah, N.Y.)
Diego Saavedra-Davila was the 2018 Puerto Rican Junior Golfer of the Year. Earlier this year, he finished sixth at the AJGA Preview at Chateau Elan, and is the first player from Puerto Rico to compete in the Northern Junior Championship.
Katie Dzialga (Greenwich, Conn.) has had quite a summer, having recently won the New York City Championship and the Bethpage Spring Challenge, and made the cut at the 44th Junior Girls PGA Championship.
Alejandro Alonso (Spring, Texas) recently captured the FCG Callaway World Championship with rounds of 68-67-66 at Mission Hills Country Club (Rancho Mirage, Calif.). He is currently ranked #151 in the country and is competing in his first Northern Junior Championship.
Katie Li of Basking Ridge, N.J. is fresh off a victory at the AJGA Junior at Southpointe, where she shot rounds of 70-73-73 to win by three shots.
Alex Aurora of Hamden, Conn. is a hometown favorite, as he lives just a few miles from New Haven Country Club. Aurora made the cut this past week at the Junior PGA Championship and finished 16th in last year’s Northern Junior Championship
Malini Rudra of Syosset, N.Y. finished runner-up in last year and captured the U.S. Challenge Cup Junior Invitational this spring. This will be her final chance at the title, as she is committed to play collegiate golf at Williams College.
Julian Nirmal of Wallingford, Conn. will be representing the host club as the New Haven CC Junior Club Champion. He will be competing in his second Northern Junior and hopes to become the first player since Ryan Lee (2008) to win the tournament at their home course.
Jared Walter (South Windsor, Conn.) and Maggie Montalto (Rocky Hill, Conn.) both secured their spots in the field with their respective victories at the Ryan T. Lee Junior Open at Timberlin Golf Club, a tournament named in honor of 2007-08 Northern Junior Champion Ryan Lee.
Margot Osterman of Scituate, Mass. is a two-time USA National Alpine Snowboard Champion.
Monday, August 5th
9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Official Practice Rounds
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. – Players Welcome Reception, Dinner, Long Drive Contest and Ryan Lee Scholarship Presentation
Tuesday, August 6th
First Round of Stroke Play
7:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Starting Times (All play will be in threesomes)
6:00 p.m. – Mini-Golf Putting Contest
Wednesday, August 7th
Second Round of Stroke Play
7:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Starting Times (Players will be re-paired by score, with leaders going off last. All play will be in threesomes.)
6:15 p.m. – Awards Ceremony and Trophy Presentation
Social Media: In addition to full championship coverage on our website at NorthernJunior.com, players and spectators can join the conversation using the hashtag #NorthernJunior.
– Like Us on Facebook at Facebook.com/NorthernJunior
– Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NorthernJunior