by Gary Baines
This weekend will put a wrap on the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado season, aside from an event or two.
For the top players age 14-18, on tap is the fourth Colorado major of the year, the JGAC Tour Championship, set for Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 6-7) at Denver Country Club. For the best golfers 13 and under, it'll be the Junior Ryder Cup team event this weekend at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora.
Then on Sunday evening, after the conclusion of both events, the JGAC's season-ending banquet will be held at Denver CC.
At the 36-hole Tour Championship, the field will feature the winners of three 2018 JGAC majors and four state high school titles this year.
The 2018 major junior champions entered this weekend are all on the girls side and include Hailey Schalk of Erie (Colorado Junior PGA), Katie Berrian of Castle Rock (Colorado Junior Amateur) and Lauren Lehigh of Loveland (Colorado Junior Match Play). Lehigh leads the JGAC Girls Junior Tour points list for 2018.
As for entrants who are state high school champions from 2018, there's Micah Stangebye of Montrose (4A) and Jackson Klutznick of Denver (3A) on the boys side, and Emma Bryant of Aurora (5A) and Schalk (3A) on the girls.
There are also a couple of past JGAC Tour Championship winners entered this weeked -- Charlotte Hillary of Cherry Hills Village from 2016 and Schalk from last year. Schalk was the 2017 JGAC Girls Player of the Year.
Others scheduled to compete in the Tour Championship are Colorado Junior America's Cup player Walker Franklin of Broomfield and 5A runner-up Connor Jones of Westminster and Caroline Jordaan of Lakewood.
One player who won't be at Denver Country Club is 2018 JGAC Boys Junior Tour points list leader Dillon Stewart of Fort Collins, who won the 5A boys state high school title on Tuesday. Instead, he's competing in the prestigious Ping Invitational at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. Coincidentally, he'll be playing his college golf in Stillwater -- at Oklahoma State -- starting in the fall of 2019.
For the Saturday pairings from the JGAC Tour Championship, CLICK HERE.
As for the Junior Ryder Cup at CommonGround, kids age 13 and under will battle it out, with teams designated Team USA and Team Europe. There will be three sessions -- nine-hole four-ball and nine-hole foursomes on Saturday, then 18-hole singles matches on Sunday.
Among the Junior Ryder Cup competitors will be three winners of 2018 Junior Series Championships -- Hadley Ashton of Erie (11-13), Matai Naqica of Centennial (11-13) and Andre Dumonteil of Centennial (10 and under).
For the field for the Junior Ryder Cup, CLICK HERE.