Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Girls' Junior Championship Returns to Missouri

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Girls' Junior Championship Returns to Missouri

Article excerpt

Before this week, the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship had been played once in Missouri since 1949, but it came at a time when the event was churning out players who would shape the face of the LPGA for years to come.

Nancy Lopez became the youngest winner at 15 when it was played in Jefferson City in 1972, beating Amy Alcott, among others, and ending a string of three consecutive wins by Hollis Stacy.

All are now members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

"If you look at all of them sort of growing up at the same time and competing in all of these junior championships, it certainly was an extremely winning trio," said Victoria Student, historian for the USGA museum. "All three of those women have made their stamp on the game and defined that time."

You never know when another group of junior golfers will come along that will one day produce similar results.

Fans can get a look at a large batch of hopefuls this week at the Boone County Golf Club when 156 of the best junior golfers in the country play for the 2017 championship beginning Monday morning.

Champions from the event have won the U.S. Women's Amateur and U.S. Women's Open 12 times, and 19 champions have played for the U.S. Curtis Cup Team.

"We've seen this championship be a launch pad for some of the game's most outstanding players," Student said.

Stacy's wins from 1969 to '71 are considered one of the greatest feats in the girls' championship. More recently, Eun Jeong Seong won in 2015 and '16 and then won the 2016 U.S. Women's Amateur. She was the first player to win both in the same year.

After Stacy's three wins, Lopez won in '72, Alcott in '73 and Lopez in '74. When Lopez won her second , she was just three years short of her LPGA rookie of the year season, when she would win five consecutive tournaments and nine overall.

In the championship match in Jefferson City, Lopez made a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and then won on No. …

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