DALLAS — LJT Player of the Year races heat up as penultimate major on the tour schedule heads to Wolfdancer Golf Club on Aug. 14-15. The field is set for the eighth George Hannon Junior Invitational. The tournament offers a true “Tour Championship” feel and serves to identify the state’s best junior golfer in each division.
The LJT Player of the Year Standings awards points to the top finishers in all LJT events and Texas Junior Golf Alliance partner tournaments. The four major championships on the LJT schedule award double points, meaning the winners of the George Hannon Junior Invitational will receive 2,000 points.
In the Boys 15-18 Player of the Year Standings, San Angelo’s Jansen Smith leads Mission’s Jun Min Lee by just under 1,000 points. Byron Nelson Junior Champion Luke Dossey sits in third, just 2,000 points behind Smith. San Antonio’s John Keefer and Granbury’s Tucker Allen round out the top five in the standings.
Two-time defending player of the year Hailey Jones leads the Girls 12-18 Division heading into the George Hannon Junior Invitational. The Dallas native has two wins on the season as well as two runner-up finishes, including recently at the Texas State Junior Championship. Houston’s Zoe Slaughter trails Jones, but has narrowed the gap following her win at the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship earlier this month. Austin’s Sara Camarena sits in third place in the standings.
Only 12 points separate the Boys 14 & Under Player of the Year leader, Shaheen Momin, from second place’s Andrew Spaulding. Momin has a win at the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic earlier this year as well as three more top-3 finishes. Spaulding won at the Alamo Shootout and finished third at the James A. Ragan Memorial in February.
The Hannon Cup Society created the event in 2009. Since then the LJT has conducted the prominent invitational. It brings together the top 99 boys and girls in the state, either through invitation or based off the current year’s Player of the Year Standings. Three divisions compete separately: Boys 15-18, Boys 14 & Under and Girls 12-18.
George Hannon was born in Kemp, Texas and served a 59-year PGA career including an 18-year term as the University of Texas’ Men’s Golf Coach. Hannon’s career at UT included NCAA Champion teams in 1971 and 1972 as well as 12 Southwest Conference titles. Hannon coached golf legends such as Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Mark Brooks, Phil Blackmar, Brandel Chamblee, Warren Chancellor, Rik Massengale and Paul Thomas. Hannon was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1991 and was the Golf Coaches Associations’ 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.  
Last year’s invitational at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa’s Cliffside Course was cancelled due to heavy rains and severe lightning in the Austin area. In 2015, San Antonio’s Nicholas Duggan won the Boys 15-18 Division at Spanish Oaks Golf Club. Dallas’ Turner Hosch won the Boys 14 & Under Division, while Austin’s Sadie Englemann won the Girls 12-18 Division.
This will be Wolfdancer Golf Club’s first time hosting the George Hannon Junior Invitational. Wolfdancer joins an elite group of golf courses that have hosted the event including Austin Country Club, UT Golf Club, Spanish Oaks Golf Club and The Hills Country Club.
Past Champions of this event include Max Miller, Joe and Julia Beck, Scottie and Callie Scheffler, Brendan Redfern, Cole Hammer, Thomas Critch, Levi Valadez, Alexandra Rossi, Chandler Phillips and Hailee Cooper.
For more information about the George Hannon Junior Invitational, click here.
To see all the standings for the Player of the Year Points, click here