SEVENTY-TWO junior golfers from around the world will compete at in next week’s third edition of the Major Champions Invitational, at Arizona’s Lookout Mountain Golf Club.
The players will be split into teams of four – each captained and mentored by one of 18 Major champions.
England’s North East stars Jess Baker (Gosford Park Ladies) and Whitley Bay’s Rosie Belsham have the dream pairing, working with Dorset’s Solheim Cup winner Georgia Hall, while Leo Goosen – son of two time US Open Champion Retief – is in Team Stewart.
The Goosens lost out in a three-way play-off against Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman, in the PNC Father and Son competition, at Orlando’s Ritz-Carlton GC, in December.
But this time Goosen junior, who plays for Orlando’s Lake Highland Preparatory School, and plays on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, will be partnered with Argentina’s Tiago Barni, Venezuela’s Gabriel Restepo and China’s Ariel Yu.
With some of golf’s best players, past and present, as team captains, including 18-time Major champion Jack Nicklaus and current World No. 1 Brooks Koepka, the event is set to be the biggest in its short history.
Other Major champions involved include current PGA Tour stars such as 2016 US Open Champion Dustin Johnson and 2017 PGA Champion Justin Thomas, 10-time women’s Major champion Annika Sorenstam, 2018 Women’s British Open Champion Georgia Hall and 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson.
The tournament was conceived by World Golf Hall of Famer and six-time Major Champion Sir Nick Faldo as part of his desire to provide more opportunities to young golfers, in addition to his already well-established Faldo Series events.
The Major Champions Invitational has an actioned-packed schedule.
The juniors taking part will experiencing tournament conditions usually afforded to the best players in the world.
Sir Nick Faldo said: “It is great to be back for another year of the Major Champions Invitational.
“Thanks to some very generous Major champions, as well as our sponsors Golf Saudi, we have been able to take the event to a whole new level.
“We also have a few special treats up our sleeves for the players, which should add to the whole experience,” added Sir Nick, who won three Claret Jugs at The Open, and three Green Jackets at the Augusta Masters between 1987 and 1996.
“Ultimately, it’s about inspiring the next generation by building a connection between them and some of their heroes,” said Faldo.
“With the success of last year’s individual Champions on the amateur circuit in 2019, we’re hopeful the event concept is really starting to reap rewards.”
The participants will play four rounds of golf, including three in competition, get front-row seats to Sir Nick’s clinic, as well as the chance to meet with a selection of their golfing heroes.
The on-course action will unfold at Phoenix’s Lookout Mountain Golf Club – located between picturesque Sonoran Desert and Phoenix North Mountains.
The course, built in 1989, is a nine-time recipient of Golf Digest’s Four-Star Award and has been ranked in the Top 10 golf courses in Arizona.
•To see the full field click here.
Conor Gough and Annabell Fuller were crowned 2019 Major Invitational champions
The 2019 Major Champions Invitational individual awards were won by Stoke Park’s Conor Gough and Roehampton’s Annabell Fuller, as part of Team Hall.
The B.B.&O. England international has since represented Great Britain and Ireland at the Walker Cup, while Fuller played for Europe at the Junior Solheim Cup.
Other British players in this year’s field, looking to succeed Gough and Fuller, are Scottish quartet Gregor Graham, Carmen Griffiths, Evanna Hynd and Ruben Lindsay, who are in Team Watson.
Surrey’s Rhys Williams, a member at Foxhills Golf & Country Club, is in Team Ballesteros, while Dorset’s Louise Burke, is in Team Faldo.
The 2019 team competition was won by Team Annika, led by Annika Sorenstam.
The full list of team captains at the 2020 Major Champions Invitational is:–
- Sir Nick Faldo
- Jordan Spieth
- Tom Watson
- Dustin Johnson
- Justin Thomas
- Brooks Koepka
- Seve Ballesteros
- Payne Stewart
- Adam Scott
- Henrik Stenson
- Jack Nicklaus
- Se Ri Pak
- Ariya Jutanugarn
- Nancy Lopez
- Georgia Hall
- Danielle Kang
- Annika Sorenstam
- Michelle Wie