As of this writing, several female members of the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association are completing their journey at the prestigious Western Junior Amateur, a week or so after Mason Snyder did the same and finished 12th. SNJGA members qualifying in the event is due to their quality play, but also the affiliation between the Western Golf Association and the SNJGA. –By Brian Hurlburt, www.lasvegasgolfinsider.com
Snyder, Amy Cho, Lilly Denunzio, Angelina Huang, Brynn Kort, Zoe Parker, Lauren Pham, and Dakota Tallent all participated. After the first qualifying round for Match Play, Denunzio was leading at 2-under par.
Snyder played at the Midlothian Country Club in Florida during the 105th Western Junior Boys Amateur and recorded rounds of 73-69-67-76 in the event that has past champions such as Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa, among other greats.
“The first thing that comes to mind is how strong of a tournament it is and how you have to be highly ranked to get an invite to it,” Snyder said. “What makes the event special is the history behind the event and how long it has been going on. It was very special to play in, for sure.”
Tom Fitzgerald is a driving force behind the SNJGA and WGA affiliation that helps get Southern Nevada juniors on the radar of the Western Junior committee. The WGA has also helped many Southern Nevada kids earn $100,000+ college scholarships via the Evans Scholarships.
“Our organizations formally affiliated about five years ago when our local Evans Scholar alumni group surfaced the idea and brought it to fruition through perseverance and collaboration,” Fitzgerald said. “Now, the affiliation is helping kids on the course. The SNGA and SNJGA helps get Southern Nevada kids ‘on the radar screen’ with WGA golf event officials for possible inclusion based on scoring averages and that is very important. Not only do the golfers of SNJGA benefit from formal affiliation with WGA, but local high school kids (largely non-golfers) benefit from the Evans Scholarship/Caddie Academy.
“I am happy alongside my fellow Nevada Evans Scholar alums for having had an active hand in making those good things happen to great Nevada kids. We alums would be absolute hypocrites to not put something back into the Evans Scholarship and Western Golf Associated families for which we have so greatly benefited many years ago. And I am proud-as-Hell of SNJGA executive director Renee Rocco and the team at SNJGA for taking advantage of this formal affiliation on behalf of her kids.”