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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

R&A Junior Open runner-up Jordan Spieth

(16) to make debut on US PGA Tour

Two years ago this summer, in the R&A Junior Open for Under-16 year olds, I was at Hesketh, Lancashire to report on America's Jordan Spieth from Texas finishing as the leading boy, beaten by one shot by the first girl ever to take the overall championship: Moriya Jutanugarn (Thailand), playing for the first time in a tournament over a links course.
Moriya underlined that performance by returning to Britain last September to win The Duke of York Young Champions' Trophy over the Dundonald Links, Ayrshire.
And what of Jordan Spieth? It was obvious as a 14 going on 15-year-old that he was an exceptional talent. He has gone from strength to strength, winning last year's US boys' amateur championship.
Now Jordan, pictured above by Cal Carson Golf Agency, has accepted an exemption to play in the US PGA Tour's HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Spieth, a 16-year-old junior at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, is the event's first amateur exemption since 1995. He also finished second in the US Junior PGA Championship last year and was named the Rolex Junior Player of the Year by the American Junior Golf Association.
He currently is ranked No. 1 in the Polo Golf Junior Rankings in the States.
"We are delighted that Jordan will make his first US PGA Tour start at our championship here in his hometown," event chairman George Conant said. "We try to provide opportunities to young players that we believe will be future stars, and there's no doubt that Jordan Spieth fits that mold."
The only previous amateur exemptions granted by the tournament were to Trip Kuehne (1995), Justin Leonard (1993) and Tiger Woods (1993).
The HP Byron Nelson Championship will be held at the TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club Las Colinas in Irving, Texas from May 19-23.
Jordan Spieth: Remember the name. You're going to hear it a lot more often over the next decade.