YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Junior golfers from all around the world will be in the Youngstown area this weekend and next week for a major tournament at the Mill Creek Golf Course.
The American Junior Golf Association brought one of its tournaments to the Youngstown Area. Brian Tolnar, the Director of Golf at Mill Creek Park, said it is fair to say that the AJGA is the junior equivalent to the PGA.
“It is. The tournament that we’re having, in particular, is the 12 to 15-year-old division, and it is the upper echelon that you can have worldwide for this level of competition. They host 115 event worldwide. Of the one we’re hosting, it’s an all-star series event so you’ll have the best around the world here,” Tolnar said.
Tolnar also said that there were a couple junior tournaments when he was Director of Golf at a facility in New York. He said he kept the networking alive and come connections in New York. He figured it would take a few years before Youngstown would host a junior golf tournament, but it only took a year. Tolnar said the tournament is a great thing for the Mahoning Valley but especially Youngstown.
On Monday, there will be a pro-am type tournament where amateurs can play with some of the juniors. Then, 96 players will be on the course on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The event is a 54-hole stroke play event.
The tournament is big for the junior players.
“A lot of players that participate on the LPGA and PGA tours right now – Rickie Fowler, Jordan Speith, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Paul Creamer – all have played the AJGA. So it’s a top-tier event,” Tolnar said.
Spectators from the local area are encouraged to come out. Bleachers are available on holes nine and 18 as well as the practice range. In addition, Mill Creek has about 128 volunteers.