When a golfer wins any amateur or professional golf tournament title with the word “state” in the event title, that’s big time. And for many who go on to play the game at the highest levels, a state junior title is the first true major title in his or her career.
In 2023 at Dayton Valley, Laruen Wong (Girls, 15-18), RJ Arone (Boys, 15-18), Ella Rawson (Girls, 13-14) and Jaxson Stites (Boys, 13-14) earned titles.
In 2022, Emmerson Hinds (15-18), RJ Arone (15-18), Eunice Han (14-15) and Tripp Hildreth (14-15) won their divisions in the event at Boulder Creek Golf Club.
In Nevada, the annual Nevada State Junior Amateur has been held for decades and future LPGA Tour and PGA Tour players have won the tournament in addition to college players and other top amateurs.
“I won it in 1982 at Sierra Sage Golf Club in Northern Nevada, closing the match out on 17 against my good friend Melissa (Mo) Marcink is I was so honored to represent the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association,”says Nicole Dutt-Roberts, who now is an esteemed PGA teaching professional for the Lake Las Vegas High Performance Golf Institute who also played collegiately at Weber State
Another top Southern Nevada teaching professional, Kerri Clark, won the state junior in 1980 and Dutt-Roberts served as her caddie. Clark also played at Weber State and then played on the LPGA Tour. According to Northern Nevada Golf Association executive Pam Whalen, the Nevada State Junior Amateur has a deep history, nothing that arguably the most notable champion was Robert Gamez, who was named the 1990 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year after playing collegiately at the University of Arizona. Gamez also played on the United States Walker Cup team.
The Nevada State Golf Association is seeking additional information and results from the Nevada State Junior Amateur. Please contact [email protected] if you have additional information.