Congratulations to Austin Connelly, junior golf alum of Hackberry Creek Country Club in Irving, Texas, who has qualified for the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale July 20-23, 2017. Connelly earned his spot on Tuesday by winning a four-player playoff with a birdie during a qualifier at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in England. The British Open will be 20-year-old Connelly’s first major championship.
Employee Partners and Members will especially want to keep their eye on Connelly as ClubCorp is an official sponsor of the golfer, who turned professional in 2016 and currently plays on the European Challenge Tour.
Before turning professional Connelly was ranked as high as fourth in the World Amateur Golf rankings and won the prestigious Jones Cup Invitational in 2015. As a junior golfer, Connelly was one of 12 players on Team USA at the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup in Scotland which resulted in the fourth consecutive win by the Americans.
This past April, Connelly was back at Hackberry where he held a Meet and Greet and Junior Clinic. During the event, Connelly also talked to the young golfers about his path from junior golfer to pro – a path just got a little more exciting. Good luck, Austin!
Click here (or cut and paste the link below to watch on your mobile device) to watch a video with Connelly talking about opportunities offered by Hackberry Creek, ClubCorp and the junior golf programming.
Jordan Spieth made history on Sunday as he became the first teenager to win a PGA event since Ralph Guldahl in 1931. 19 year old Spieth sunk a bunker shot on the final hole of regulation to send him into a playoff with David Hearn and the defending champion, Zach Johnson. The intensity grew hole after hole, leading up to Spieth's grand finale in the 5th round. Spieth set up for a 26-inch putt on the 18th green, and nailed it. Along with a smooth $828,000 prize check, Jordan Spieth also earned a spot in next week's British Open in Scotland.
Oh, and did I mention Spieth is a Dallas native and member of our very own Brookhaven Country Club? Spieth attended Jesuit College Preparatory school in Dallas, TX and moved to Austin to begin his college career at the University of Texas. Making a name for himself early on in is time at Texas, Spieth won three events and lead the team in scoring average during his freshman year. He was also named Big 12 Freshman of the Year, selected to the All-Big 12 Team, and named a first-team All-American.
Aside from his accolades, Jordan Spieth shares something in common with previous teenage PGA victor, Ralph Guldahl. Guldahl was also a Dallas native as he attended Woodrow Wilson High School. In 1931, Guldahl entered the Santa Monica Open during his rookie season at age 19 and came out on top. He went on to win 15 additional PGA events throughout his career before retiring in 1959. After his professional career came to an end, Ralph Guldahl became a golf instructor at ClubCorp's own Braemar Country Club in Tarzana, CA.
We wish Jordan Spieth the best of luck as he competes in the British Open. If nothing else, he can now say he's accomplish something Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Roroy McIlroy never did.