U.S. Junior Amateur tees off with field full of game's top junior stars
The U.S. Junior Amateur championship, one of our favorite events of the year tees off Monday from The Club at Carlton Woods.

Playing at the club's Woodlands Course, the game's top junior amateurs hope to etch their name alongside the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, Hunter Mahan and Jordan Spieth.

The event will crown a new champion this year as 2013 winner Scottie Scheffler has since turned 18 and is no longer eligible.

Still, the field heading to Texas is undoubtedly impressive as many of the game's rising stars will be in attendance.

Among the players to most certainly keep an eye on and likely a contender is Sam Horsfield, a University of Florida commit.

Last year, Horsfield made a run to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Junior before being ousted and has since been on a terrific run of success. He's earned wins at the New Year's Invitational and Florida State Amateur (by 11 shots) and shot a 60 to win the Orlando City Amateur. He's also logged Top 10s at the Terra Cotta and Dixie Amateur and finished second at last year's Junior Invitational at Sage Valley -- one of the game's other prestigious junior events. Most recently, Horsfield qualified for the U.S. Amateur and reached the Round of 32 at the U.S. Public Links.

Horsfield could be a favorite but even a look at the rest of the contenders shows the depth of this event.

U.S. Open participant and Ohio State commit Will Grimmer, who shot a 59 last year at the North & South Junior at Pinehurst, Oklahoma commit and steady-handed Brad Dalke and California's Justin Suh, who will be taking his fourth and final trip to the Junior Am after taking medalist honors at sectional qualifying at Stanford Golf Course.

Suh has had quite the season so far, as he won the California state high school championship as an individual, then earned another victory at the Santa Clara County Golf Championship. Suh will be looking to avenge last year's loss in the round of 16 to eventual champion Scottie Scheffler.

The event also features an international feel with some of the top worldwide junior talent ready for action.

From Australia, Ryan Ruffels and Curtis Luck have had much success during their junior careers and would like nothing better than to put a cap on them with the U.S. Junior title. Germany's Dominic Foos, Zecheng Dou of China and Andreas Halvorsen of Norway, who last year won the St. Augustine Amateur before winning three junior events this spring. Halvorsen also placed fifth at the Terra Cotta invitational in April.

Indeed, the future of golf will be on display this week at Carlton Woods and all the action begins Monday with the first of two rounds of stroke-play qualifying. On Wednesday, the top 64 finishers will move into the match-play portion of the event with the finals slated for Saturday.

AmateurGolf.com will have ongoing and complete coverage of the event.

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ABOUT THE U.S. Junior Amateur

While it is not the oldest competition, the U.S. Junior Amateur is considered the premier junior competition, having been around since 1948. The event is open to male golfers who have not reached their 19th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 6.4. The U.S. Junior is one of 14 national championship conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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