For nearly half a century, Myrtle Beach has served as one of the great environments for junior golf in America. In that time, many recognizable names in amateur and professional golf have made the pilgrimage to the George Holliday Junior Tournament, held annually over Thanksgiving Weekend at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, one of the area’s best-loved golf facilities. The three courses, including the acclaimed King’s North, host 240 junior golfers of all ages for three days of competition and camaraderie. There are a total of seven different age group trophies, plus two overall titles, up for grabs each year: Girls 10-12, 13-14, 15-18, 13-18 overall, and Boys 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-18 and 14-18 overall.
The tournament is so named in honor of local standout golfer George Holliday, who died tragically in a car accident at the age of 22 in 1967, during his time on the golf team at Wofford College in Rock Hill, S.C.
Last year’s event was held November 22-24, 2012. In the boys division, Jonathan Hardee of Greer, S.C. won the boys’ division overall title with a three-day total of 1-under par 215 after a final-round two-under par 70, good for a two-stroke win over Virginia’s Clayton Forren. Hardee became the eighth two-time champion in the tournament’s history.
In the girls division, Reona Hirai of Summerville, S.C. returned a 54-hole score of 6-over par 222, good for a one-stroke victory over Kelly Murphy of Elgin, S.C.
Past years have seen many familiar names compete and win at the George Holliday. Current PGA Tour players D.J. Trahan and Lucas Glover are past winners, as are state standout players George Bryan IV, Matt NeSmith and Zack Byrd.
A variety of tee markers allow Myrtle Beach National’s three golf courses to play fairly for all ages of competitors in the event. The boys competing in the 14-18 overall division play between 6,400 and 6,600 yards each day, while the 13-18 overall girls contestants see the golf courses set up at approximately 5,700 yards. The younger age groups play from shorter tees. Two of the three courses on-site are used each of the three tournament days on a rotating basis.
For more information about the event and to enter, visit www.mbn.com/golf-events/george-holliday-jr.-tournament. And to book tee times at Myrtle Beach National, as well as many other area golf courses, visit myrtlebeachgolf.com.