DALLAS– The Legends Junior Tour is proud to announce Ryan Grider, Hailee Cooper and Thomas Critch as the Players of the Year in their respective divisions. Annika Clark was the recipient of the James A. Ragan Sportsmanship Award, and Woody Fail was named LJT Volunteer of the Year.
Ryan Grider of Lewisville is the Legends Junior Tour Boys 15-18 division Player of the Year for the first time. Grider, who totaled 5,103 points in nine total events, had back-to-back wins at the Collegiate Preview and the Bluebonnet Championship this season, while also tying for second at the George Hannon Invitational and finishing fifth at the Byron Nelson Junior Championship. The 2017 high school graduate won the Collegiate Preview with an overall three-round score of 2-under-par 206 at Ridgewood Country Club in Waco and fired rounds of 65 and 70 to get to 9-under in his win at Brownwood Country Club for the Bluebonnet Championship. Grider was the Boys 14 & Under Player of the Year for the LJT in 2012 and is the second player to win both awards. He will look to become the third two-time winner of this award next season.
Thomas Critch of Cedar Park won the Legends Junior Tour Boys 14 & Under Player of the year Award with his stellar performances throughout eight LJT events. Critch was a three-time winner on tour this season, capturing titles in the Winter Classic at the Dallas Athletic Club, the Spring Preview at Blackhorse Golf Club and the George Hannon Junior Invitational at The Hills Country Club. Along with his three tournament victories, the 2018 high school graduate had three runner-up finishes and a third-place showing at the Bluebonnet Championship. Critch amassed more than 8,000 points this season and earned a spot in his second Jackie Burke Cup.
Hailee Cooper of Montgomery earned the Legends Junior Tour Girls 12-18 Player of the Year honors for the second-straight year. She totaled 9,225 points in 13 events this season, breaking the record for most points accumulated in a season, which was set by Kelsey Kirkpatrick in 2006. Cooper, who is the first back-to-back winner of this award, claimed victories in five LJT Tournaments this season, winning the Spring Preview and Collegiate Preview in March, the Bluebonnet Championship in May, the Texas State Junior Championship in July, and the George Hannon Junior Invitational in August. Cooper fired three rounds in the 60s to finish at 16-under-par 200 in the 86th Texas State Junior Championship at Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Slick Rock Course. The 2018 high school graduate earned a spot on her second Jackie Burke Cup team this season, after playing in eight LJT events.
Annika Clark is the recipient of the 2014 James A. Ragan Sportsmanship Award. Named after the inaugural recipient, the award is given annually to a player who is characterized by virtues such as fairness, discipline, courage, and respect for others. Woody Fail of Conroe won the LJT Volunteer of the Year award. Fail has been volunteering for the TGA since 2002.
Grider, Cooper, and Critch will all be looking to repeat as Players of the Year in 2015. Critch will be moving up to the Boys 15-18 division where he will look to be the first person to win the award in separate divisions consecutively since Stratton Nolen in 2010. All award winners were honored at the Jackie Burke Cup banquet at Champions Golf Club in Houston on Nov. 14.