2024 DJ World Junior Field Shaping Up To Be as Strong as Ever!
The 2024 Dustin Johnson World Junior is just around the corner and we are already seeing many highly ranked players apply to be a part of the field. All applicants apply with the hopes that they will join the likes of past champions such as Jackson Koivun and Ryleigh Knaub. Koivun, now a freshman at Auburn University, bolstered his already impressive resume with a victory at the 2023 DJ. Knaub, a junior in high school, will have the ability to defend her 2023 DJ World Junior title in March, which is not always something you are able to try and accomplish in junior golf. She will look to join Alexa Pano as the only multi-time winner of The DJ.
Read below to learn more about some of the new and returning players who will tee it up at TPC Myrtle Beach for the 2024 DJ World Junior.
Blades Brown (Nashville, TN – Class of 2026)
Golfweek: 4 – Junior Golf Scoreboard: 1 – WAGR: 199
Blades Brown, the number 1 ranked junior boy on Junior Golf Scoreboard, had himself a spectacular 2023 season. Brown showed why he is the number 1 ranked junior by winning the AJGA Junior at Canebrake, the Huntsville.org Junior Championship, the Wyndham Invitational, the Tennessee Junior Amateur and the Elite Invitational. We expect him to play well at The DJ come March given his track record of performing well in high profile events such.
Tyler Watts (Huntsville, AL – Class of 2026)
Golfweek: 3 – Junior Golf Scoreboard: 2 – WAGR: 106
Arguably the favorite, Tyler Watts is coming to Myrtle Beach with the best WAGR ranking (106) of all the male applicants. An impressive list of wins also follows Watts, as he recorded victories in 2023 at the Jones Cup Junior Invitational, the Keith Mitchell Junior Championship, the Southern Junior Championship and the Alabama State Amateur. He also had other strong finishes with a top 4 finish at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex and a top 20 finish at the US Junior Amateur. Watts will look to follow in the footsteps fellow Huntsville, AL native Nick Dunlap, who won The DJ in 2021.
Will Hartman (Marvin, NC – Class of 2025)
Golfweek: 7 – Junior Golf Scoreboard: 9 – WAGR: 649
Will Hartman is returning in 2024 and will look to have his best finish yet. He has the making to be another strong contender given his play throughout 2023. The highlight of his season was successfully defending his title at the Bobby Chapman Invitational, where he managed to go back-to-back and win the event in both 2022 and 2023. He also had strong top 3 finishes at the US Junior Amateur and the Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex. Hartman also earned a spot on the US Junior Ryder Cup team, where he traveled to Italy and play alongside the best junior golfers the United States and Europe have to offer.
Gianna Clemente (Estero, FL – Class of 2026)
Golfweek: 2 – Junior Golf Scoreboard: 3 – WAGR: 23
Gianna Clemente is one of the more well-known names in all of amateur women’s golf and we are excited to see her return to TPC Myrtle Beach in 2024. Gianna recorded 2 wins in 2023 at The Sally and the Girl’s Junior PGA Championship. She also made 2 starts in professional events throughout 2023. One start was on the Futures Epson tour at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, with another start on the LPGA Tour at the CPKC Women’s Open. Clemente also participated in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where she finished 14th. She also earned spots on the Junior Ryder Cup, Junior Solheim Cup and Wyndham Cup teams.
Chloe Kovelesky (Boca Raton, FL – Class of 2025)
Golfweek: 8 – Junior Golf Scoreboard: 6 – WAGR: 203
Many of the top finishers at the 2023 Girls DJ will be returning in 2024, with Chloe Kovelesky looking to build off of her T3 finish. Shortly after leaving TPC Myrtle Beach in March, Chloe went on to win the Florida Women’s Amateur Championship. She then closed out her 2023 season with 4 straight top 10 finishes at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, the North and South Women’s Amateur, the Girl’s Junior PGA Championship and the World Junior Girls Championship presented by Sargent Farms. Kovelesky also made 1 professional start on the Ladies European Tour at the Jabra Ladies Open.
Alice Ziyi Zhao (Irvine, CA – Class of 2027)
Golfweek: 11 – Junior Golf Scoreboard: 7 – WAGR: 191
Over the years at the Dustin Johnson World Junior, Alice Ziyi Zhao may have been one of the younger competitors in the field, but her name has always been near the top. Alice came as close to winning the event as she ever has in 2023, finishing in solo 2nd place, just 2 shots behind champion Ryleigh Knaub. However, this tough loss did not faze her as she went on to have a successful 2023 season and finished it with a victory at the Notah Begay lll Junior Golf National Championship. Zhao earned a spot on the Wyndham Cup team, and also made 1 professional start on the LPGA Tour at the CPKC Women’s Open.