Photos Tournament News

Photos: Registration and Practice Rounds

Click on an image to enlarge.
Photos by Mpu Dinani and Angela Ding.

Alona Avery Tournament News

Avery in Position for a Second MCI Title

Alona Avery Friday 2024 MCI
Alona Avery made six birdies, three bogeys and one double on Friday. Leaderboard

Alona Avery is heading into the final round of the fourth annual Mack Champ Invitational with a three-shot lead and a chance to become the tournament’s first repeat champion.

Avery, a high school senior from Riverside, CA, shot one-under 71 on the Nicklaus Course at The Club at Carlton Woods on Friday. She won the tournament in 2022, and her sister, Amari, won the inaugural MCI in 2021. Alona is heading to the golf team at UC Irvine next year; Amari is a junior and a star of the USC women’s golf team.

Five players are tied for second after shooting two-over 74: Sakura Watanabe (Roseville, CA), Alexis Lamadrid (Phoenix), Lydia Portlock (San Antonio), Ashley Shaw (Litchfield Park, AZ), and Roisin Scanlon (Northhamptonshire, UK).

In the 12-and-under division, Kayla Jackson (Charlotte) has the lead after shooting 82. Alaina Villarreal (Richmond, TX) and Zara Staley (Sarasota, FL) are five shots back.

Tournament News

First Round Pairings and Tee Times

Tournament News

We Are Looking for Volunteers!

The Mack Champ Invitational is looking for volunteers to help our tournaments run smoothly.

The girls tournament is returning to The Club at Carlton Woods, site of The Chevron Championship, from April 11-13. The boys will be back at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston from May 2-5.

We are looking for volunteers to help in the following roles:

  • Set-up: Assist in setting up the tournament signage and morning prep for the tournament.
  • Registration: Check in the junior golfers and distribute their respective gifts before their practice round.
  • Timing/Water Stations: Record groups’ times at timing station holes, inform players that they are in/out of position with the group in front of them, and help distribute water bottles as each group passes through.
  • Water Rover: Ensure that coolers on the course are stocked with plenty of water and ice throughout each of the rounds.
  • Dinner Reception Set-up: Assist setting up the ballroom for dinner reception and registration for Saturday night. (Boys only)
Cisco Junior Series presented by APGA TOUR and Cameron Champ Foundation Jayden Lizama Staci Pla Tournament News

Pla and Lizama Play With the Pros at Torrey Pines

Jayden Lizama tee shot at APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open
Jayden Lizama hitting his opening tee shot at the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational.

When Jayden Lizama and Staci Pla won the 2023 Cisco Junior Series presented by the APGA and the Cameron Champ Foundation last summer, they also punched their tickets to Torrey Pines.

Lizama is one of two amateurs playing in the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational this weekend, and Pla played a pro-am round for the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open with Collin Morikawa and Alex Morgan, an amazing opportunity captured in the video below.

Tournament Information for Families Tournament News

Dates Announced for Mack Champ Invitational

Aleah Shields-Rodipe and Alaythia Hinds 2023 Mack Champ Invitational champs
Shiv Parmar and Isaiah Diaz with Cameron Champ at 2023 Mack Champ Invitational

We are excited to share the dates for the fourth annual Mack Champ Invitational.

The girls tournament is returning to The Club at Carlton Woods, site of The Chevron Championship, from April 11-13. The boys will be back at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston from May 2-5.

Tournament invitations will go out February 2nd for the girls and March 4th for the boys. To be considered for the tournament, join our junior golf database.

The MCI, inspired by the memory of Mack Champ, was created not only to provide an elite competitive experience for junior golfers of diverse backgrounds, but also to serve as a springboard into top-tier tournaments and college scholarships while creating an environment where players and families can build relationships that last a lifetime.

We can’t wait to continue the tradition in 2024!

Alaythia Hinds Aleah Shields-Rodipe Tournament News

Mack Champ Invitational Featured in PGA Tour Video

The PGA Tour produced this video feature on the 2023 Mack Champ Invitational for Girls.

Alaythia Hinds Tournament News

Win in Houston Has Opened Doors for a Sacramento Native

Alaythia Hinds with trophy after winning 2023 Mack Champ Invitational
Alaythia Hinds won the 2023 Mack Champ Invitational at The Club at Carlton Woods, which was set up for The Chevron Open, the first major of the LPGA Tour season.

This is a Sacramento story with a Houston highlight and many more plot developments to come.

Back in 2017, Alaythia Hinds and her father, Lamar, followed Cameron Champ in the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort in Napa. It was the second professional tournament for Cameron, who was still at Texas A&M and played on a sponsor’s exemption. Alaythia, now a 17-year-old rising senior at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, CA, got to meet Cameron that week and was inspired to see a fellow Sacramento-area native playing at the game’s highest level.

“It was cool being able to connect with someone from the area, seeing how they’ve grown and how they’re succeeding in golf,” she said.

Alaythia Hinds with Cameron Champ in 2018
Alaythia with Cameron in 2018.

Alaythia’s relationship with the Cameron Champ Foundation has deepened over the years as she has volunteered at foundation-sponsored junior events at Foothill Golf Course and has traveled to Houston to play in all three Mack Champ Invitationals. After finishing 9th in 2021 and 15th in 2022, Alaythia shot even par (73-71) to take first place at this year’s MCI, which was significantly different from the first two iterations of the tournament. For the first time, the tournament was separate from the boys’ event, and it moved to a new course, The Club at Carlton Woods, site of The Chevron Championship, the first major of the LPGA Tour season.

But despite these changes, one thing remained the same: the MCI provided a unique environment for juniors from diverse backgrounds (and their families) to form lasting bonds.

“For all the years I’ve gone to the Mack Champ, I’ve definitely appreciated the experience of meeting a lot of people,” she said. “I get to interact with a lot of the players, more than I do at other tournaments, and I still keep in touch with some of them.”

Lamar contrasted the MCI experience with other junior events.

“It’s great to meet and see other families who are in the same boat you are, who are also trying to navigate the junior golf thing,” he said. “Typically she is the only African American golfer in a tournament. We just did a USGA qualifier, and out of 80 girls, she was the only African American in the field. So the MCI is completely different from our normal tournaments.”

Alaythia Hinds swing in 2023 Mack Champ Invitational
Alaythia during the final round of the 2023 Mack Champ Invitational.

But the MCI is not only about relationships. Alaythia’s victory this year has opened many competitive doors, including the chance to play in the John Shippen National Invitational (June 5-7, Grand Rapids, MI) and exemptions into the IMG Academy Junior World Championship (July 11-13, San Diego) and the Junior PGA Championship (Aug. 1-4, Hot Springs, AR).

“You have to be ranked really high to play in these tournaments,” she said. “Thanks to the opportunity that the Mack Champ Invitational has given me, I am able to compete.”

Closer to home, Alaythia is heading to Stanford for the First Tee National Championship in July and is looking forward to the high school golf season later this year, where she hopes to help Pleasant Grove improve on its fourth-place finish at the 2022 CIF State Girls Golf Championships. Alaythia tied for seventh in the individual standings.

Alaythia still has time to figure out what happens after high school, and though it seems certain golf will continue to take her places, she also excels in the classroom and as a musician. She is a 4.0 student and a violinist who plays with the Sacramento Youth Symphony.

“I do hope to play Division I golf in college,” she said, “and I’m excited to see what opportunities come next.”

Afi Amezado Haven Ward Tournament News

Golf Digest Video Series Features Ward, Amezado

Golf Digest documented the 2023 Mack Champ Invitational for Girls with this video series, which features an overview of the tournament and profiles of Haven Ward and Afi Amezado.

Episode 1: The Mack Champ Invitational

On April 13-15 at The Club at Carlton Woods, 47 young women from all over the world competed in front of family, friends and college coaches. From aces and playoffs to high-fives and hugs, the event offered several days of great golf and an abundance of inspiration.

Episode 2: Haven Ward

Haven Ward, the daughter of a single mother, has greatly benefited from the Mack Champ Invitational. Through exemptions and opportunities provided by Jeff Champ and the competitive atmosphere of the tournaments he has organized the last three years, the Atlanta native caught the attention of college coaches, and in fall 2023, she will be attending the University of Denver on a full golf scholarship.

Episode 3: Afi Amezado

Afi Amezado, a 14-year-old from an impoverished pocket of Accra, Ghana, boarded a plane bound for America on Wednesday, April 12, played a practice round at Carlton Woods in Houston on Thursday afternoon, and then competed in the Mack Champ Invitational on Friday and Saturday. She did it all with style, grace, humility and plenty of smiles.

Alaythia Hinds Aleah Shields-Rodipe Alexis Lamadrid Brenna Preap Callia Ward Layla Phillips Photos Vivian Lott

Photos From the Final Round

Photos by Amanda Cantor of the AJGA and Mike Major.