One year after Cameron’s 2021 victory at the 3M Championship, the PGA Tour featured Cameron and the Mack Champ Invitational on “The Cut.” Watch below to learn more about Mack Champ, the tournament named in his honor, and the passion that led us to create it.
Alona Avery and KJ Ofahengaue won the boys and girls titles at the second annual Mack Champ Invitational with steady performances down the stretch under tough, windy conditions.
The wind was howling all day at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston, with gusts reaching 45 miles per hour.
Cameron Champ was on hand to watch the final round and was impressed with the juniors’ ability to overcome the conditions.
“It was amazing,” he said. “This is a great golf course. With this wind and these conditions, it can make an easy golf course extremely hard, and a hard golf course even harder. It just showed how good they are.”
Avery, from Riverside, CA, shot 70-78 for a 4-over total and edged Shyla Brown of McKinney, TX, in a one-hole playoff in the girls 13-18 division. Avery’s sister Amari won last year’s MCI and now plays at the University of Southern California.
Brown appeared to have the tournament locked up, but she finished with a double bogey on 17 and a bogey on 18 to fall back into a tie with Avery, who parred the final three holes. Avery then won the playoff on No. 1, making par 5 to Brown’s 7.
Ofahengaue, from Lehi, UT, finished with five straight pars to shoot 73. His 1-over total for the tournament was good enough to beat Trey Rusthoven from St. Peters, MO, by a shot. Roman Solomon, last year’s boys champ, finished five shots back after shooting 79 on Sunday.
Ofahengaue is a cousin of Tony Finau’s and had two brothers playing in this year’s MCI.
Axel Monssoh from Miami, who also won his age division last year, shot 5-over 77 for an 8-over total to win the boys 11-12 division by six shots. Myla Robinson from Eastvale, CA, won the girls 11-12 division with a 10-over total after shooting 75 on Sunday.
The Mack Champ Invitational was created to honor the legacy of PGA Tour pro Cameron Champ’s grandfather, who introduced Cameron to the game. The tournament seeks to identify and boost the prospects of elite junior golfers of diverse backgrounds. This year’s field had players from all over the country as well and England and the Bahamas, and 15 players in the field have commitments to play college golf.
Asked what his grandfather would think if he were alive to see this tournament, Champ said Mack would have been thrilled.
“He’d be laughing, cracking up. He’d be so excited. I don’t think he ever would have dreamed of anything like this happening in his name. For us to continue his legacy and to create a fun environment for the kids to come enjoy and hang out, it’s just awesome to see.”
On Saturday afternoon, our Mack Champ Invitational competitors got the chance to learn from the best.
Cameron Champ was joined by Sean Foley, his coach and one of the prominent teaching pros in golf, and Roger Steele, a major social media presence and the founder of Hipe Media. They fielded questions from the players and offered sage advice on achieving success on and off the course.
During the week of the Houston Open, the PGA Tour took an in-depth look into the Mack Champ Invitational and the impact our tournament has had on diverse junior golfers like Allyn Stephens, a Houston native who will play her college golf for Texas A&M.
In addition to the video above, you can read the article on pgatour.com.
Watch the video below for a look back at the inaugural Mack Champ Invitational, including interviews with Cameron Champ, players, parents, and tournament volunteers.
Roman Solomon, a member of the class of 2025 from Sarasota, FL, won the boys division of the inaugural Mack Champ Invitational at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston with an even-par total.
Solomon was remarkably consistent, shooting 72 both days with three birdies and three bogeys in both rounds. Ian Davis (class of 2022) from Howey in the Hills, FL, and Xavier Bighaus (class of 2021) from McKinney, TX, tied for second at three over par.
One of the most impressive rounds of the tournament came from 10-year-old Axel Monssoh, who won the 9- and 10-year-old division with a final round 68 for a total of two over par. Aadi Parmar from Selma, TX, won the boys 11- and 12-year-old division with a two-day total of seven over par.
Amari Avery finished three under par to win the girls division of the inaugural Mack Champ Invitational at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston.
Avery, a high school junior from Riverside, CA, who has verbally committed to play her college golf at the University of Southern California, shot 2-under 70 on Sunday to edge Bailey Davis by a shot. Davis, a member of the class of 2021 from White Plains, MD, who will play her college golf at the University of Tennessee, shot 72-70 for a 2-under-par total.
Avery is also scheduled to play the Augusta National Women’s Open from March 31 to April 3.
Shyla Brown from Matthews, NC, made an incredible run that included a 7-under 29 on the front nine on Sunday. She finished in third place at two over.
Alexis Lamadrid of Phoenix (class of 2027) won the girls 11- and 12-year-old division with a two-day total of seven over par.
On Saturday, Cameron Champ fielded questions from Mack Champ Invitational players and talked about his practice routine, mental preparation, and some finer points of preparation for elite competition.
Champ conducted the clinic on the first hole of Memorial Park Golf Course after the first round of play. Glenn Weckerlin, chairman of the board for the Cameron Champ Foundation, served as MC for the event.
Champ hit some shots and said that he preferred to get his practice on the course, not the range. Ever since he was a junior player, he said, he has liked to work on his game on the course. “That’s how you learn how to score,” he said.
After hitting a few iron shots, Weckerlin asked the juniors what club they wanted to see Champ hit. Not surprisingly for one of the longest hitters in the game, requests for driver won in a landslide. Here’s a look at what they got to see.
On Friday night before the first round of the Mack Champ Invitational, Roland Martin hosted a conversation at the Omni Houston Hotel with Cameron Champ and Lee Elder, who tuned in from home via video conference.
Elder, who broke the color barrier at the Maters in 1975 and will be an honorary starter at Augusta National in 2021, talked about his time on tour, the challenges he faced, the camaraderie he felt with other black golfers of his era, the importance of setting goals for success, and much more. He really brought the house down, though, when Martin asked him about the money games that players of his era competed in to make ends meet.
Martin asked, “Lee, you were hustling folks out of money?”
Without missing a beat, Elder replied: “I wasn’t hustling nobody. They wanted to make a donation.”
Champ spoke about his path to becoming a PGA Tour pro, his current game and tournament routine, the importance of focusing on improving his game while also maintaining a rewarding personal life, his new wife and their love of animals, and his outside-of-golf passion – drag racing.
Jeff Champ, Cameron’s father and the co-founder of the Cameron Champ Foundation, kicked off the evening with advice for the assembled golf parents and also shared some memories about his father, Mack, and Cameron’s junior golf days. Glenn Weckerlin, chairman of the board for the Cameron Champ Foundation, spoke about the foundation’s work and plans for the future.
At the end of the night, Cameron Champ surprised the crowd by handing out new Nike sunglasses for all of the players.