Palm Beach Gardens, FL - The Fifth Annual Honda Classic High School Invitational returns to PGA National Resort & Spa October 9-10 with a field that includes 16 of the best Boys teams in Florida plus five teams from Arizona, Utah and Texas and 17 of the best Girls teams in the State plus one Texas team.
The Benjamin School is the defending boys' team champions and again the favorite to capture the title. Andrew Kozan from King's Academy returns to defend his individual championship. Kozan was state high school Player of the Year last year.
Winter Park Circle Christian returns to defend last year's girls team championship. Kalli Jennings from Andrews High School in Texas will also return to try to repeat as individual champion. She defeated Circle Christian's Abbey Carlson in a playoff last year.
The 36-hole event will be contested on PGA National's Champion Course (Boys) and The Fazio (Girls). The Boys will play the course at 6,700 yards while the girls compete at approximately 5,700 yards.
The boys teams that will compete are American Heritage Plantation, American Heritage Boca / Delray, Andrews (TX), The Benjamin School, Jacksonville Bolles, Brophy College Prep (AZ), West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman, Chaparral High (Scottsdale, AZ), Winter Park Circle Christian, Community School of Naples, Fort Lauderdale Cypress Bay, Hamilton High (Chandler, AZ), West Palm Beach Kings Academy, Lake Mary Prep, Lone Peak High (Highland, UT), Orlando Olympia, Park Vista, Pine Crest, Boca Raton St. Andrews , St. Thomas Aquinas and Vero Beach High.
The girls teams that will compete are American Heritage Boca Delray, American Heritage Plantation, Andrews High (TX). Archbishop McCarthy, The Benjamin School, Winter Park Circle Christian, Orlando First Academy, Fort Lauderdale Cypress Bay, Naples Gulf Coast, Jupiter High, Orlando Lake Highland Prep, Lake Mary High School, Ponte Vedra High, Jacksonville Providence, Boca Raton Saint Andrews, Venice High, Vero Beach High and Viera High.
On the boys' side, six players compete on a team and the top four scores count toward the team total. On the girls' side, five players compete and the top four scores are used to compute the team total. The Benjamin School and American Heritage Boca / Delray are the two co-hosting schools.
The event is the brainchild of Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly and Kevin Hammer, an accomplished amateur player and an Ambassador to the Honda Classic. Kennerly's son Charlie is now a senior on The Benjamin School team.
"We wanted to create a tournament where the best teams in the state could compete against each other," Kennerly said. "We did that and now some of the best out-of-state teams in the country are continuing to ask to play in the event as well. If only we had more courses that were available to use, we could turn this into a High School National Championship.
"We are continuing to build the Honda Classic brand, but at the same time we are growing our contribution to the junior golf world. This high school team event combined with The Honda Junior Classic and the complimentary foursomes we give to top juniors in The Honda Classic Monday Pro-Am each March give us three major opportunities to make a difference with young golfers."
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