COLUMBIA, SC (Jan. 13, 2023) – December of 2022 marked the end of the inaugural year of the SCJGA Players Series, a yearlong tournament series to give junior golfers in South Carolina the opportunity to earn their way into future Major Championships conducted by the SCJGA. 15 Players Series tournaments were conducted in 2022, with points compiled and awarded based on tournament finishes from each Players Series event over the past year.


The SCJGA is proud to announce Ella Kate Barnett of Galivants Ferry and Michael Gavin of Hilton Head Island as the inaugural Players Series Champions for 2022. Both Players Series Champions have been awarded exemptions into the 2023 installment of SCJGA Major Championships such as the Sea Pines Junior Heritage, the inaugural Congaree Match Play, the Blade Junior Classic, the Beth Daniel Junior Azalea, and many other notable SCJGA Major Championships.


Final Players Series Point Standings:   Girls 13-18 | Boys 13-18


Ella Kate Barnett’s 2022 Players Series season was a model of consistency, as the class of 2026 member never finished outside of the top-five in a single tournament. Victories at Myrtle Beach National in August and Southern Oaks in November propelled Barnett to a commanding lead at the top of the point standings, and she would never relinquish that top spot. The Galivants Ferry native finished 2022 with a scoring average of 76.4 in all Players Series tournaments.


“I’m honored to be named the first girls Players Series Champion,” Barnett said. “The Player Series has been such a great experience for me. I got the opportunity to grow my golf game on many different courses as well as meet new girls and grow friendships along the way. I would like to thank the SCJGA for the opportunity and continued support as well as all the hosting golf courses for supporting junior golf.”


Charleston’s Akiera Sanchez claimed runner-up honors in the girls 13-18 Players Series Point Standings, and Claire Green of Okatie finished in third place. Sanchez and Green will also receive exemptions into 2023 Major Championships, thanks to their high finishes on the Players Series point standings in 2022.


Michael Gavin carded nine rounds of 72 or better on the Players Series in 2022 en route to a 72.5 stroke average. The Hilton Head Island native earned two wins, Greenwood CC in June, and Darlington CC in September, to go along with six top-three finishes in 2022. The 2025 graduate’s Players Series Championship came down to the final tournament of the year, the New Year’s Eve One Day at Lake Marion GC, where he needed a high finish to keep his slim lead in the standings. Gavin finished runner-up at Lake Marion with a round of two-under par 70 to earn the honor of Players Series Champion for 2022.


“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Players Series tour has given me,” Gavin said. “One of the best aspects was developing friendships with some really competitive players over the year, making these tournaments very enjoyable. I am looking forward to the 2023 season.”


The top-eight finishers in the boys 13-18 Players Series point standings have gained exemptions to compete in select SCJGA Major Championships. Behind Gavin, the top-eight finishers are runner-up Groves Williams of Greenville, third place finisher Hunter Warren of Fort Mill, Owen Atkinson of Columbia, Brooks DeShields of Easley, Matthew Parker of Florence, Dylan Park of Easley, and Simon McAlister of Beaufort.


About the SCJGA Players Series


In February of 2022, the South Carolina Junior Golf Association announced a brand-new tournament series called the Players Series that is designed to give junior golfers from South Carolina the opportunity to develop their skills and earn exemptions into future Major Championships hosted by the SCJGA. The Players Series began with the Fripp Island Junior Challenge in early February and contested 15 different tournaments by the end of 2022.


All Players Series events are included in the Heritage Classic Foundation Rankings, as well as the year-long Players Series points standings, which will reward players with exemptions into future SCJGA Major Championships based on the standings at the conclusion of the year. All Players Series events are included in the year-long points race, as well as all statewide SCJGA One-Days such as the President’s Day One Day.


About the South Carolina Junior Golf Association


The purpose of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association is to continue the history and traditions of the ancient game of golf through its members and an active outreach to the youth of our state.   Established in 1990 by community leaders with a love for the game and a commitment to passing on golf’s heritage to the youth of South Carolina, the SCJGA is committed to meeting the needs of all young people in the state and providing playing opportunities to boys and girls that might not otherwise have the chance to experience golf and its many benefits. Through affordable opportunities of play, instruction and competition, juniors of all ages, walks of life and skill levels will be touched by the character of the game. It helps to teach them honor, sportsmanship and respect and makes them better prepared to face the challenges ahead in life.


For more information about the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, visit

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