Little People’s Golf Championships set for 49th rendition |  Sports

Little People’s Golf Championships set for 49th rendition | Sports

QUINCY — As Quincy’s marquee auto racing event leaves town, the city is set to welcome yet another yearly staple starting Sunday – Little People’s golf.

The 49th annual Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships will be held June 20-22 at Westview Golf Course and Knights of Columbus Par-3 Course in Quincy. The event has been run by Nan Ryan since its founding in 1974.

“I love to see these kids playing golf, they’re so good,” Ryan said. “It’s always fun to actually meet the people, the parents. I’ve talked to throughout the year with entries. I’m always excited. It’s a great time for me to see new faces, new people and see old friends and see how good these kids really are.”

And over the years, the kids have been good.

The Little People’s Golf Championships has brought numerous future golf stars to Quincy, including recent Canadian Open winner Rory McIlroy and World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler.

Not only has the event brought future big names to the Gem City, but it’s also brought players from all over the world. Ryan says kids from 18 different states and two countries – Barbados and South Africa – will participate in this year’s Little People’s.

“We’re probably the friendliest junior tournament”. They love to come to Quincy because it’s a nice town to visit,” Ryan said.

Festivities will start Sunday with an exhibition Parent-Child tournament with 41 duos competing starting at 9:30 am Practice is set for Monday before Tuesday’s first round beginning at 7:30 am with the boys’ 8-9 division kicking things off.

The championships will come to a close on Wednesday with the second round.

The tournament also gives players the chance to qualify for a number of junior golf tournaments. These include the 2022 IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championship, the 2022 Future Champions Golf Tour and the 2022 PLAY Junior Golf Tour in Canada.

This year’s championships will include a slew of locals and golfers from all over.

Laci Novosel, a recent Quincy High grad, will participate in the girls’ 16-18 division again after finishing third last year. This will be Novosel’s last Little People’s as she will play golf at the University of North Carolina-Asheville this fall.

Former Blue Devil teammates Eva Greenberg, Saya Geisendorfer and Sophia Gold will also participate in the tournament. Greenberg and Geisendorfer will face off against Novosel in the girls’ 16-18 division while Gold will play in the girls’ 14-15 division.

Quincy native Ty Novosel will return to Little People’s to defend his boys’ 12-13 division title from last year.

Landon “Happy” Gilmore, a 16-year-old golfer from Bloomfield, Ind., will make the trip back to Quincy for his 11th Little People’s.

Gilmore, getting his nickname from the 1996 comedy “Happy Gilmore,” recently gained attention from outlets all over the world after entering a US Open qualifier in May.

Now, as the storied golf tournament is set for its 49th rendition, Ryan is excited to welcome back kids to the Gem City.

“I love working with the young people,” Ryan said. “ I love being able to provide this tournament for them with the help, of course, of our major refreshment services (sponsor) Pepsi and all the volunteers in Quincy that really make the tournament possible.”

“The whole event is great for me. I love it.”


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