Golf tournament boosting local economy

(ABC 6 News) – The American Junior Golf Association is hosting the Austin Minnesota Junior Championship at the Austin Country Club this week.

The AJGA is a non-profit that helps golfers get more exposure to college scouts. The AJGA hosts over a hundred tournaments throughout the year around the United States. This is the first time they have been back since 2018.

On Tuesday, golfers took the course for the first time. Participants traveled from Europe, Asia and even right here in southeast Minnesota.

“Our goal is not only to help young men and women develop in the golf work but also personally and to provide them an opportunity to get college scholarships. So, we try to make sure golf is more accessible to all. We have a foundation aspect of our organization as well,” said Matthew O’Connell the tournament coordinator for AJGA.

While the AJGA is making an impact with young golfers on the course, the city is also benefiting. With almost one hundred golfers and their families coming to Austin for the week, the tournament is set make an impact on the local economy.

“These players come from all over the world. They are here for the entire week, so they are staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, our attractions, you know getting gas at our gas stations and so it’s been amazing for the Austin community to be able to host this event,” said Executive Director for Discover Austin, Minnesota, Nancy Schable.

There are a few local golfers in the tournament, Elijah Krueger and Ailani Thriavong from Austin.