Harman, Creamer Named 2003 Polo
Golf Junior Players of the Year
Junior golf standouts honored for their achievements
during the 2003 season
Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., and Paula Creamer
of Pleasanton, Calif., were named the 2003 Polo Golf Junior
Players of the Year, the American Junior Golf Association
announced Wednesday. The two will be honored Nov. 25, 2003,
at the Polo Golf Junior All-America Awards Banquet held
at Walt Disney World Resort’s Yacht Club in Lake Buena
Vista, Fla. The banquet – dubbed “The Greatest
Night in Junior Golf” – recognizes golf’s
next generation: the Polo Golf Boys and Girls Junior All-America
teams and the hp Scholastic Junior All-America team.
Harman and Creamer now add their name to an
already impressive list of past Polo Golf Junior Players
of the Year that includes PGA and LPGA Tour stars such as:
Billy Andrade (1981), Brian Watts (1984), Bob May (1985),
Phil Mickelson (1986-’88), David Duval (1989), Tiger
Woods (1991-’92), Jenny Lidback (1981), Michelle McGann
(1987), Brandie Burton (1988), Emilee Klein (1991), Grace
Park (1994,’96), Cristie Kerr (1995), Beth Bauer (1997-’98)
and Candie Kung (1999). This marks the 26th year of AJGA
All-America teams and the sixth year of sponsorship of the
All-America teams by Polo Golf, a division of Polo Ralph
Harman’s ascent to the top of the junior
golfing world has been one steady progression. Although
he didn’t claim his first national victory until this
season, he was by no means a newcomer to the top of national
junior golf scoreboards.
In 2001, his first full year on the national
scene, he placed in the top 10 in all three of the AJGA
events in which he played. In 2002, he finished in the top
five in three of four AJGA starts and made a run to the
quarterfinals of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. These
accomplishments were enough to secure him a spot on the
second-team Polo Golf Junior All-America team. It was the
2003 season, however, that separated Harman from his peers.
He began the year with top finishes at the
Junior Heritage Classic (T7) and the AJGA TaylorMade-adidas
Golf Junior at Cheatau Elan (T4). In May, he claimed his
first national title when he took home top honors at an
AJGA Major event – the Thunderbird International Junior
held at Grayhawk Golf Club, home to fellow lefty and PGA
TOUR player Phil Mickelson. He continued his success at
major events when his rounds of 69-71-67-68 were good enough
for him to win the Chrysler AJGA Boys Invitational.
Subtract a few hiccups in the final holes
of the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions and an unwavering
competitor in Brendon Todd, and Harman could have claimed
three majors in three tries. While his 69-71-71-69—280
tournament total landed him in second, two shots back of
Todd, he reaffirmed his dominance in 2003 major events.
If there were any lingering questions concerning
Harman’s successes, they were all put to rest at the
U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. In the final, he defeated
fellow AJGA member Jordan Cox of Redwood City, Calif., 5
and 4, completing one of the most impressive seasons in
junior golf’s history.
At season’s end, his average 18-hole
score in AJGA stroke play competition totaled 70.4.
“It really is an honor to be named the
Polo Golf Boys Junior Player of the Year,” Harman
said. “It’s something I’ve put a lot of
sweat and hard work into. It takes hard work and dedication
day-in and day-out. To me, golf is all about timing. I came
along at the right time and played well when I needed to.
This award shows me that what I’m doing – all
the practice and competing – is paying off.”
Creamer, like Harman, put together a season
that will not likely be matched anytime soon. In fact, her
junior career – with still one more year left to compete
– can easily be compared to some of the game’s
all-time greats. She has already inked 16 national titles
with 11 of those being in AJGA competition. To help put
things in perspective, the latter figure places Creamer
behind only Kellee Booth (18), Grace Park (18), Leigh Anne
Hardin (18), Beth Bauer (17) and Vicki Goetze (15) for total
An amazing aspect of Creamer’s results
is that each year she has improved. After going winless
in 2000, she won four national events in 2001 as a 14-year-old.
In 2002, she one-uped herself, winning five times. Then,
during 2003, she won her first five events of the season.
She went on to win a total of seven tournaments, including
two AJGA Majors: the Polo Golf Junior Classic and the Rolex
Girls Junior Championship.
Along the way, she found time to qualify for
the U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Women’s Amateur
Championship, and received sponsors’ exemptions to
two LPGA Tour events: Asahi Ryokuken International Championship
at Mount Vintage and Wegmans Rochester LPGA, making the
cut in both tournaments.
“This has been my main goal for quite
awhile now,” Creamer said. “It’s a great
feeling to know people think that I’m a good enough
player to deserve this award. I think it’s every junior’s
goal to be named the player of the year, so with so many
great juniors playing right now, I feel fortunate to be
Introduced by the AJGA in 1978, the Polo Golf
Junior All-America teams recognize those who have distinguished
themselves as the world’s premier junior golfers.
The Polo Golf Junior All-Americans are honored for their
outstanding play in 72 national events, 51 of which were
conducted by the AJGA.