12-year-olds Now Eligible for AJGA

Twelve-year-old junior golfers will be eligible to compete in American Junior Golf Association tournaments in 2004, the AJGA announced Wednesday.

Since 1990, AJGA tournaments have been limited to 13-18-year-olds who have not yet begun college. Under the new age guideline, a player who reaches his or her 12th birthday on or before the final day of a tournament is eligible to apply for that event.

“We have seen players such as Morgan Pressel, Michelle Wie, Aree and Naree Song, and In-Bee Park who have excelled at a very young age,” said Stephen Hamblin, AJGA Executive Director.

Pressel made headlines when she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open in 2001 as a 12-year-old. Wie became well-known in golf circles as an 11-year-old prodigy.

The Song twins played in their first AJGA tournament – the Rolex Girls Junior Championship – within weeks after turning 13 years old in 1999. Aree won the invitational, while Naree placed fourth. In 2002, Park became the youngest Polo Golf Junior Player of the Year shortly after turning 14.

“This will benefit juniors who have the ability to compete in the AJGA by giving them the opportunity to gain experience at a younger age,” Hamblin said. “Many 12-year-olds will find opportunities in the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series. That is a great entry point into national junior golf.”

The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series provides playing opportunities for juniors, ages 12-15. Many of today’s top players, such as 2002 Polo Golf Junior Players of the Year Park and Seung Su Han, got their start in the Series.

Jennie Lee, who recently won the Polo Golf Junior Classic, began her AJGA career in the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series, as did first-team Polo Golf Junior All-Americans James Lee and Amanda Blumenherst.

This motion was proposed and approved at the AJGA Board Meeting held during the week of the Polo Golf Junior Classic.

 
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Austin Hitt
141
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2
Tyler Strafaci
142
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2
Luis Gerardo Garza
142
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1
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144
2
Taylor Tomlinson
147
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3
Gabriela Coello
148
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3
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148
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3
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148
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1
Davis Shore
131
2
Zach Norris
136
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3
Will Chandler
139
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3
Brian Clark
139
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1
Sophia Schubert
132
2
Angella Then
142
3
Kimberlee Tottori
145
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Total
T
1
Braden Thornberry
142
T
1
Trey Winstead
142
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1
Davis Baxter
142
Girls
Total
1
Mia Ayer
144
2
Jiayu Kong
145
3
Klara Castillo
148
Lockton / Samsung Kansas City Junior
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Total
1
Kory Franks
144
T
2
Andrew Beckler
145
T
2
Aaron DeNucci
145
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1
Amy Matsuoka
141
T
2
Alison Chang
148
T
2
Anabelle Chang
148
Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior Classic
Boys
Total
T
1
Mason Glinski
141
T
1
Taisei Negishi
141
T
1
Wocheng Ye
141
T
1
Joshua Suh
141
Girls
Total
1
Benyapa Niphatsophon
135
2
Clare Amelia Legaspi
136
T
3
Alyaa Abdulghany
140
T
3
Minjou Chen
140
AJGA Philadelphia Junior
Boys
Total
1
Isaiah Logue
213
2
Will Bernstein
217
T
3
Davis Lamb
218
T
3
Brent Ito
218
Girls
Total
1
Brynn Walker
231
2
Madelein Herr
235
3
Amy Ding
236
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