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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Weekly Results
Preseason Junior at Fieldstone
Boys
Total
1
Thomas Sullinger
145
T
2
Chase Lakari
149
T
2
Jack Kunkel
149
Girls
Total
1
Tabytha Robinson
160
T
2
Samantha Kellstrom
161
T
2
Marissa Kirkwood
161
AJGA Junior at The Legends presented by Plaza Motors
Boys
Total
1
Matthew Liston
140
2
Varun Chopra
144
3
Pierce Aichinger
146
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Total
1
Micheala Williams
147
2
Kailie Vongsaga
149
T
3
Madasyn Pettersen
150
T
3
Belinda Hu
150
T
3
Amy Matsuoka
150
Junior All-Star at Forsgate
Boys
Total
1
*Brandon Yoon
142
2
Joe Parrini
142
T
3
Ethan Ng
144
T
3
Alexander Yun
144
Girls
Total
1
Lauren Peter
144
2
Yoonju Shin
147
T
3
Mallory Lovell
148
T
3
Crystal Wang
148
Preseason Junior at Chesapeake Bay presented by Golf Performance Center
Boys
Total
1
Brady Pevarnik
147
T
2
Bruce Shober
148
T
2
Michael Sydnes
148
Girls
Total
1
Lauren Muhlbauer
154
2
Carolyn Wang
159
3
Lauren Freyvogel
161
* Won via sudden-death playoff
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The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and
development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.