11 AJGA Juniors to Play at U.S. Women's Open
Eleven current American Junior Golf Association members have qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open to be held at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., June 29 - July 1. The following juniors will be competing against the world’s best female golfers: Kimberly Kim, Esther Choe, Courtney Ellenbogen, Shan Shan Feng, Mina Harigae, Vicky Hurst, Danielle Kang, Joanne Lee, Tiffany Lua, Alexis Thompson and Maria Jose Uribe.
Kim, who earned her spot by winning the 2006 U.S. Women's Amateur, won the Thunderbird International Junior in May. She is a second-team Rolex Junior All-American.
Thompson, 12, of Coral Springs Fla., is the youngest player ever to qualify for a U.S. Women’s Open. Thompson already has two top-five finishes in her young career, including a win at the 2007 Aldila Junior Classic. She also became the second youngest player in AJGA history to win an event.
Choe, 17, of Scottsdale, Ariz., has won seven AJGA tournaments including the 2006 Rolex Girls Junior Championship. She is a four-time Rolex Junior All-American and was the 2006 Rolex Girls Junior Player of the Year, an honor whose past recipients include Paula Creamer, Julieta Granata and Morgan Pressel.
Ellenbogen, 16, of Blacksburg, Va., began the 2007 season with a win at the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan. She has racked up nine top-five finishes in AJGA events since she began playing in 2004.
Feng, 17, of Hilton Head Island, S.C., is a current member of the AJGA, but has yet to compete in an event.
Harigae, 17, of Monterey, Calif., is a four-time Rolex Junior All-American. She has recorded 12 top-five finishes in AJGA tournaments including a first-place finish at the 2006 ReBath Heather Farr Classic.
Hurst, 16, of Melbourne, Fla., is the two-time champion of the Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol, taking home the event’s top honors in 2006 and 2007. Additionally, she has two other wins and five top-five finishes in AJGA events. Hurst was named to the Rolex Junior All-America First Team in 2006.
Kang, 14, of Oak Park, Callif., is currently No. 132 in the Polo Golf Rankings. Her best AJGA finish came at last year's Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch when her 69-73-75–217 tournament total landed her in second place.
Lee, 18, of San Carlos, Calif., has placed in the top five at five AJGA events including a victory at the 2006 Fidelity Investments Junior Open. She was named an honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American in 2006.
Lua, 16, of Rowland Heights, Calif., was named a Rolex Junior All-American in 2005 and 2006. She has placed in the top five at seven AJGA tournaments, and earned victories at Future Legends in 2005 and the Preseason Junior at Hot Springs in 2004.
Uribe, 17, of Bucaramanga, Colombia, finished fifth at the 2006 Rolex Girls Junior Championship, and was a 2006 honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American.