March 7, 2014
The American Junior Golf Association has awarded the Under Armour® / Jeff Overton Championship hosted by Otter Creek with the 2013 Newcomer of the Year Award. The inaugural event, which was held at Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ind., July 1-4, was highlighted for its ability to provide players with a complete tournament experience.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am fundraising tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with the highest media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new event, best Junior All-Star tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Awards will be presented at the J.R. “Digger” Smith Awards Banquet in Braselton, Ga., on March 8.
“I could not be more proud of our committee and our volunteers,” said Tournament Chairman John Fairbanks. “Being selected for this award is such an honor and it really motivates us to do even more next year.”
The committee partnered with Under Armour® to have PGA TOUR Professional Jeff Overton host the event. Overton, an AJGA alum who played in 12 AJGA events from 1999 to 2001 with five top-15 finishes, gave a clinic to players, parents and local community members in attendance. Even though the clinic was cut short due to weather, Overton stayed in the clubhouse for the remainder of the afternoon signing autographs, taking pictures and speaking to the players.
According to Fairbanks, the success of the tournament was a direct result of how much of a contribution the committee could make to local charities. After the Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament and contributions from Under Armour®, the tournament raised more than $64,000 that went to the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, the First Tee of Columbus and local scholarship funds.
“By putting in the extra effort, the committee hopes that we can continue to build the tournament each year,” Fairbanks said. “If we can make a big enough splash, we hope to attract even more of the top-ranked talent next year.”
In its first year, players from 27 states traveled to Columbus, Ind., for the event. The field included three Rolex Junior All-Americans. Of the 144 total players, 47 players had made commitments to play college golf.
The Under Armour® / Jeff Overton Championship hosted by Otter Creek returns to the 2014 AJGA tournament schedule and will be played on June 30-July 3.