Preview: Thunderbird International Junior

Tournament website

In just two weeks, 78 junior golfers will head to Grayhawk Golf Club for the 14th Thunderbird International Junior. Among this talented group of players, 20 of them will travel from 12 countries to Scottsdale, Ariz., for the AJGA’s first summer Invitational.

Within the tournament’s history, champions of the event have continued their golf careers at the collegiate and professional level. The first Girls Division champion in 2000 was Virada Nirapathpongporn of Bangkok, Thailand, who went on to win the women’s NCAA Championship in 2002 while playing for Duke and the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2003. Belen Mozo of Cadiz, Spain, won the Thunderbird International Junior in 2004 and continued her career at the University of Southern California. She was a four-time NCAA All-American before joining the Symetra Tour and is in her second year on the LPGA Tour.

Twenty-nine girls will look to follow in the footsteps of these past champions at Grayhawk Golf Club this year, which includes 21 AJGA medalists and champions. ANNIKA Invitational Europe champion Linnea Strom of Hovas, Sweden, will compete in her second AJGA event after tying for fifth at the ANNIKA Invitational in Reunion, Fla.   

Looking at the past champions on the boys’ side of the draw, one will find NCAA champions and PGA TOUR players. Current PGA TOUR player, Ryan Moore, won the Thunderbird International Junior in 2001. He followed his junior career at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas before turning professional and winning the 2012 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Casey Wittenberg won the Invitational in 2002 after being named Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 2001. He was recently honored as the 2012 Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

In the 2013 Boys Division, 23 of the 48 junior golfers are AJGA champions and medalists. Brad Dalke of McKinney, Texas, will look to repeat history after winning the event in 2011 as the AJGA’s youngest boys Invitational champion at 13 years, 9 months and 11 days.

Learn more about the Thunderbird International Junior and join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @AJGAGolf and using the hashtag #AJGAThunderbird.

 
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Boys
1. Sam Burns
Shreveport, LA
2. Andy Zhang
Reunion, FL
3. Austin Connelly
Irving, TX
4. Jorge Garcia
Miami, FL
5. KK Limbhasut
Loma Linda, CA
Girls
1. Andrea Lee
Hermosa Beach, CA
2. Bethany Wu
Diamond Bar, CA
3. Kristen Gillman
Austin, TX
4. Maddie Szeryk
Allen, TX
5. Megan Khang
Rockland, MA
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The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.

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Weekly Results
Randy Wise Junior Open
Boys
Total
1
Donnie Trosper
203
2
Beau Breault
209
3
Tyler Pearson
210
Girls
Total
1
Morgan Gonzales
214
2
Riley Rennell
216
T
3
Megan Furtney
218
T
3
Aiko Leong
218
AJGA Junior at Bethesda
Boys
Total
1
Chad McCann
211
T
2
Graham Hutchinson
213
T
2
Nathan Chuwait
213
T
2
Van Thomas
213
Girls
Total
1
Shannon Brooks
212
2
Julie Luo
220
3
Brynn Walker
223
Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Sugarloaf
Boys
Total
1
Rij Patel
228
T
2
Nelson Pang
231
T
2
Sam Wu
231
T
2
John Hilliard Catanzaro
231
Girls
Total
1
Brooke McDougald
232
2
Jiayu Kong
233
3
Belinda Hu
239
Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau Junior All-Star
Boys
Total
1
Clay Seeber
202
2
Ricky Castillo
204
T
3
Eddy Lai
208
T
3
Joseph Chun
208
Girls
Total
1
Brittany Park
215
T
2
Carolyn Zhao
218
T
2
Yealimi Noh
218
Coca-Cola Junior All-Star at Sugarloaf
Boys
Total
1
Won Jun Lee
219
2
Mason Nome
227
T
3
Scott Roden
229
T
3
Brady Keran
229
Girls
Total
1
Hailey Jones
239
2
Lindsay May
243
3
Katie Lee
244
PBE Qualifier - California
Boys
Total
T
1
Kevin An
71
T
1
Yash Majmudar
71
T
3
Lucas Carper
72
T
3
Alex Chin
72
T
3
William Draper
72
T
3
Joseph Burlison
72
T
3
Yu-Jen Cheng
72
Girls
Total
1
Courtney Vogel
70
T
2
Sophia Hui
74
T
2
Waverly Whiston
74
T
2
Ty Akabane
74
T
2
Samantha Gong
74
FJ Live Scoring
AJGA U
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.