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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Boys
Total
1
Luke Schaap
67
T
2
Graham Hutchinson
68
T
2
John Pak
68
Girls
Total
1
Shannon Brooks
68
2
Julie Luo
71
T
3
Ami Gianchandani
73
T
3
Krystal Sung
73
Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Sugarloaf
Boys
Total
T
1
Tianlin Zhang
73
T
1
Charles Sun
73
3
Nelson Pang
74
Girls
Total
1
Madeleine Garay
78
2
Belinda Hu
79
T
3
Brooke McDougald
80
T
3
Jiayu Kong
80
T
3
Veronica Joels
80
Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau Junior All-Star
Boys
Total
1
Ricky Castillo
65
T
2
Clay Seeber
69
T
2
Gabe Spach
69
T
2
Joseph Chun
69
T
2
Eddy Lai
69
Girls
Total
1
Carolyn Zhao
70
2
Brittany Park
72
3
Yealimi Noh
73
Coca-Cola Junior All-Star at Sugarloaf
Boys
Total
1
Charlie Dubiel
72
2
Won Jun Lee
73
T
3
Andrew O'Leary
75
T
3
Scott Roden
75
Girls
Total
1
Christine Shao
74
2
Lindsay May
78
3
Lauren Peter
79
PBE Qualifier - California
Boys
Total
T
1
Yash Majmudar
71
T
1
Kevin An
71
T
3
William Draper
72
T
3
Lucas Carper
72
T
3
Yu-Jen Cheng
72
T
3
Joseph Burlison
72
T
3
Alex Chin
72
Girls
Total
1
Courtney Vogel
70
T
2
Sophia Hui
74
T
2
Ty Akabane
74
T
2
Waverly Whiston
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.