2010 Rolex Junior All-America teams announced

By Ajga StaffOctober 21, 2010, 12:56 am
BRASELTON, Ga. − Junior golf’s top honors were announced Wednesday as 48 boys and 48 girls were named Rolex Junior All-Americans by Rolex and the American Junior Golf Association.

Introduced by the AJGA in 1978, the Rolex Junior All-America Teams annually recognize players who have established themselves as the world’s premier junior golfers. This year’s selections distinguished themselves through their outstanding play in 77 national events, 60 of which were conducted by the AJGA. The Rolex Junior All-America Teams were determined exclusively through the Polo Golf Rankings as of Oct. 20.

The teams are comprised of 96 junior golfers, ages 13-18, from 23 states and six foreign countries (Canada, Israel, Mexico, Northern Ireland, the Philippines and Thailand). These standouts will be honored at the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet, Nov. 21, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Anthony Paolucci of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., headlines the 12 boys on the Rolex Junior All-America First Team. A four-time Rolex Junior All-American, Paolucci posted six top-five finishes in 2010, including victories at the Thunderbird International Junior and the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Paolucci twice represented the U.S. in international competition – he finished T7 at the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy in Hoylake, England, and in September he helped the U.S. retain the Junior Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland. Ranked No. 1 in the Polo Golf Rankings, he has verbally committed to Southern Cal.

Jordan Spieth of Dallas, the 2009 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, earned a spot on the Rolex Junior All-America First Team for the third year in a row, while Emiliano Grillo of Bradenton, Fla., and Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y., are first-team selections for the second consecutive year.

Previous Rolex Junior All-Americans earning first-team accolades for the first time are Tanner Kesterson of Plano, Texas, Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., Patrick Rodgers of Avon, Ind., Oliver Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga., and Justin Thomas of Goshen, Ky.

Additionally, three first-time Rolex Junior All-Americans are making their debut on the first team: Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; Michael Johnson of Birmingham, Ala.; and Denny McCarthy of Burtonsville, Md.

The 12 girls on the Rolex Junior All-America First Team are led by Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif. Park is a five-time Rolex Junior All-American, tied for fourth most all-time in the Girls Division, and earns first-team honors for the first time since 2007. She had three AJGA victories in 2010, including wins at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and The PING Invitational. Ranked No. 2 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Park has verbally committed to Southern Cal.

Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., was the 2008 and 2009 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and earned first-team honors for the third straight year. Jessica Korda of Bradenton, Fla., and Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., are also three-time first-team Rolex Junior All-Americans, while Yueer Cindy Feng of Orlando, Fla., was named to the first team for the second straight year.

Previous Rolex Junior All-Americans earning first-team accolades for the first time are Shannon Aubert of ChampionsGate, Fla., Laetitia Beck of Caesarea, Israel, Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., Kyung Kim of Chandler, Ariz., Stephanie Meadow of Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, and Emily Tubert of Burbank, Calif.

Ariya Jutanugarn of Bangkok, Thailand, is a first-time Rolex Junior All-American and is making her debut on the first team.

Former Rolex Junior All-Americans comprise the top players on both the PGA and LPGA Tours. Of the PGA TOUR’s current top-10 money leaders, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan were all Rolex Junior All-Americans, while Mickelson (1986-88) and Mahan (1999) were Rolex Junior Players of the Year.

On the LPGA Tour, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Cristie Kerr were named Rolex Junior All-Americans as junior golfers before working their way to the top of the pay-for-play ranks. Other notable professional AJGA alumni who help make up the list of past Rolex Junior All-Americans include Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Morgan Pressel, In-Bee Park, Angela Park, Brittany Lang and In-Kyung Kim.

Click here to view complete list of 2010 Rolex Junior All-Americans.
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.