2010 Rolex Junior All-America teams announced

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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.