Sorenstam Mahan named AJGA National Chairmen

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BRASELTON, Ga. – Hunter Mahan and Annika Sorenstam have been named the new AJGA National Chairmen, the American Junior Golf Association announced Wednesday. The pair has been given the honor based on their high involvement with AJGA tournaments, as well as the ACE Grant program.

Former National Chairmen include Phil Mickelson, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Betsy Rawls, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Watson.

During her tenure on the LPGA, Sorenstam amassed an astounding 72 wins, the third most all-time by a member of the Tour. Of those 72 victories, 10 were LPGA major championships. An eight-time LPGA Tour Player of the Year, Annika made eight appearances in the Solheim Cup on the European squad, earning a record of 22-11-4.

“I am very honored to become the National Chairman for the AJGA, who I feel runs the best junior golf tour in the world,” Sorenstam said. “The AJGA provides incredible opportunities for juniors in golf, and also great life lessons off the course. My Foundation hosts a tournament each year and we look forward to inspiring kids with the AJGA for many years to come.”

Sorenstam has proven herself to be a benevolent ambassador of the game of golf by taking on duties such as USGA Ambassador and Advisor to the LPGA Board of Directors. She has worked in her role as Olympic Global Ambassador to further the game by successfully lobbying to have golf added as an Olympic sport. In 2009, Annika teamed up with the AJGA to conduct the Annika Invitational, a 54-hole, invitation-only event for the best female junior golfers from the United States and abroad. As host of the event, Sorenstam took a hands-on approach. From speaking engagements to conducting a clinic for the juniors to hosting educational events for the tournament participants, she was involved with every element of the tournament.

Aside from her work at AJGA tournaments, Sorenstam supports AJGA youth development programs. She has committed to endowing an ACE Grant, which will continue to support junior golfers into perpetuity. The ACE Grant is a financial assistance program aimed at providing top-flight golf opportunities to juniors with the talent, but without the resources to play a national junior golf schedule.

Mahan, who turned professional in 2003, is ending an impressive year highlighted by victories at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational, as well as an appearance on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. His 2010 success has helped him ascend to No. 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

'The AJGA had a major impact on my development as a golfer, and it was only 11 years ago that I was the Rolex Junior Player of the Year,' Mahan said. 'I want other young players to have those same opportunities, which is why I have been giving back to the organization the last few years.   I am happy to be able to serve with Annika Sorenstam as the National Chairmen, because it provides more avenues to help today's junior golfers.'

Despite the rigors of a full-time touring schedule, Mahan has remained true to his roots. The 1999 Rolex Junior Player of the Year teamed up with Under Armour in 2009 to create the Under Armour Hunter Mahan Championship, held in his hometown of McKinney, Texas. The 54-hole stroke play event has been held at TPC Craig Ranch for two years, with Hunter serving not only as the namesake of the tournament, but also a hands-on host who takes time to put on a clinic for the juniors.

His involvement with the AJGA doesn’t stop there. He also supports the AJGA’s ACE Grant through a charitable giving program set up through the Ryder Cup. Throughout his involvement with the program, Mahan has also committed to endow an ACE Grant, guaranteeing financial assistance for future generations of golf.