Committee Awards Presented during Digger Smith Banquet
 

Committee Awards Presented during Digger Smith Awards Banquet
Solheim to receive Digger Smith Award at the 2008 PING Invitational

The American Junior Golf Association held its annual Digger Smith Awards Banquet during its Annual Meeting Friday, Feb. 29. Throughout the night, numerous awards were presented to tournament committee members who have gone above and beyond their call of duty to ensure the best tournament experience for all AJGA juniors and their families.


The Dalhousie Junior Championship received Tournament of the Year honors.

PING Chairman and CEO John Solheim was recognized as the winner of this year's Digger Smith Award, but was unable to attend the event due to illness. Solheim will be formally given the award during the 2008 PING Invitational held at Karsten Creek Golf Club Oct. 10-13. Solheim and his family's company, PING, have been longtime supporters of junior golf and the AJGA.

The Digger Smith Award, which has been presented annually since 1991, praises an AJGA advocate for his/her longtime service and dedication to junior golf. Recipients are devoted to the AJGA Mission and Purpose of developing young men and women through competitive junior golf. Award winners not only set a standard for excellence, but they also continue to raise expectations year-in and year-out.

The award is named in honor of current AJGA Chairman of the Board J.R. “Digger” Smith, who has dedicated himself to the AJGA and junior golf for more than three decades.

Each year during the Annual Meeting’s Digger Smith Awards Banquet – named after AJGA Chairman of the Board Jordan R. “Digger” Smith – the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual media coverage, junior-am fundraising tournament, volunteer support base and hospitality. At this time the Association also recognizes its golf professional of the year, new tournament of the year, most improved tournament of the year, AJGA Invitational of the year, and overall tournament of the year.


C.A. Roberts, Cord Dombrowski, Andy Deiro and Kris Strauss were honored for their efforts Friday night.

Solheim and PING have sponsored 50 tournaments in AJGA history. The first event was the 1990 PING Myrtle Beach Junior Classic, which ran for 12 consecutive years. The next year, the PING Phoenix Junior appeared for the first time on the AJGA schedule, where it can still be found today. These 50 events have provided more than 4,600 playing opportunities for juniors.

Recently, the PING Junior Solheim Cup (2002) and The PING Invitational (2006) were added to the AJGA schedule. Solheim was the main catalyst in the creation of both of these elite junior golf events and continues to be involved with all of the AJGA’s PING-sponsored events.

Solheim became President of PING in 1995, 36 years after his father, Karsten Solheim, founded the company in his garage. He was named Chairman and CEO in 1999.

The Phoenix-based company designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of golf equipment including metal woods, irons, putters and golf bags. PING game-improvement products can be found in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.pinggolf.com.

2008 Annual Meeting Digger Smith Awards Banquet
Award Winners

Media Award – Kris Strauss (OB Sports)

Volunteer Award– FootJoy Invitational (Greensboro, N.C.)

Hospitality Award – Thunderbird International Junior (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

Junior-Am Award – PING Junior at The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas)

Charitable Giving Award – Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)

Golf Professional of the Year Award – Billy Dettlaff (TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, Fla.)

Most Improved Tournament Award – Fidelity Investments Junior Classic (Marblehead, Mass.)

Newcomer of the Year Award – Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship (Springfield, Mo.)

Tournament of Year Award – Dalhousie Junior Championship (Cape Girardeau, Mo.)

Invitational of the Year Award – The PING Invitational (Stillwater, Okla.)

Digger Smith Award – John A. Solheim (PING Chairman and CEO)

 
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E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf
Boys
Total
1
S.M. Lee
211
2
Gabriel Lench
213
T
3
Chase Ibbotson
214
T
3
Jake DeZoort
214
T
3
Jake Milanowski
214
Girls
Total
1
Carly Burkhardt
218
2
Natalie Srinivasan
223
3
Yunjie Zhang
224
AJGA Huntsville Junior
Boys
Total
1
Patrick Martin
200
2
Vasili Kartos
215
3
Peyton Wilhoit
216
Girls
Total
1
Maddie Rose Hamilton
222
2
Lauren Gros
223
T
3
Abigail Heck
224
T
3
Micheala Williams
224
Aaron's / Bob Estes Abilene Junior
Boys
Total
1
Jose Cervantes
166
2
McClure Meissner
169
T
3
Drew Jones
172
T
3
Fernando Lopez Butron
172
T
3
Carson Seals
172
Girls
Total
1
Sol Lee
173
T
2
Julie Houston
177
T
2
Binny Lee
177
Midwest Junior Players Championship
Boys
Total
1
Matthew Walker
214
2
Trent Wallace
217
T
3
Mike Lee
219
T
3
Ian Kelsey
219
T
3
Daniel Hudson
219
Girls
Total
1
Heather Ciskowski
225
2
Allyson Geer
226
3
Dana Gattone
228
New Era Junior Championship
Boys
Total
1
Michael VanDerLaan
213
2
Ben Reichert
216
3
Matt Hutchins
218
Girls
Total
1
Katie Kim
218
2
Maren Cipolla
220
T
3
Chelsea Dantonio
226
T
3
Eun-Won Park
226
AJGA Junior at Serrano
Boys
Total
1
Alexander Lee
206
2
Brandon Wu
210
3
Robert Briggs
211
Girls
Total
1
Anna Zhou
214
2
Allisen Corpuz
216
3
Kelsey Ulep
217
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Total
1
Harrison Ott
216
2
Reese Ramsey
218
3
Alex Jamieson
221
Girls
Total
1
Lauren Beaudreau
229
2
Mariah Smith
232
3
Naomi Lee
233
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