Sep. 27, 2012
While there are many common threads between the players representing
the United States at the Ryder Cup, the 12-man team shares a similar junior
golf background: all members of the U.S. team played in AJGA events as juniors.
Collectively, the U.S. team competed in 168 AJGA tournaments and recorded a
total of 26 AJGA victories.
The AJGA lineage also includes U.S. Team Captain Davis
Love III, who competed in the 1981 Rolex Tournament of Champions, as well as
two members of the European team, Nicolas Colsaerts and Sergio Garcia.
Below, find out which AJGA tournaments Ryder Cup
participants competed in as juniors, and how they stacked up during their early
Bradley played in 11 AJGA events from 2002 to 2004, where
he claimed victory at the 2004 Lessing’s AJGA Classic. He went on to be named
an honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American later that year and continued
his golf career at St. Johns University.
Dufner played in five AJGA events with his best finish
coming at the 1995 Ray Floyd Turnberry Isle Classic where he finished 14th. He
went on to play collegiate golf at Auburn University.
During his three-year AJGA career, Furyk played in 26
events, including the Rolex Tournament of Champions in back-to-back years. He
was named to the 1987 Rolex Junior All-America First Team after winning the Ben
Hogan Boys Junior Championship and finishing in the top 10 five additional
From 1999 to 2002, Johnson appeared in six AJGA
tournaments with his best finish being T10 at the 2001 AJGA Greater Greensboro
Chrysler Junior. Following his AJGA career, he went on to play for Coastal
Carolina University where he achieved All-American status twice and earned
seven career victories.
Johnson competed in two AJGA events during his junior
career, including the 1993 Randy Wise Junior Open and the 1993 Wakonda Junior
Classic where he finished in the top 20. He continued his golf career at Drake
Kuchar played with the AJGA from 1993 to 1996. During his
AJGA career, Kuchar had five top-3 finishes, was a second-team Rolex Junior
All-American in 1994, and third-team Rolex Junior All-American in 1995. His
best showing came at the 1994 Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior when he
finished runner-up. Kuchar was also named an HP Scholastic Junior All-American
in 1994 for excellence on the golf course and in the classroom.
Mickelson participated in 26 AJGA events from 1985 to 1989,
boasting 12 victories – the most individual career titles ever held by an AJGA
boy. He was a three-time champion at both the Rolex Tournament of Champions and
the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior, earning him the coveted Rolex Junior
Player of the Year honor for a record three years (1986, 1987, 1988).
During his junior career, Snedeker posted three top-20
AJGA finishes and received Rolex Junior All-America honorable mention honors in
1998. He also earned individual medalist honors at the 1998 AJGA Music City
Junior Team Challenge, where his team of Adam Shanks, Noble Judy and Alan Weant
took the top prize.
Simpson was a four-time Rolex
Junior All-America First Team honoree. He totaled 16 top-10 finishes during his
AJGA career. His biggest win came at the 2001 Rolex Tournament of Champions.
Simpson represented the East Team at the 2001, 2002, and 2004 Wyndham Cup.
In 1984, Stricker competed in two AJGA events, including
the Polo Golf Junior Classic. He posted a top-20 performance at the AJGA French
Lick Junior Invitational.
Watson played in AJGA events for six years, from 1992 to 1997. He
competed in events including the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior,
the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the Polo Golf Junior Classic, compiling more
than 14 top-10 AJGA finishes. Watson was victorious twice in his junior career
with wins at the 1993 ICS Gateway Junior Classic and the 1993 Port Armour
Junior. He earned Rolex Junior All-America honors in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
From 1991 to 1993, Woods played in 13 AJGA tournaments,
winning eight, which ties him for second most AJGA career wins and earned him
the title of Rolex Junior Player of the Year in both 1991 and 1992. Woods
appeared in the Wyndham Cup from 1990 to 1993 as a member of the West Team and
posted a record of 11-3-2, the best of any boy in the tournament’s history.
Colsaerts played in two AJGA tournaments including the
1999 Polo Golf Junior Classic and the 2000 Thunderbird International Junior.
The Belgian golfer posted a T16 finish during his sole Thunderbird
International Junior appearance.
Garcia played in two AJGA events and was named honorable
mention Rolex Junior All-American in 1998 after winning the Marsh Junior at