Complete Rolex Junior All-America Team Listing
Junior golf’s top honors were announced Tuesday as 86 boys and 59 girls were named Rolex Junior All-Americans by the American Junior Golf Association.
Introduced by the AJGA in 1978, the Rolex Junior All-America Teams annually recognize those players who have established themselves as the world’s premier junior golfers. This year’s selections distinguished themselves through their outstanding play in 74 national events, 53 of which where conducted by the AJGA.
The teams are comprised of 145 junior golfers, ages 13-19, from 31 states and six foreign countries. These standouts will be recognized Nov. 21, during the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet held at Sea Island Golf Club in Sea Island, Ga.
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, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Sergio Garcia and Todd Hamilton were all Rolex Junior All-Americans. Four of the LPGA Tour’s top-10 money leaders were named Rolex Junior All-Americans as junior golfers: Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Hee-Won Han and Jennifer Rosales. Other AJGA alumni who help comprise the list of past Rolex Junior All-Americans include Bob Estes, Mark Calcavecchia, David Duval, Justin Leonard, Charles Howell III, Kelli Kuehne, Brandie Burton, Emilee Klein, Beth Bauer and Candie Kung.
First-Team Rolex Junior All-Americans – Boys
Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., the 2004 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, headlines this year’s boys’ Rolex Junior All-America First Team. After earning both honors in 2003, he continued his success by winning the Polo Golf Junior Classic and FootJoy Boys Invitational during the 2004 season. He also competed in two PGA TOUR events (MCI Heritage, Buick Championship) and advanced to the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur.
Other two-time winners on the boys’ first team include Jon Curran of Hopkinton, Mass., Paul Haley of Dallas, Rory Hie of Lakewood, Calif., and Jamie Lovemark of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Curran was victorious at The Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers and 21st Annual Scott Robertson Memorial Tournament. Haley took home the titles at the Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship and Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior. Hie won the Heather Farr Classic and Lennar Junior at Mission Hills while Lovemark took home impressive titles at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and 87th Annual Western Junior Amateur.
While Robert Gates, Jr., of Gainesville, Fla., won once in 2004, he ended his junior career with an impressive feather to add to his cap: the title at the HP Boys Junior Championship. The freshman at Texas A&M also finished tied for second at the Thunderbird International Junior.
Philip Francis of Scottsdale, Ariz., a 15-year-old, and 2004 graduates Jon McLean of Weston, Fla., Webb Simpson of Raleigh, N.C., and Jarred Texter of Millersville, Pa., all have the distinction of not needing a win to join this team based on their performances at the best junior events the game has to offer. Francis had five top-three finishes, including a tie for second at the FootJoy Boys Invitational. McLean matched Francis at the FootJoy Boys Invitational and placed tied for second at the Thunderbird International Junior.
Simpson, who now attends Wake Forest, also had two second-place finishes (T-2, Thunderbird International Junior, 2nd, 21st Annual Scott Robertson Memorial Tournament). Texter, a freshman at UNLV, finished behind Lovemark in second place at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and placed third at the 21st Annual Scott Robertson Memorial Tournament.
First-Team Rolex Junior All-Americans – Girls
Julieta Granada of Asuncion, Paraguay, garnered junior golf’s crown jewel in 2004: the title of Rolex Junior Player of the Year. She did so by winning the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship and two additional AJGA titles.
She is joined on the first team by two past Rolex Junior Players of the Year in Paula Creamer of Pleasanton, Calif. (2003), and In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla. (2002). Creamer won the Heather Farr Classic and advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior. She was even more active at the professional level, securing top finishes at the U.S. Women’s Open and Shoprite LPGA Classic. Park, who did not win an AJGA event for the first time in three years, had four second-place finishes. She was also active at the next level after she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open and finished tied for eighth at the LPGA Takefuji Classic.
The remainder of the girls’ Rolex Junior All-America First Team accounted for 18 national victories. Amanda Blumenherst of Scottsdale, Ariz., alone tallied four titles. Tiffany Joh of San Diego, and Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., each had three. Esther Choe of La Quinta, Calif., Mallory Hetzel of Summerville, S.C., Jennie Lee of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Angela Park of Torrance, Calif., all won twice. But this group’s accomplishments don’t stop there.
Blumenherst now has 10 AJGA victories. Choe had five more top-five finishes in 2004. Hetzel placed in the top five three more times. Joh never finished outside the top six all year. Lee had three second-place finishes to go with her two wins. Park finished behind Pressel at the Rolex Tournament of Champions in second. And Morgan Pressel increased her AJGA victory count to seven.
Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became an AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. The distinguished timepiece maker is the proprietor of the Rolex Junior Players of the Year, Rolex Junior All-America Teams and the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet. Rolex also sponsors the Rolex Tournament of Champions and Rolex Girls Junior Championship, two of the AJGA’s most competitive major championships. As a Premier Partner, Rolex is the Founding Partner to the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program and an Official Partner to the biennial PING Junior Solheim Cup.