A trio of AJGA alumni captured professional victories over the weekend on the PGA, LPGA and European Tours.
Phil Mickelson notched the 40th win of his career Sunday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Now tied for ninth on the PGA TOUR’s all-time wins list, Mickelson ended his AJGA career with 12 victories, which has topped the AJGA record book since his last win in 1989. His three straight wins at the Rolex Tournament of Champions led to three Rolex Junior Player of the Year crowns (1986-1988), and both streaks are the longest in AJGA history.
Mickelson has wins in each of the last nine PGA TOUR seasons; similarly, he recorded a victory in all five seasons of AJGA competition. He remains a proud supporter of the AJGA, as he served as a National Chairman from 2002-2010 and is a driving force behind the Thunderbird International Junior.
Jessica Korda prevailed in a six-player playoff, the largest in LPGA history, to win her first career title at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. A 25-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole sealed history, as Korda became the fifth LPGA player to win at the age of 18 or younger.
She is only two years removed from an AJGA career that included three nods to the Rolex Junior All-America First Team (2008-2010). She won the 2008 McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship and posted a 2-0-1 record for the victorious U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Team in 2009.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello won the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic, outlasting a field that included Lee Westwood (T2) and Rory McIlroy (T5). The Spaniard fired a final-round 68 en route to his second European Tour victory.
Cabrera-Bello made three starts in his AJGA career, with his best finish being a T32 showing at the 2000 Thunderbird International Junior. Among his fellow competitors at that event were Ryan Moore, Kevin Na and Hunter Mahan.