ANA JR Inspiration 2019

Mission Hills Country Club

The 54-hole ANA Junior Inspiration will be hosted from March 28-31, 2019, at Mission Hills Country Club and features a unique format.

Organized in partnership between the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), will first challenge the invitation-only golfers over 36 holes on the Pete Dye Challenge Course. During the final round, juniors will compete on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course alongside the LPGA Legends for a dream ticket to earn the final amateur exemption into the LPGA’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration. Each final-round pairing will feature one LPGA Legend and two junior golfers. Juniors will compete for an overall stroke-play title as well as participate in a fun competition among groups in a best-ball format with the Legends.

About the field

  • 26 AJGA champions including 2018 ANA Junior Inspiration champion and No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Rose Zhang
  • 25 Rolex Junior All-Americans
  • 32 total players committed to play college golf
  • 30 girls will compete in the ANA Junior Inspiration for the first time
  • 13 total states and 10 foreign countries represented in the field
  • three players are scheduled to play in the first Augusta National Women's Amateur: Zhang, Zoe Antoinette Campos and Yuka Saso

At stake this week

All five amateur exemptions in the ANA Inspiration are players with AJGA ties:

  • Patty Tavatanakit - 2016 Rolex Junior Player of the Year now at UCLA
  • Rachel Heck - 2017 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and high school senior
  • Frida Kinhult, a Swedish golfer and a freshman at Florida State University who competed on the PING Junior Solheim Cup
  • Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland, a junior at Stanford University who competed on the PING Junior Solheim Cup
  • 2019 ANA Junior Inspiration champion

From ANA

“We are excited to welcome 48 of the best junior golfers in North America and the world and offer them the opportunity to learn directly from 24 legendary LPGA stars at the ANA Junior Inspiration,” said Hideki Kunugi, Senior Vice President of the Americas, ANA. “One of our main priorities in sponsoring the ANA Inspiration has been to elevate the ANA Junior Inspiration to provide opportunities for the juniors to leave them with memories that will last a lifetime and what better way to do so them to get them on the course for a round with an LPGA legend.”

Gateway City Grant program

The field of AJGA junior golfers earned entry into the ANA Junior Inspiration through ANA Priority Mileage Points Standings, which are based on the AJGA's Rolex AJGA Rankings. Top qualifiers from ANA’s 11 North American Gateway Cities of Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver and Washington D.C. will also compete. Each Gateway City Qualifier chose a state or local golf association to receive a Gateway City Grant on behalf of ANA. Since the event’s inception in 2017, $165,000 in ANA Gateway City Grants has funded 18 state and local golf organizations to help inspire young golfers and grow the sport.

Future college teammates

As a part of the 32 total players committed to play college golf, five sets of future college teammates are in the field:

  • Duke - Sophia Bae, Megan Furtney, Anne Chen
  • Texas - Sophie Guo, Bohyun Park
  • Arizona - Kailie Vongsaga, Therese Warner
  • Northwestern - Charlotte Hillary, Irene Kim
  • Vanderbilt - Lynn Lim, Celina Rose Sattlekau

AJGA champion highlights

Of the 26 players who've won an AJGA event, a few highlights:

  • Amari Avery has already jumped in Poppie's Pond as winner of the 2017 ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior
  • Sadie Englemann won the inaugural 2018 Buick Shanshan Feng Girls Invitational and earned a Symetra Tour exemption into the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa
  • Xin (Cindy) Kou collected both 2018 titles for the AJGA's Junior All-Star Series (ages 12-15) in the AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee and the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational
  • Yuka Saso defeated a top international field in the desert at the 2018 Thunderbird International Junior
  • Zhang had a top year, her ANA Junior Inspiration win led off a year where she captured the Swinging Skirts AJGA Invitational and The PING Invitational over talented fields

Tournament history

Prior to its association with the AJGA in 2017, the ANA Junior Inspiration operated as an 18-hole qualifier for Southern California-based juniors to earn a spot into the major championship field. The Southern California Golf Association (SCGA), Fresh & Easy and ANA Inspiration champion Amy Alcott worked together to lay the foundation for this game-changing girls’ tournament.

  • 2012 - 2013 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Alison Lee
  • 2013 -- Angel Yin
  • 2014 -- Lilia Vu
  • 2015 -- Haley Moore
  • 2016 -- 2014 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Andrea Lee
  • 2017 -- Lucy Li
  • 2018 -- Rose Zhang

Experience in top AJGA girls events

  • 36 competed in theANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex
  • 28 played in the Buick Shanshan Feng Girls Invitational
  • 22 competed in the Rolex Girls Junior Championship
  • Rose Zhang represented the United States on the winning 2017 PING Junior Solheim Cup team

Eleven of the Top 25 players in the Rolex Top 25 Rankings

1Rose Zhang
2Yuka Saso
5Bohyun Park
7Sadie Englemann
12Megan Schofill
13Irene Kim
14Xin (Cindy) Kou
17Nicole Whiston
19Briana Chacon
21Christine Wang
22Zoe Antoinette Campos

LPGA Legends field

Headlined by LPGA Hall of Famers Betsy King and Amy Alcott, the2019 ANA Junior Inspiration field of 24 LPGA Legendsfeatures 11 ANA Inspiration champions (who account for 15 of the event’s wins) and represents 318 total LPGA victories. Twenty of the 24 competitors from the 2018 field return including Best Ball winner Liselotte Neumann.

As a part of the LPGA Legends field dynamic, junior golfers can learn from and be mentored by the women who paved the way for their current success, including a few who’ve been exactly in their shoes. Four LPGA Legends are also former AJGA Rolex Junior All-Americans:

  • Pat Hurst
  • Wendy Ward
  • 1981 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Jenny Lidback
  • Laurie Rinker

Social

Follow hastag #ANAJrInspiration or visitwww.ANAjuniorinspiration.com.