Savannah Barber of Fort Worth, Texas, and Alexa Saldana of Mexico City, Mexico, earned the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball title at Maridoe Golf Club. Barber and Saldana defeated Jillian Bourdage and Casey Weidenfeld 5 and 4 to win the USGA's first championship of the year. In the final match, Barber and Saldana were down until they brought the match back to tied on No. 7. They would continue their strong play winning three straight holes on Nos. 12-14 to close out the match. Barber is a verbal commit to the University of Oklahoma and has one AJGA win. Saldana has one AJGA win in her junior golf career.
This year David Ford, Gordon Sargent, Jackson Van Paris, Kelly Chinn, and Rose Zhang are the 2021 Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award recipients. Zhang makes history as the first female to ever receive the award.
The Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Awards recognize the achievements of junior golfers around the world. Young athletes who distinguish themselves with high level of junior tournament play as well as excellence in academics, a commitment to community service and exceptional character are selected each year.
Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Virginia, has signed a National Letter of Intent to Duke University and is No. 3 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Chinn is a two-time AJGA Champion and was the 2020 Rolex Junior Player of the Year. He was also the 2020 Virginia State Golf Association Junior Boys Player of the Year and two-time Rolex Junior All-American.
Chinn raised $5,000 through a golf instruction fundraising event for children and parents through Great Falls Friends & Neighbors. In addition, Chinn volunteered through AJGA Leadership Links to support the Salute Military Gold Association as they pursue their mission to provide golf programs and experiences to post-9/11 wounded veterans.
David Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, has signed a National Letter of Intent to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ford is No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, and he has four AJGA wins in addition to winning the 2020 Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational. He was also a 2020 first team Rolex Junior All-American. Ford does his part for the community by raising funds for various charities. Specifically, he co-hosted the 2021 AJGA Georgia Cup which benefitted multiple charities through its fundraising.
Rose Zhang of Irvine, California, is the first female recipient of the Byron Nelson International Golf Awards. Zhang will attend Stanford University this fall and she is No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and the No. 1 ranked amateur in women’s golf. She is a 10-time AJGA Champion and won the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur. In addition, she was named the 2019 and 2020 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and received the 2020 McCormack Medal.
Zhang was chosen to receive this award for more than just her golf game. Zhang volunteered for the ANA Junior Inspiration for two years and served as an officer for Make-A-Wish at Pacific Academy, her high school. She is also a noteworthy student; she serves as a member of Student Ambassadors at her high school and upholds her own part in keeping the Earth and it’s beaches clean by volunteering at Coast Keepers.
Gordon Sargent of Birmingham, Alabama, has signed a National Letter of Intent with Vanderbilt University and is No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Sargent won the 2020 Alabama State Amateur, finished in third place at the 2021 AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods, was runner-up at The PING Invitational, 2020 Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational. He also has two AJGA victories and is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American, 2020 Alabama Men’s Player of the Year and 2020/2019 Alabama Junior Player of the Year.
Sargent is involved in many philanthropic services. In 2018, 2019, and 2020, Sargent chaired the Alabama Cup, a youth-organized golf tournament that raises funds for the AJGA ACE Grant and local charities. Over the past three years, the Alabama Cup has raised over $160,000. In addition, Sargent also volunteers with multiple local community organizations.
Jackson Van Paris of Pinehurst, North Carolina, will continue his education at Vanderbilt University next fall. He is No. 6 in the Rolex AJGA rankings, he has wins at the 2020 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley and 2021 AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods. He was a 2019 United States Junior Presidents Cup Team Member and four-time Rolex Junior All American. In total, he has four AJGA wins.
Van Paris hosted the Carolina Cup from 2017 through 2020 during which they raised $250,000 to benefit three charities. In 2020, Van Paris was recognized by the AJGA and received The Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award. His own peers and the AJGA staff selected him to be the 2020 AJGA Boys Player Representative.