Top junior golfers honored at POLO GOLF Junior All-America Awards Banquet

Walt Disney World hosts top junior golfers who've achieved in athletics and academics

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - For the 26th consecutive year, the finest junior golfers in the world were recognized by the American Junior Golf Association for their outstanding accomplishments on and off the golf course at the Polo Golf Junior All-America Awards Banquet held at Walt Disney World Resort's Yacht Club Tuesday evening.

Introduced by the AJGA in 1978, the Polo Golf Junior All-America Awards Banquet recognizes players who have proven themselves as the world's premier junior golfers. This year's Polo Golf Junior All-Americans distinguished themselves through their outstanding play in 72 national events, 51 of which were conducted by the AJGA.

The 2003 Polo Golf Junior All-America Teams are made up of juniors representing 30 states and eight foreign countries. The Banquet also highlighted Polo Golf Junior Players of the Year Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., and Paula Creamer of Pleasanton, Calif.

The AJGA and HP also honored the 2003 HP Scholastic Junior All-America Team. The 2003 team, sponsored for the ninth consecutive year by HP, consists of 10 young men and 10 young women who demonstrated the ability to excel both on the golf course and in the classroom. The HP Scholastic Junior All-America selections were based on grade-point average, class rank, leadership in the classroom and community, golfing ability and writing skills. This year, candidates were required to submit an essay or poem no longer than 400 words that creatively focused on the game of golf. This year's essay winner was Chaneng Joe of Poway, Calif. Poway High School, Joe's high school, received a computer compliments of HP.

Since its founding in 1978, the AJGA annually recognizes and rewards juniors for their impressive feats on the course, in the classroom and for exhibiting sportsmanlike behavior. The Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award honors an individual who displays qualities such as integrity and true-heartedness and signifies the importance by living true to these virtues. Jennifer Tangtiphaiboontana of Long Beach, Calif., a freshman at Stanford University, received this distinct honor Tuesday evening.

Also during the Banquet, Amanda Blumenherst of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Jon Curran of Hopkinton, Mass., were appointed to serve as the AJGA's Player Representatives for the upcoming season.

The AJGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. However, the overall growth and development includes more than just improving or mastering one's golf skills; it aims to produce well-rounded, successful, honest and humble young adults. The AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 13-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Eleven of the last 13 U.S. Amateur champions and 15 of the last 17 U.S. Women's Amateur champions are AJGA alumni. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 wins.

For more information, please contact Steve Ethun at (407) 824-2051 at Tournament Headquarters.