The 12th Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team includes 20 players from eight states, China, Colombia and Mexico, the American Junior Golf Association announced Thursday, August 29.
Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events present opportunities for younger players to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The team was selected based on the Polo Golf Rankings, and players must have competed in at least one Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star event during 2013 in order to be eligible. The team of 10 boys and 10 girls will be honored Friday, Oct. 11, at the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Invitational in Norman, Okla.
Philip Barbaree of Shreveport, La., returns to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team for the third straight year. Barbaree, 15, posted two top-10 AJGA finishes in 2013, including a runner-up finish in his hometown at the David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior.
Also returning from the 2012 Boys Division team is Braden Thornberry of Olive Branch, Miss., who won the 2013 Under Armour® / Jeff Overton Championship hosted by Otter Creek.
John Augenstein of Owensboro, Ky., earned his spot by recording two top-10 finishes in 2013 AJGA competition, including a second-place finish at the Bridgestone Golf / Brandt Snedeker Music City Junior presented by Toyota. Currently No. 31 in the Polo Golf Rankings, the 15-year-old reached the semifinals of the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
A native of Leon, Mexico, Luis Gerardo Garza, has finished in the top-25 in four AJGA events this year. The highlight of Garza’s 2013 season came at the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior All-Star at Château Élan where he finished in second place.
The six other boys on the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team are: Luis Gagne of Orlando, Fla., Ryan Grider of Lewisville, Texas, Samuel Kim of Irvine, Calif., Joshua McCarthy of Danville, Calif., Trevor Phillips of Inman, S.C., and Carl Yuan of Lake Mary, Fla.
Abbey Carlson of Lake Mary, Fla., Mai Dechathipat of Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., and Lauren Stephenson of Lexington, S.C., all return to the Girls Division team for the second straight year.
In March, Stephenson won the 2013 TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior All-Star at Château Élan, an event she played for the third year. Dechathipat and Carlson finished behind her in second- and third-places, respectively. In addition to their top-three finishes at the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior All-Star at Château Élan, the returning members of the Girls Division team have had successful runs in 2013: Carlson and Dechathipat represented the East Team at the 2013 Wyndham Cup and Stephenson won the 2013 Hank Haney IJGA Junior Open.
Anna Zhou of Palo Alto, Calif., won four AJGA events in the summer of 2013. Her first win of the year, and first AJGA career win, was at the AJGA Junior at Quad Cities. Zhou followed up with wins at the AJGA Junior at Penn State, AJGA Junior at Tedesco and Junior All-Star at Centennial.
The six other girls on the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team include: Shannon Brooks of Vienna, Va., Hailee Cooper of Montgomery, Texas, Amy Matsuoka of Newport Beach, Calif., Maria Vesga of Piedecuesta, Colombia, Elizabeth Wang of San Marino, Calif., and Ziyi Wang of Beijing, China.
Former members of the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Teams include college and professional standouts such as Rickie Fowler (2004), Peter Uihlein (2004), Bud Cauley (2005), Jordan Spieth (2007), Vicky Hurst (2005), Cheyenne Woods (2005) and Alison Lee (2007).
About the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, a full-time signature golf instruction program located in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series for juniors ages 12-15. Montverde Academy, a coeducational independent college preparatory boarding and day school, is the academic arm of Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy and has supported the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series since 2009.
2013 Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team
John Augenstein, Owensboro, Ky.
Philip Barbaree, Shreveport, La.
Luis Gagne, Orlando, Fla.
Luis Gerardo Garza, Leon, Mexico
Ryan Grider, Lewisville, Texas
Samuel Kim, Irvine, Calif.
Joshua McCarthy, Danville, Calif.
Trevor Phillips, Inman, S.C.
Braden Thornberry, Olive Branch, Miss.
Carl Yuan, Lake Mary, Fla.
Shannon Brooks, Vienna, Va.
Abbey Carlson, Lake Mary, Fla.
Hailee Cooper, Montgomery, Texas
Mai Dechathipat, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
Amy Matsuoka, Newport Beach, Calif.
Lauren Stephenson, Lexington, S.C.
Maria Vesga, Piedecuesta, Colombia
Elizabeth Wang, San Marino, Calif.
Ziyi Wang, Beijing, China
Anna Zhou, Palo Alto, Calif.