The American Junior Golf Association and the United States Golf Association are pleased to announce the Honorable Mentions for the 2016 USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award. These junior golfers have worked hard to give back to their communities and deserve recognition for their efforts.
The USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award was created to recognize one male and one female junior golfer who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the Leadership Links program – part of a larger joint initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
Leading up to the announcement of the 2016 USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award recipients on May 23, the list of award finalists will be published on Thursday, May 12, and will highlight the work of the final group of juniors who are being considered for the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award.
JonErik Alford, Roswell, Ga., Class of 2017
Eric Berggren, Windermere, Fla., Class of 2019
Evan Brown, Chadds Ford, Pa., Class of 2017
Michael Childress, Salisbury, N.C., Class of 2018
Benjamin Esposito, Pittsboro, N.C., Class of 2016
Christian Fanfelle, San Antonio, Texas, Class of 2018
Derek Hitchner, Minneapolis, Minn., Class of 2018
Will Lewis, Raleigh, N.C., Class of 2018
Alex Markham, Dacula, Ga., Class of 2017
Tobin Niblett, Austin, Texas, Class of 2016
Benjamin Pirro, Lake Mary, Fla., Class of 2017
Reece Sanders, Deephaven, Minn., Class of 2017
Blake Wagoner, Cornelius, N.C., Class of 2016
Mason Weese, Fairmont, W.Va., Class of 2017
Alison Armstrong, Tampa, Fla., Class of 2016
Malak Bouraeda, Southlake, Texas, Class of 2018
Grace Chen, Sunnyvale, Calif., Class of 2018
Ashni Dhruva, Katy, Texas, Class of 2016
Isha Dhruva, Katy, Texas, Class of 2019
Sarah Fite, Maysville, Ky., Class of 2017
Amanda Lee, Chatsworth, Calif., Class of 2018
Audrey Pulliam, Little Rock, Ark., Class of 2017
Yoonju Shin, Irvine, Calif., Class of 2018
Tyra Tonkham, Arleta, Calif., Class of 2017
Lauren Waidner, Fleming Island, Fla., Class of 2017
About Leadership Links
Since 2009, the Leadership Links program has helped more than 1,000 junior golfers make a difference in their communities by generating more than $1 million in charitable contributions to hundreds of charities and the AJGA's Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant.
Leadership Links is a program that allows the AJGA to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable-giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the ACE Grant.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.
The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
For more information about the USGA, visit usga.org.
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association 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. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-18) of nearly 6,500 members from 49 states and more than 50 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.