Nicholas Dunlap of Huntsville, Alabama, was named the top male junior golfer in the world with the American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Junior Player of the Year award. Megha Ganne of Holmdel, New Jersey, earned the top honor in the Girls Division and joins Dunlap on a historical list of Rolex Junior Players of the Year: Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods, Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn and Inbee Park.
Dunlap becomes the first Alabama native to receive Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors in the Boys Division, while Ganne is the first New Jersey native to earn top honors in either division. Both juniors are also honored as first team Rolex Junior All-Americans with this distinction.
The Rolex Junior All-America Teams annually recognize the world’s premier junior golfers. The 2021 class includes 48 boys and 48 girls, ages 14-19, from 23 states and five countries, including Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States.
These young men and women distinguished themselves through exceptional play in 146 national junior golf events, 128 of which were conducted by the AJGA. The teams were determined exclusively through the Rolex AJGA Rankings as of October 13.
Dunlap, Ganne and the 2021 Rolex Junior All-America Teams will be honored virtually through a Rolex Junior All-America Awards celebration on Friday, December 3. “The Greatest Night in Junior Golf” will recognize the accomplishments and celebrate the achievements of the Rolex Junior All-America teams, Rolex Scholastic Junior All-America honorees, and Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award recipients.
Prior to the digital event, Rolex Junior All-Americans and a field of the top 144 players in the Rolex AJGA Rankings will compete at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, November 20-25 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
In 2021, the 17-year-old Alabama verbal commit had three national junior golf victories to end the season at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
The high school senior played in 11 events recognized by the Rolex AJGA Rankings and finished outside the top five just twice. Dunlap started his impressive campaign this year with a fourth-place finish in February at the Sea Pines Junior Heritage. Dunlap made his AJGA season debut the following week at the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods and finished with rounds of 74-75-71--220.
He notched his first win of the 2021 season in March at the Dustin Johnson World Junior after carding the low-round of the tournament at 5-under-par 67 at TPC Myrtle Beach.
During a seven-week stretch, Dunlap kicked off an impressive summer schedule with a 66 in a qualifier for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and earned medalist honors.
Dunlap hung near the top during all four rounds of the Wyndham Invitational presented by Truist. Hosted at Sedgefield Country Club, the home of the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship, he posted a 4-under-par 66 in the second round to take a share of the lead. He ended up falling short after 72 holes, finishing in a tie for second place.
The following week, Dunlap had another top performance finishing in a tie for fifth place at the Western Junior Championship at Onwentsia Club.
He also found success in match play. Dunlap put together a perfect 6-0 record to win his first AJGA event at the Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National, the host of the PGA TOUR’s The Northern Trust. In the championship match, Dunlap won in 20 holes to cap off June on a high note.
Looking to continue his match play streak, Dunlap competed at Wyndham Cup as a member of the East Team. He finished his four matches with a record of 1-2-1, helping the East Team secure the win.
Dunlap returned to stroke play to compete in the Boys Junior PGA Championship. He fired a first-round 7-under-par 64, good for a one-stroke advantage. He finished all four rounds under par with a 67 and pair of 70’s, but fell short by three strokes and finished tied for second.
In mid-July, for his third and final win of the 2021 season, Dunlap became the first Alabama native to win the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. With his second match play victory of the month, he earned a spot in next year’s U.S. Open and exemptions into the next two U.S. Amateurs.
For his sixth AJGA invitational appearance this season, Dunlap finished runner-up at The Junior PLAYERS Championship. He had a three-round total of 4-under-par 212 at TPC Sawgrass, the host of the PGA TOUR’s The PLAYERS Championship.
In his final national junior golf appearance this season, Dunlap was one of twelve players selected to the Junior Ryder Cup U.S. Team in September. He will make his fourth-career appearance at the Rolex Tournament of Champions in 2021, with his previous best finish in 2018 at T12.
Dunlap’s 2021 highlights:
- Two-time Rolex Junior All-American
- Won, Dustin Johnson World Junior
- T2, Wyndham Invitational presented by Truist
- T5, Western Junior Championship
- T5, Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational
- Won, Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National
- T2, Boys Junior PGA Championship
- Won, United States Junior Amateur Championship
- Runner-up, The Junior PLAYERS Championship
- Member of the Junior Ryder Cup U.S. Team
- Two-time member of the victorious Wyndham Cup East Team
The Holmdel High School senior and Stanford University women’s golf verbal commit earned Rolex Junior All-America First Team honors for the second time in 2021, ending the season at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Ganne played in five events recognized by the Rolex AJGA Rankings, without ever finishing outside the top four.
Ganne started her campaign with a top-three finish at the 2020 Rolex Tournament of Champions at PGA National Resort & Spa, the host of the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic. After starting with a 3-over-par 75, she put together three rounds under par with just two bogeys in her final 54 holes.
Making her 2021 debut, Ganne had her third appearance at the Diamond Resorts ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex at World Golf Village in January and finished in third place. She also competed at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in the spring.
In her first event of the summer, Ganne won the Scott Robertson Memorial. She started by tying the low-round of the tournament with a 5-under-par 66. She finished the event at 6-under-par 207, beating the field by seven strokes for the biggest win of her career to date.
Ganne entered the national spotlight with her play at the U.S. Women’s Open. As a 17-year-old amateur, Ganne held a share of the first-round lead with her score of 4-under-par 67. After two rounds of 71-72, she was tied for third heading into the final 18 holes. Playing in the final group, Ganne finished her exceptional performance at 3-over-par 287 and earned low-amateur honors at T14.
At the Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National, Ganne won her first four matches, but lost in the semifinals to finish in fourth place.
Two weeks later, Ganne competed at the Girls Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club and notched another third-place finish.
In team match play events, Ganne was an alternate member on the Curtis Cup U.S. Team and was selected as the top member through the Golfweek / Sagarin Rankings to compete on the PING Junior Solheim Cup U.S. Team. In the PING Junior Solheim Cup, Ganne won two of her three matches.
In her final junior golf appearance this season, Ganne was another one of the twelve players selected to the Junior Ryder Cup U.S. Team in September. She will be making her fourth appearance at the Rolex Tournament of Champions in 2021 playing for her first AJGA Invitational victory.
Ganne’s 2021 highlights:
- T3, Rolex Tournament of Champions
- T3, Diamond Resorts ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex
- Won, Scott Robertson Memorial
- Earned low-amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open
- Fourth, Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National
- Third, Girls Junior PGA Championship
- Member of the Curtis Cup U.S. Team
- Member of the PING Junior Solheim Cup U.S. Team
- Member of the Junior Ryder Cup U.S. Team
My first time I came to the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet I was in awe of the Rolex Junior Players of the Year having such good seasons. I watched Rachel Heck, Yealimi Noh and Rose Zhang all give their speeches and it gave me all the motivation to get there some day. To finally reach No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and earn this honor is a dream come true. There is a lot of talent in junior golf right now and I’m amazed I get to be a part of it. It means so much to me to receive this honor.
2021 Rolex Junior All-Americans
Boys - First Team
Luke Clanton of Miami Lakes, Florida (2nd honor)
Nicholas Dunlap of Huntsville, Alabama - 2021 Rolex Junior Player of the Year (2nd honor)
Maxwell Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia (2nd honor)
Zach Heffernan of Boerne, Texas (2nd honor)
J. Holland Humphries of Austin, Texas (3rd honor)
Benjamin James of Milford, Connecticut (3rd honor)
Jackson Koivun of San Jose, California
Eric Lee of Fullerton, California
Bryan Lee of Fairfax, Virginia
Jacob Sosa of Austin, Texas
Jase Summy of Keller, Texas (2nd honor)
Caleb Surratt of Indian Trail, North Carolina (2nd honor)
Girls - First Team
Brooke Biermann of Wildwood, Missouri (2nd honor)
Gianna Clemente of Warren, Ohio (2nd honor)
Anna Davis of Spring Valley, California
Megha Ganne of Holmdel, New Jersey – 2021 Rolex Junior Player of the Year (3rd honor)
Mackenzie Lee of North Little Rock, Arkansas (3rd honor)
Michelle Liu of Vancouver, British Columbia
Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Florida (5th honor)
Bailey Shoemaker of Dade City, Florida (2nd honor)
Kendall Todd of Goodyear, Arizona (2nd honor)
Karen Tsuru of Carlsbad, California
Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nevada
Avery Zweig of McKinney, Texas
Boys - Second Team
Sihao Cong of Irvine, California
John Daly II of Dardanelle, Arkansas (2nd honor)
Ethan Gao of Alpharetta, Georgia (2nd honor)
Jonathan Griz of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (3rd honor)
Bryan Kim of Brookeville, Maryland
Bruce Murphy of Johns Creek, Georgia
Anawin Pikulthong of Gilbert, Arizona (2nd honor)
Aaron Pounds of The Woodlands, Texas
Nicholas Prieto of Miami, Florida
Mason Snyder of Las Vegas, Nevada
Matthew Troutman of Louisville, Kentucky (2nd honor)
Wells Williams of West Point, Mississippi (3rd honor)
Girls - Second Team
Sara Im of Duluth, Georgia (2nd honor)
Xin (Cindy) Kou of (China) Valencia, California (6th honor)
Jaclyn LaHa of Pleasanton, California (2nd honor)
Erica Lee of Arcadia, California
Katie Li of Basking Ridge, New Jersey (2nd honor)
Gloria Nip of (Hong Kong) Port St Lucie, Florida
Jacqueline Putrino of Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Kiara Romero of San Jose, California (2nd honor)
Kaitlyn Schroeder of Jacksonville, Florida (2nd honor)
Kelly Xu of Claremont, California (3rd honor)
Lucy Yuan of San Diego, California (2nd honor)
Yunxuan (Michelle) Zhang of (China) Plano, Texas (3rd honor)
Boys - Honorable Mention
Kyle An of Aliso Viejo, California
Jonas Appel of Encinitas, California (2nd honor)
Gavin Aurilia of Phoenix, Arizona
Carson Brewer of Jacksonville, Florida
Ryder Cowan of Edmond, Oklahoma
Matthew Doyle of Madison, Connecticut
Nicholas Gross of Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Will Hartman of Marvin, North Carolina
Scotty Kennon of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (3rd honor)
Shawn Lalmoni of Orlando, Florida
Carter Loflin of Duluth, Georgia
Kyo Morishita of (Japan) Bradenton, Florida
Will Morlan of Alpharetta, Georgia
Sebastian Moss of Houston, Texas
Chase Nevins of Great Falls, Virginia
Calder Overfelt of Newport Beach, California
Alex Papayoanou of The Woodlands, Texas
Deven Patel of Johns Creek, Georgia
Solomon Petrie of Akron, Ohio
Sihan Sandhu of Pinehurst, North Carolina
William Sides of Tulsa, Oklahoma (2nd honor)
Brendan Valdes of Orlando, Florida (3rd honor)
Keaton Vo of Austin, Texas (3rd honor)
Rylan Wotherspoon of Florence, Kentucky
Girls - Honorable Mention
Kynadie Adams of Nashville, Tennessee (2nd honor)
Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto, Ontario
Leigh Chien of Irvine, California (2nd honor)
Kylee Choi of Murrieta, California
Kylie Chong of Torrance, California
Kary Hollenbaugh of New Albany, Ohio
Thienna Huynh of Lilburn, Georgia
Grace Kilcrease of Springdale, Arkansas
Lauren Kim of Surrey, British Columbia
Sophie Linder of Carthage, Tennessee
Angela (Yilin) Liu of Irvine, California
Bridget Ma of Orlando, Florida
McKenzie Mages of Marietta, Georgia
Ava Merrill of Johns Creek, Georgia
Julia Misemer of Overland Park, Kansas
Catherine Park of Irvine, California (2nd honor)
Catherine Rao of Camarillo, California (2nd honor)
Brooke Rivers of Brampton, Ontario
Alexia Siehl of Fort Mill, South Carolina
Suzie Tran of Poulsbo, Washington
Lily Zhang of Buffalo, New York
Angela Zhang of Bellevue, Washington
Sophie Zhang-Murphy of Saratoga, California (2nd honor)
Alice Ziyi Zhao of (China) Irvine, California