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Academic honorees compete at #RolexGirls

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Three Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-Americans make Rolex Girls Junior Championship debuts

By: Jessica Hall, AJGA Communications

Three 2015 Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-Americans look to take home the prestigious crown at the 2016 Rolex Girls Junior Championship. Of 12 girls chosen for the award, Lauren Hartlage of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Jiyoon Jang of Rancho Mirage, California, and Elizabeth Reedy of Marietta, Georgia, met this week in Rochester, New York, for the 25th edition of the event.

To be selected as a Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-American, juniors must excel in the following criteria in order of importance: SAT and/or ACT test scores, AP subject test scores, GPA, school leadership and community service and writing skills showcased in an original essay.

“It was an honor to be chosen as a recipient,” Jang said. “It was nice to be acknowledged for my academics and my achievements in golf. It was unexpected because I didn't think I was going to be chosen but when I got it in the mail I was so excited.”

For most student-athletes, finding the balance between athletics and academics can be tough. Reedy, on the other hand, found the perfect combination.

“The award means I excelled both on the course and off the course, and I put a lot of work into both of them, so it's great to be recognized for what I do,” Reedy said. “Sometimes people don't see how much work I put into the classroom, they only see the score on the golf course.”

Hartlage, a University of Louisville commit, heads to college in the fall.

“I've worked really hard this summer, so I want to improve academically and athletically going into college,” Hartlage said. “I want to spend quality time with the team and qualify for championships.”

Entering her senior year of high school in the fall, Reedy not only wants to improve on the golf course but also in the classroom. When awarded this honor, Reedy had a GPA of 4.77 and an ACT score of 34.

“I'd like to try and get in the top 40 of my class,” Reedy said. “I've been improving recently because I was outside of the top-100 at the beginning of the year and I'm right around 50 right now. I want to hopefully try to shoot more consistently around par and have all aspects of game come together as well.”

Reedy has finished in the top 20 at AJGA tournaments but this is her first Rolex Girls Junior Championship experience.

“I'm excited to be here,” Reedy said. “It's great to come to New York where it's cooler than it is in the south right now. I'm looking to have a lot of fun and post a good finish and hopefully return next year.”

For Jang, Invitationals are nothing new. Along with the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, she will compete in the Rolex Tournament of Champions as well as Yani Tseng Invitational presented by the Swinging Skirts this summer.

“This is the first year I've been invited to more than one Invitational, which is super exciting,” Jang said. “I want to play really well for myself and I worked hard preparing for these tournaments so I'm hoping to shoot good scores. It's my last year of junior tournaments so I want to enjoy this and take advantage of the social activities and have fun.”

Being a Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-American and participating in the Rolex Girls Junior Championship illustrates the hard work and dedication necessary to succeed on and off the course.   

Many former Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-Americans have gone on to have success in golf and other industries. Debbie Doniger, a former AJGA player, college golfer and current golf instructor, was named to the first Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-America team in 1988. Doniger will speak about using golf as a tool to achieve all goals at the Players Dinner on June 15.