Montverde Academy to Sponsor Junior All-Star Invitational

BRASELTON, Ga. - Montverde Academy, a world-class college preparatory private boarding and day school located 20 minutes from Orlando in Montverde, Fla., will sponsor the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational to be held Oct. 9-12, 2009, the American Junior Golf Association announced Wednesday.

The Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational is the culminating event on the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy / Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Series, a set of 11 events conducted specifically for top junior golfers, ages 12-15, to gain experience against their age group before advancing to AJGA Open competition.

Located 15 minutes from Mission Inn Resort & Club in the intimate Orlando bedroom community of Montverde, Montverde Academy’s renowned coeducational 125-acre setting is in its 97th year of existence and serves as GGGA’s exclusive academic component. This is where Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy golfers “Learn Like a Champion” by attending a half day of complete college preparatory education prior to their intensive golf, fitness and mental training the latter part of the day at Mission Inn Resort & Club.

“Montverde was one of the biggest attractions in me coming to Mission Inn,” said Gilchrist, who has trained hundreds of elite junior golfers and future pros in his distinguished 16-year coaching career. “The fact it was nearby was valuable. Most of the families investing in their children to come to my academy want them to go to the best Ivy League schools or top NCAA Division I universities.”

“It’s not like going to school at some of the other academies. We’re building that foundation and understand the importance of what it means to be a student-athlete not just at the junior level but at the college level.”

Montverde Academy, which has a nationally-ranked boys’ basketball program, shares that same mission.

“The Academy has a rich history of preparing young people for the challenges and adventures of a collegiate education while advancing the athletic skills of our student athletes,” said Montverde Headmaster Kasey Kesselring. “Given our partnership with Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, it made sense to affiliate ourselves with a reputable organization like the AJGA to give our student-athletes a venue to compete that values the highest standards of sportsmanship with an emphasis on solid academic preparation.”

Invitations to play in the 78-player Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational field are reserved for the top-five Boys and Girls Division finishers in each of the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.

Notable past champions of the event include 2006 winners Cory Whitsett of Houston and Sarah Brown of Phillipsburg, N.J., who both shot low-round 64s, the competitive course record at Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora, Ore.

Whitsett is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American who got his start in 2005 on the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series with three top-five finishes. From there, Whitsett has gone on to compete in 27 AJGA events, finishing outside the top 15 only three times in four years, with wins at four events including the prestigious 2008 Rolex Tournament of Champions.

Brown is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American who played her first AJGA event in 2004, a 12th-place finish at the Junior All-Star at Toftrees. She secured a third-place finish in 2005 at the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational but she returned to play at the Junior All-Star at Toftrees in 2005 and 2006 where she collected back-to-back wins. To date, Brown has competed in 31 AJGA events.

“The AJGA is very excited about establishing a relationship with the Montverde Academy,” said Jason Etzen, AJGA executive vice president of corporate partnerships. “This event has been one of the proven routes to success for AJGA members and with the support of Montverde Academy, golf’s next generation will continue to surprise.”

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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA’s second Premier Partner.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.

For more information, please contact Roseanna Smith ( in the AJGA Sponsorship Department at (678) 425-1741.