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Pat Saunders Honored for Service to Junior Golf

American Junior Golf Association presents Digger Smith Award to New York volunteer at McDonald’s Betsy Rawls Girls Championship

MALVERN, Pa. – For two decades of volunteer service to the American Junior Golf Association, Pat Saunders of Rye, N.Y., was presented the Digger Smith Award Tuesday night at the McDonald’s Betsy Rawls Girls Championship at White Manor Country Club in Malvern, Pa.

“The AJGA is extremely proud to honor Pat with the 2009 Digger Smith Award,” said Stephen Hamblin, AJGA executive director. “We always take great pleasure and pride in honoring those who give so much to us and Pat is a prime example of a person who never stops giving to others.”

The Digger Smith Award is given annually by the AJGA to a person who has dedicated time and energy to the service of junior golf. As a 501©(3) nonprofit organization, the AJGA relies on the generosity of volunteers for its success. The award is named for AJGA Chairman of the Board J.R. “Digger” Smith, who has dedicated himself to the AJGA and junior golf for more than two decades.

Saunders, who lives in both Rye, N.Y., and New York City, has supported the AJGA since 1990, helping to bring an AJGA tournament to the area and serving as the tournament chairman of the event as it moved between courses such as the Apawamis Club, Westchester Country Club, Ardsley Country Club and Bethpage State Park.

“I have been honored to work with the AJGA for the last 20 years,” Saunders said. “I have made great friends among the AJGA staff and am proud to be associated with the world’s premier golf association.”

Saunders also serves on the AJGA Board of Directors, has contributed to the AJGA ACE Grant (financial assistance program), and has assisted as a chaperone for junior golfers traveling internationally.

She has also volunteered her time for her organizations in her community, including: the Senior Citizen Program at St. Thomas More Church; Asphalt Green; Legal Aid Society; and Interfaith Neighbors. She serves on the Foundation Board of Binghamton University and the board of directors for Asphalt Green.

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 contact Rob Coleman ( ) in the AJGA Communications Department at (678) 425-1779.