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Rolex Tournament of Champions holds storied past

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By Tim Jackman (@AJGAJackman), AJGA Communications

The 38th annual Rolex Tournament of Champions is the flagship tournament of the AJGA. The event, which changes location each year, is one of the longest running on the AJGA schedule.

Each year, the tournament raises the bar for competitive junior golf. In 2014, Sam Burns of Shreveport, Louisiana, set the scoring record for the Rolex Tournament of Champions and an AJGA 72-hole scoring record with a 21-under-par 267 to claim the Boys Division. No. 1 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, won the Girls Division with an 11-under-par 277.

Burns’ tournament record was previously set by Jamie Lovemark of Rancho Santa Fe, California, in 2004, which was the first time the tournament was held at Sunriver Resort. This will be the third time the tournament has been held on the Crosswater Course at Sunriver. In 2004, Lovemark and Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Florida, claimed victories. When the tournament returned to Sunriver in 2011, Shun Yat Hak of Lake Mary, Florida, and Gabriella Then of Rancho Cucamonga, California, took home the trophies.

The Rolex Tournament of Champions has featured many junior golfers who have gone on to have success at the collegiate and professional levels. Notable past champions include Webb Simpson, Charles Howell, David Duval, Phil Mickelson, Morgan Pressel, Inbee Park, Beth Bauer, Kellee Booth and Heather Farr.

Over the 38 years of the event, 24 champions have come from the state of California, which is more than any other state. Florida holds the second-most winners with 17, while Texas has claimed five Boys Division titles, but no girl from Texas has ever won the Rolex Tournament of Champions. International players have won the event five times.