BRASELTON, Ga. – The field is finalized for the AJGA Huntsville Junior, to be played at The Ledges July 11-14, and 96 of the top junior golfers in the nation are slated to compete. Included in the field is Rolex Junior All-American Emma Talley of Princeton, Ky., who will return to defend her 2010 title.
The tournament field features 96 players, 17 of whom are from the host state of Alabama, from 12 states as well as the Philippines, Thailand, South Korea and Argentina. Six players have signed a National Letter of Intent, while nine additional juniors have given a verbal commitment to continue their golf career at the next level. In total, four of these commitments are to an Alabama school, as two boys and two girls will play for the Crimson Tide.
In the Girls Division, Talley will hope to defend her title and continue her record-setting ways. Her 2010 performance at the AJGA Huntsville Junior saw her break The Ledges' competitive course record with a 6-under-par 65, the AJGA's margin-of-victory record with a 22-stroke difference, as well as the AJGA's 54-hole scoring record with her 15-under-par 198. She began her 2011 season winning three events in the opening three weeks of the AJGA's summer season, tying the record for most consecutive wins. Talley, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American, has verbally committed to play for the University of Alabama.
Also of note in the Girls Division is Huntsville native Janie Jackson. The Huntsville High rising senior won the 2010 AJGA Franklin Junior and finished second at the 2010 AJGA Huntsville Junior. She has twice won the AHSAA 6A title and has verbally committed to the University of Arizona.
In the Boys Division, Ben Wood of Florence, Ala., is the highest-ranked competitor. In his first year of AJGA competition, the Shoals Christian School rising senior has notched two runner-up finishes in four starts, the most recent coming at the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T, held the first week of June.
On his heels is Robby Prater of Birmingham, Ala., who has yet to place outside of the top 15 in his four national junior golf performances. Prater, a rising senior at Spain Park, finished in a tie for fourth at the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T and tied for eighth at the Southern Junior. The University of Alabama commit finished in a tie for 12th at the 2010 AJGA Huntsville Junior.
The tournament practice round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun Monday, July 11. Tournament tee times will run from 7 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at The Ledges Tuesday, July 12, through Thursday, July 14. Spectators are welcome to attend and admission is free of charge.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, which is in its third decade of AJGA 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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.