PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Even though Casie Cathrea is just 16-years-old, she's no stranger to success on the golf course.
The Livermore, Calif., native, who has been playing competitive golf since the age of seven, has won over 150 tournaments.
She is the second youngest female to qualify for an LPGA event, won the the Pro/Junior title at the 2011 First Tee Open at Pebble Beach alongside Ben Crenshaw, and won the California Woman's Amateur at the tender age of 13. She also made it to quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship, where she lost to defending Junior PGA Champion Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand.
"When I was young my Dad put together a team who taught me the game and got me to where I am today," said Cathrea. "And I have a very strong work ethic, which also helps."
That team includes PGA Professionals Rick Rhoads, the PGA head professional at San Francisco Golf Club and Mike Schy, the PGA director of instruction at Riverbend Golf Club in Madera, Calif.
"I have never met a girl who works as hard as she does on her game," said Schy, who works with Cathrea on her putting and short game. "She's an amazing player and I am happy to lend her my eyes and ears when she needs it."
Cathrea, who has verbally committed to Oklahoma State University, will use this experience and past success against what will be a strong field in the girls' division in the 2012 Junior PGA Championship. She will be competing in her third Junior PGA Championship after finishing in a tie for 5th in 2011 and alone in 8th in 2010.
"I feel like I have a home course advantage with this being my third year playing at Sycamore Hills," said Cathrea. "I am really excited to get started and play against some of the best girls in the country."
She will also be competing for a spot on the 2012 United States Junior Ryder Cup Team.
"I would absolutely love to make the team," said Cathrea. "Making the team will be in my mind during the week and it is something I really want to do."
The United States Team, comprised of six boys and six girls who are U.S. citizens and graduating high school in 2013, or younger, will face a European squad of junior golfers, Sept. 24-25, at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.
The 72-hole Junior PGA Championship will feature a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties. Each year the field includes past winners of the Championship, PGA Junior Series event champions, PGA Section winners, many of Polo Golf and Golfweek's top-ranked players, and selected national junior tournament winners.
The Champion and runner-up in both the boys' and girls' divisions in 2012 earn an automatic spot on the 2012 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team.
Golf Channel will present a one-hour highlight show of the 37th Junior PGA Championship, with the first airing on Monday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET.
Begun in 1976, the Junior PGA Championship has traditionally produced unforgettable golf performances and brings together the best junior golfers from around the country to compete for the Jack Nicklaus Trophy in the Boys' Division and the Patty Berg Trophy in the Girls' Division.
About The PGA of America Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.