Noh, Bhatia named AJGA's Rolex Jr Players of the Year
22 Oct 2018
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

see also: Yealimi Noh Rankings

Yealimi Noh and Akshay Bhatia (AJGA photo)
Yealimi Noh and Akshay Bhatia (AJGA photo)

Yealimi Noh and Akshay Bhatia may have heightened the standards for future AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year candidates. It was a dominant season for both on the junior and amateur circuits, and it ended with one of the highest honors a junior player can receive.

Noh, who has already announced that she will forego a spot on the UCLA roster as originally planned in favor of turning professional, authored a stretch of golf in July that established her as the amateur to beat in this game, junior or otherwise. The 17-year-old from Concord, Calif., won the Girls Junior PGA Championship (at 24-under par), the U.S. Girls’ Junior and the Canadian Women’s Amateur in consecutive weeks.

Earlier in the year, there were also top-10 finishes at the prestigious Annika Invitational (T-6), Buick Shanshan Feng Girls Invitational (second), ANA Junior Inspiration (T-11), Hana Financial Group Se Ri Pak Championship (first) and the Thunderbird International Junior (T-2).

Noh represented the U.S. at the Junior Ryder Cup in Paris to end her stellar summer. AmateurGolf.com caught up with her at her home course, Corica Park in Alameda, Calif., right before that event.

“I’m so honored to be receiving this incredible award,” Noh told the AJGA upon receiving the Rolex honor. “It truly is one of my biggest accomplishments. It comes as a bit of a surprise because in the beginning of the year, I didn’t think I would get enough points to win Rolex Junior Player of the Year, or even, that I would win three tournaments. This really means a lot to me.”

Bhatia’s summer story was similar. The 16-year-old won the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley to start his spring, and victories followed at the Polo Golf Junior Classic and Boys Junior PGA Championship. He lost in the final match of the U.S. Junior, and was narrowly clipped at the Junior Players Championship. Bhatia, of Wake Forest, N.C., also represented the U.S. at the Junior Ryder Cup last month.

“I’m so humbled and honored to win such a prestigious award,” Bhatia told the AJGA. “I’m in the history of the AJGA forever and it’s awesome to see my name alongside Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and other top alumni. To see what they’ve done in their careers, it shows I am on the right track to chase my dreams.”

Bhatia and Noh will be recognized Nov. 18 during the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The event, which has a definite red-carpet feel, is dubbed “The Greatest Night in Junior Golf.”

The following players have been selected to the Rolex Junior All-America teams, and will also be recognized:

Boys – First Team
Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, North Carolina
Ricky Castillo of Yorba Linda, California
Canon Claycomb of Bowling Green, Kentucky
Ryan Hall of Knoxville, Tennessee
William Moll of Houston, Texas
Shiryu (Leo) Oyo of (Japan) San Diego, California
Cameron Sisk of El Cajon, California
James Song of (Canada) Rancho Santa Fe, California
Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley, Massachusetts
Travis Vick of Houston, Texas
Karl Vilips of (Australia) Wesley Chapel, Florida

Girls – First Team
Anne Chen of (Australia) Sugar Land, Texas
Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas
Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tennessee
Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California
Michaela Morard of Huntsville, Alabama
Yealimi Noh of Concord, California
Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Florida
Megan Schofill of Monticello, Florida
Erica Shepherd of Greenwood, Indiana
Yujeong Son of (South Korea) Norman, Oklahoma
Lei (Angelina) Ye of (China) Bradenton, Florida
Rose Zhang of Irvine, California

Boys – Second Team
Alexander Yang of Carlsbad, California
Connor Creasy of Abingdon, Virginia
Eugene Hong of Orlando, Florida
J. Holland Humphries of Austin, Texas
Bo Jin of (China) Encinitas, California
John Keefer of San Antonio, Texas
William Mouw of Chino, California
Jeewon Park of (South Korea) Lake Mary, Florida
Luke Potter of Encinitas, California
Gordon Sargent of Birmingham, Alabama
Ian Siebers of Bellevue, Washington
Jackson Van Paris of Pinehurst, North Carolina
Jonathan Yaun of Minneola, Florida

Girls – Second Team
Amari Avery of Riverside, California
Irene Kim of La Palma, California
Xin (Cindy) Kou of (China) Windermere, Florida
Alexa Melton of Covina, California
Katherine Muzi of Walnut, California
Bohyun Park of (South Korea) Farmers Branch, Texas
Brooke Seay of Rancho Santa Fe, California
Aneka Seumanutafa of Emmitsburg, Maryland
Erika Smith of Orlando, Florida
Kornkamol Sukaree of (Thailand) Huntington Beach, California
Christine Wang of Houston, Texas
Elizabeth Wang of San Marino, California

Boys – Honorable Mention
Trey Bosco of Austin, Texas
Nicolas Cassidy of Johns Creek, Georgia
Kuangyu Chen of (Australia) Shenzhen, China
Aaron Chen of Fremont, California
George Duangmanee of Fairfax, Virginia
Chris Fosdick of Middlefield, Connecticut
Peter Fountain of Raleigh, North Carolina
Austin Greaser of Vandalia, Ohio
Frankie Harris of Boca Raton, Florida
Jun Min (Jimmy) Lee of (South Korea) Mission, Texas
Tyler Lipscomb of Carrollton, Georgia
Dylan Menante of Carlsbad, California
Hazen Newman of Las Vegas, Nevada
Jay Nimmo of Benton, Kentucky
Cole Ponich of Farmington, Utah
Austyn Reily of Pottsboro, Texas
Jackson Rivera of Rancho Santa Fe, California
Jeevan Sihota of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Brian Stark of Kingsburg, California
Nicklas Staub of Boynton Beach, Florida
Will Thomson of Naples, Florida
Brendan Valdes of Orlando, Florida
Andi Xu of (China) San Diego, California
Sampson-Yunhe Zheng of (China) Orlando, Florida

Girls – Honorable Mention
Ty Akabane of Danville, California
Zoe Antoinette Campos of Valencia, California
Briana Chacon of Whittier, California
Ya Chun Chang of (Taiwan) Bradenton, Florida
Megan Furtney of South Elgin, Illinois
Ashley Gilliam of Manchester, Tennessee
Agustina Gomez of Cisterna, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Savannah Grewal of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Sophie Guo of (China) Orlando, Florida
Yoon Min Han of (South Korea) Bradenton, Florida
Trinity King of Arlington, Texas
Anina Ku of Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Rachel Kuehn of Asheville, North Carolina
Yu Wen Lu of Shanghai, China
Ashley Menne of Surprise, Arizona
Alyssa Montgomery of Knoxville, Tennessee
Brianna Navarrosa of San Diego, California
Jennie Park of Carrollton, Texas
Sarah-Eve Rheaume of Lac-Delage, Quebec, Canada
Serena Sepersky of Temecula, California
Latanna Stone of Riverview, Florida
Alexandra Swayne of Maineville, Ohio
Nicole Whiston of San Diego, California
Katie Yoo of Orlando, Florida

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