Rose Zhang and Kelly Chinn (AJGA photo)
Rose Zhang of Irvine, California, sealed her 2019 Rolex Junior Player of the Year campaign with a dominant victory at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, while Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Virginia, secured his first Invitational title with a four-stroke victory over the Boys Division.
The 42nd edition of the Rolex Tournament of Champions features 144 of the best junior golfers in the world from 27 states and 18 countries. The tournament assembles the Rolex Junior All-Americans with the past year’s champions to create The Greatest Week in Junior Golf. There are 63 current or former Rolex Junior All-Americans in the field, with a total of 92 AJGA champions competing.
Past winners of the Rolex Tournament of Champions include Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Charles Howell, David Gossett, Webb Simpson, Sam Burns, Heather Farr, Kellee Booth, Inbee Park, Morgan Pressel and Alison Lee.
Zhang opened her week with a 1-under-par 71 on the Champion Course to grab a share of the first-round lead with two other juniors. The Stanford commit broke away from the pack in the second round following a 5-under-par 67 on the Fazio Course to take a seven-stroke lead. Zhang increased her advantage through a 3-under-par 69 on the Champion Course in round three to grow her lead to 10 shots. The 2019 Rolex Junior Player of the Year slammed the door shut during the final round, firing a 4-under-par 68 on the Fazio Course to claim her first Rolex Tournament of Champions title at 13-under-par 275.
She went bogey-free during the second through final rounds, with her last bogey coming on the par-4 No. 11 of the Champion Course during round one. She fired a total of 17 birdies and was the only junior in the field to post four under-par rounds.
Zhang’s victory makes her the ninth female to be named the Rolex Junior Player of the Year and win the Rolex Tournament of Champions in the same year. She joins the likes of Jenny Lidback (1981), Heather Farr (1982), Grace Park (1996), Alison Lee (2013), and Andrea Lee (2014) to accomplish the feat.
The four-time Rolex Junior All-American is No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The high school junior owns six AJGA victories, including the 2019 Swinging Skirts AJGA Invitational, which she also won in 2018. In addition to competing in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Zhang represented Team USA in both the 2017 and 2019 PING Junior Solheim Cups.
Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas, finished second at 2-under-par 286. She matched Zhang’s low-round of the day with a final-round 4-under-par 68 on the Fazio Course. Englemann is No. 12 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and has won four AJGA events, including the 2018 Buick Shanshan Feng Girls Invitational. She is a verbal commit to Stanford University.
Annabell Fuller of London, United Kingdom, finished third at 1-under-par 287. She also fired a final-round 4-under-par 68. The University of Florida signee was honored as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019 after second-place finishes at the Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior Championship and the Scott Robertson Memorial. Fuller also won the 2019 Major Champions Invitational.
Lucie Malchirand of Carnoux, France; Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Florida; Bohyun Park of (South Korea) Farmers Branch, Texas, and Zoe Antoinette Campos of Valencia, California, finished T4 at even-par 288. Pano and Park both fired 4-under-par 68s in the final round.
Malchirand competed in her third AJGA event at this week’s Rolex Tournament of Champions. She played for Team Europe at the 2019 PING Junior Solheim Cup, where she went 2-1-0. Malchirand also finished third at the 2018 evian® International & Senior Showcase hosted by Danielle Kang (Senior Girls).
Pano, a two-time First Team Rolex Junior All-American, won two tournaments in 2019: the Scott Robertson Memorial and the Rolex Girls Junior Championship. She also finished T4 at the Girls Junior PGA Championship. She is No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Park, a University of Texas at Austin verbal commit, won the 2019 Kathy Whitworth Invitational. In addition, the two-time Second Team Rolex Junior All-American finished fourth at both the Thunderbird International Junior and the AJGA Girls Championship. Park is No. 8 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Campos, a UCLA verbal commit, is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American who owns three AJGA victories with one coming in an Invitational. The high school junior is T13 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Campos also finished T5 at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Catherine Park of Irvine, California, finished eighth at 2-over-par 290. She won the 2019 Se Ri Pak Junior Championship and was recognized as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019.
Brooke Rivers of (Canada) Brampton, Ontario, finished ninth at 3-over-par 291. Rivers won the 2019 Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands.
Amanda Sambach of Davidson, North Carolina, and Amari Avery of Riverside, California, finished T10 at 4-over-par 292.
Chinn started the week off by firing a 7-under-par 65 on the Fazio Course to take a two-stroke lead. He gave up the lead after posting an even-par 71 on the Champion Course in the second round. The Duke verbal commit would take back the lead however, carding a 5-under-par 67 on the Fazio in round three. Chinn entered the final round with a three-stroke lead and sealed the victory with another even-par 71 on the Champion. He finished at 12-under-par 274 and won by four strokes.
The 2019 Rolex Junior All-American entered the week No. 45 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. He finished T3 at the Justin Thomas Junior Championship in April and reached the semifinals of the U.S. Junior Amateur in July. This is his first AJGA victory.
Karl Vilips of (Australia) Wesley Chapel, Florida, finished second at 8-under-par 278. He finished with a 1-over-par 72 on the Champion Course. Vilips is a five-time AJGA champion, with three of those victories coming in Invitationals. He also won the 2019 Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational. The Stanford signee is a four-time Rolex Junior All-American.
Tucker Clark of Phoenix, Arizona; Aaron Du of (China) Sanford, Florida, and Benjamin James of Milford, Connecticut, finished T3 at 5-under-par 281.
Clark finished second at the Sergio and Angela Garcia Foundation Junior Championship presented by Callaway Golf in March. He also finished T14 at the 2019 Western Junior Championship. The Notre Dame signee is No. 56 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and was recognized as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019.
Du earned his second AJGA victory at the 2019 AJGA Junior at Victoria Hills. The University of California, Berkeley verbal commit is No. 20 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and was recognized as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019.
James, a University of Virginia verbal commit, was recognized as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019. He won the 2019 Killington Junior Golf Championship and is ranked No. 13 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Piercen Hunt of (Canada) Hartland, Wisconsin, finished sixth at 4-under-par 282. The University of Illinois signee won the 2019 Western Junior Championship. He also finished T7 at the Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational. Hunt was recognized as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019.
David Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia; Andrew Goodman of Norman, Oklahoma; Brett Roberts of Coral Springs, Florida, and Joseph Pagdin of (United Kingdom) Orlando, Florida, finished T7 at 2-under-par 284.
Ford has won two AJGA tournaments, including the 2019 Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by James Hardie. The 2019 Rolex Junior All-American also finished T7 at the Boys Junior PGA Championship and is No. 49 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Goodman owns two AJGA victories and is No. 30 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The University of Oklahoma verbal commit won the 2019 Bass Pro Shops / Payne Stewart Junior Championship. Goodman was recognized as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019.
Roberts, a Florida State signee, won the 2019 Wyndham Invitational presented by BB&T. He was recognized as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019 and is No. 6 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Pagdin is verbally committed to the University of Florida and is No. 3 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. He was also recognized as a Rolex Junior All-American for the first time in 2019.
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