By Stephanie Dittmer, AJGA Communications
One of the biggest accomplishments for an AJGA junior is to win an AJGA Invitational. With more than 6,000 members in 2013 and only 12 prestigious AJGA Invitationals on the schedule, it’s easy to see how meaningful it is to not only be invited to the event, but also to finish atop the leaderboard in the presence of the best junior golfers from the United States and around the world. Some of the best players in our 35-year history have not accomplished this feat. However, those who’ve been crowned champions at The PING Invitational have seen continued success.
This preview is a look back on The PING Invitationals best moments.
Of the 13 individuals who’ve earned The PING Invitational trophy:
- Eight have gone on to play college golf and four continued their careers after high school on professional golf tours.
- 2013 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth, is the only AJGA alum to win the event twice, in 2008 and 2010.
- Vicky Hurst is the only former champion that currently hosts an AJGA event, the Under Armour® / Vicky Hurst Championship.
- Two have won the event in sudden-death
playoffs. In 2009, Rachel Morris defeated defending champion Victoria Tanco in
a one-hole playoff. In 2012, Gavin Hall outlasted Cameron Champ in a two-hole
playoff to earn the victory.
In order of year, our champions from 2006-12.
Oklahoma State University and Karsten Creek have a strong history among AJGA golfers and staff members. AJGA alums Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Peter Uihlein all competed on the Oklahoma State men’s golf team, while former staff member Courtney Jones is now the Head Golf Coach of the women’s team.
We pooled the AJGA staff members for some of their all-time favorite PING Invitational moments and we gained quite an extensive list. Below are a few we were able to capture through the years.
- Flag football at Boone Pickens Stadium
- Awesome volunteer support
- Gavin Hall making an 11-stroke comeback and winning a two-hole playoff to win in 2012
- Hunter Mahan’s visit and talk to the field. He also played No. 18 with four juniors
- Ariya Jutanugarn’s final-round women’s course record of 66 in 2011
- Andrew Yun, the first Boys Division champion, played No. 18 with his dad’s shoes after he had to hit his second shot out of the water
Golf Ball race on Nos. 17 and 18 lead to former senior tournament director Tommy
Tangtiphaiboontana giving play-by-play as he ran side-by-side with Bud Cauley
riding bike down No. 18
Learn more about The PING Invitational and join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @AJGAGolf and using the hashtag #PINGInv.