Noh Named AJGA Junior Girls Player of Year

Yealimi Noh of Concord has been selected 2018 Rolex Junior Girls Player of the Year by the American Junior Golf Association

Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, N.C. was named the Boys Player of Year.

Bhatia and Noh will receive their awards on Nov. 18 during the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The 17-year-old Noh, who announced earlier this year that she will pass up a scholarship from UCLA to turn pro, captured the Girls Junior PGA Championship, the U.S. Girls’ Junior and the Canadian Women’s Amateur in consecutive weeks this summer.

“I’m so honored to be receiving this incredible award,” Noh said. “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.”

In addition, Noh won the Hana Financial Group Se Ri Pak Championship, finished second in the Buick Shanshan Feng Girls Invitational, tied for second in the Thunderbird International Junior, tied for sixth in Annika Invitational and tied 11th in the ANA Junior Inspiration. She also played for the United States in a victory over Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup in Paris.

Noh leads the AJGA Girls All-American team, which also includes Lucy Li of Redwood Shores and Rose Zhang of Irvine.

Also on the first team are Anne Chen of Sugar Land, Texas; Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas; Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tenn.; Michaela Morard of Huntsville, Ala.; Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Fla.; Megan Schofill of Monticello, Fla.; Erica Shepherd of Greenwood, Ind.; Yujeong Son of Norman, Okla., and Angelina Ye of Bradenton, Fla.

Californians on the second team include Amari Avery of Riverside, Irene Kim of La Palma, Alexa Melton of Covina, Katherine Muzi of Walnut, Brooke Seay of Rancho Santa Fe, Kornkamol Sukaree of Huntington Beach and Elizabeth Wang of San Marino.

Receiving honorable mention were Ty Akabane of Danville, Zoe Antoinette Campos of Valencia, Briana Chacon of Whittier, Brianna Navarrosa of San Diego, Serena Sepersky of Temecula and Nicole Whiston of San Diego.

The 16-year-old Bhatia won the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, the Polo Golf Junior Classic and Boys Junior PGA Championship, and also represented the U.S. at the Junior Ryder Cup.

“I’m so humbled and honored to win such a prestigious award,” Bhatia said. “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 leads the Boys All-American team, which also includes Ricky Castillo of Yorba Linda, Leo Oyo of San Diego, Cameron Sisk of El Cajon, and James Song of Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Also on the team are Canon Claycomb of Bowling Green, Ky.; Ryan Hall of Knoxville, Tenn.; William Moll of Houston, Texas; Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley, Mass.;Travis Vick of Houston, Texas, and Karl Vilips of Wesley Chapel, Fla.

Californians on the second team include Alexander Yang of Carlsbad, Bo Jin of Encinitas, William Mouw of Chino and Luke Potter of Encinitas.

Receiving honorable mention were Aaron Chen of Fremont, Dylan Menante of Carlsbad, Jackson Rivera of Rancho Santa Fe, Brian Stark of Kingsburg and Andi Xu of San Diego.

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