The Local Knowlege

News & Tours

AJGA names 2012 Rolex players of the year

By Ryan Herrington

NeSmithPOY.jpgA summer's worth of success was rewarded for Matthew NeSmith and Ariya Jutanugarn when the pair got word that they had been named the AJGA's Rolex Boys and Girls players of the year. 

Both the 19-year-old NeSmith, a freshman now at South Carolina, and the 16-year-old Jutanugarn, a native of Thailand who became the fifth girl to repeat as POY, showed flashes of dominance in 2012. Before closing out his junior career in the summer, NeSmith won three AJGA invitational titles, winning at the Polo Golf Junior Classic, the FJ Invitational and the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Additionally he took top honors at the Jones Cup Junior.

JutanugarnPOY.jpgSimilarly, Jutanugarn won the Thunderbird International Junior and the Rolex Girls Junior Championship on the AJGA circuit while also claiming the Junior PGA Championship. When she wasn't impressing in the junior arena, she was handling the competition at the women's amateur level, winning the Women's Western and Canadian Amateur titles. Rounding out her resume was semifinal appearances at the U.S. Girls' Junior and U.S. Women's Amateur and a T-22 finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, earning her low amateur honors in the LPGA's first major of the year.

NeSmith and Jutanugarn will receive their awards Nov. 18 during the AJGA Junior All-American Banquet at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

For a list of past winners, click here.