Golf News & Tours
Before They Were Stars
The game's elite players in their formative years
Boy wonder: Phil Mickelson with the spoils from a 1980 San Diego junior event.
"A picture of me when I was 2! Putting stroke still looks the same! Notice how I was ahead of the curve with the belly putter back then!!"
[@McIlroyRory](http://twitter.com/McIlroyRory) (via Twitter)
At 14 Justin Rose tried to qualify for the 1995 Open Championship.
At 15, Sergio Garcia won the European Young Masters at Wentworth by a record 14 strokes.
David Cannon /Allsport
Luke Donald holds up the Walker Cup after Great Britain & Ireland won the matches at the Ocean Forest Golf Club on Sea Island.
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Tom Watson gained local renown while on his high school team at the Pembroke-Country Day School in Kansas City. His first coach was Stan Thirsk at the Kansas City Country Club.
In 1997 Matt Kuchar won the U.S. Amateur at the Cog Hill Golf Club in Lemont, Illinois.
At 15, Tiger Woods became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur champion while attending Western High School in Anaheim (a record that stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in '10).
Photo by Getty Images
The son of a golf instructor and club professional, David Duval learned to play golf under his father's guidance at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.
At 16 Paula Creamer won the AJGA Rolex Girls Junior Championship.
Sixteen-year-old Jack Nicklaus beams as he holds his first prize cup after winning the Ohio Open at Marietta CC on July 29, 1956.
At 17 Hunter Mahan defeated Camillo Villegas 4-2 to win the 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship title.
Adam Scott at the 2000 Smoke Free Victorian Open at the Cranbourne Golf Course in Melbourne.
Stacy Lewis at the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship held at Mission Hills Country Club Club.
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Thirteen-year-old Justin Leonard met his hero Byron Nelson in 1986.
At 12, Michelle Wie played in the 2002 Takefuji Classic at the Waikoloa Beach Course in Hawaii. As the youngest player to ever earn a spot in an LPGA Tour event, she shot a 2-over-par 72 in the first round.
Corey Pavin (
) and Woods are among the pros whose junior days are depicted on Torrey Pines' walls.
Fifteen-year-old Jessica Korda at the U.S. Women's Open at Interlachen Country Club.
At 12, Morgan Pressel qualified for the 2001 U.S. Women's Open after she shot a 2-under-par 70 in a qualifier in North Palm Beach, Fla.