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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.
Steve Munday/Allsport
"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]( (via Twitter)
At 14 Justin Rose tried to qualify for the 1995 Open Championship.
Steve Munday/Allsport
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.
David Cannon /Allsport
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.
Getty Images
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).
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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.
AP Photo
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.
AP Photo
At 17 Hunter Mahan defeated Camillo Villegas 4-2 to win the 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship title.
AP Photo
Adam Scott at the 2000 Smoke Free Victorian Open at the Cranbourne Golf Course in Melbourne.
Robert Cianflone/Allsport
Stacy Lewis at the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship held at Mission Hills Country Club Club.
David Cannon/Getty Images
Thirteen-year-old Justin Leonard met his hero Byron Nelson in 1986.
AP Photo
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.
AP Photo
Corey Pavin (near right) and Woods are among the pros whose junior days are depicted on Torrey Pines' walls.
J.D. Cuban
Fifteen-year-old Jessica Korda at the U.S. Women's Open at Interlachen Country Club.
AP Photo
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.
AP Photo