One was a no-brainer, the other came down to the wire. In the end, Anthony Paolucci and Kristen Park have earned the AJGA's Rolex Junior Player of the Year Awards after putting on impressive displays in 2010.
Paolucci, 18, from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., has been atop the Polo Golf Ranking since May when he won the Thunderbird International Junior title. He added a second AJGA invitational victory to his resume when he won the Rolex Tournament of Champions event in July. Additionally he finished second at the FootJoy Invitational and at the Junior PGA Championship, was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Junior Amateur. The senior at La Jolla Country Day has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at USC next fall.
Park, 17, from Buena Park, Calif., was victorious at the Ping Invitational earlier this month, a last-minute tournament title that likely allowed her to claim the award in a close race with Victoria Tanco and Cindy Feng. Knowing a win was probably necessarily, Park shot a course-record 67 in the final round. It was her AJGA second invitational of the year, going with her Rolex Tournament of Champions victory in July. Park also had top-10 finishes in six other AJGA events and was fifth at the Junior PGA Championship. She too is a high school senior who is expected to sign with USC later this fall.
Both Paolucci and Park will receive their awards Nov. 21 during the AJGA's Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet at PGA National Golf & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
ROLEX JUNIOR PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
1978 Willie Wood, Tucson, Ariz.
1979 Tracy Phillips, Tulsa, Okla.
1980 Tommy Moore, New Orleans, La.
Tracy Phillips, Tulsa, Okla.
1981 Billy Andrade, Bristol, R.I.
1982 Scott Verplank, Dallas, Texas
1983 Bill McDonald, Dalton, Ga.
1984 Brian Watts, Carrollton, Texas
1985 Bobby May, La Habra, Calif.
1986 Phil Mickelson, San Diego, Calif.
1987 Phil Mickelson, San Diego, Calif.
1988 Phil Mickelson, San Diego, Calif.
1989 David Duval, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
1990 Lee McEntee, Doylestown, Pa.
1991 Tiger Woods, Cypress, Calif.
1992 Tiger Woods, Cypress, Calif.
1993 Michael Henderson, Raleigh, N.C.
1994 Robert Floyd, Miami Beach, Fla.
Joel Kribel, Pleasanton, Calif.
1995 Ryuji Imada, Tampa, Fla.
1996 Charles Howell, Augusta, Ga.
1997 David Gossett, Germantown, Tenn.
1998 Erik Compton, Miami, Fla.
Ryan Hybl, Colbert, Ga.
1999 Hunter Mahan, McKinney, Texas
2000 Matthew Rosenfeld, Plano, Texas
2001 Casey Wittenberg, Memphis, Tenn.
2002 Seung Su Han, Chino Hills, Calif.
2003 Brian Harman, Savannah, Ga.
2004 Brian Harman, Savannah, Ga.
2005 Peter Uihlein, Bradenton, Fla.
2006 Philip Francis, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2007 Peter Uihlein, Bradenton, Fla.
2008 Cameron Peck, Olympia, Wash.
2009 Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas
2010 Anthony Paolucci, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
__1978 Cathy Hanlon, Verdes Estates, Calif.
1979 Penny Hammel, Decatur, Ill.
1980 Heather Farr, Phoenix, Ariz.
1981 Jenny Lidback, Baton Rouge, La.
1982 Heather Farr, Phoenix, Ariz.
1983 Melissa McNamara, Tulsa, Okla.
1984 Susan Pager, Daphne, Ala.
1985 Pearl Sinn, Bellflower, Calif.
1986 Adele Moore, Dallas, Texas
1987 Michelle McGann, Riviera Beach, Fla.
1988 Brandi Burton, Rialto, Calif.
Vicki Goetze, Hull, Ga.
1989 Vicki Goetze, Hull, Ga.
1990 Vicki Goetze, Hull, Ga.
1991 Emilee Klein, Studio City, Calif.
1992 Kellee Booth, Coto de Caza, Calif.
1993 Kellee Booth, Coto de Caza, Calif.
1994 Grace Park, Phoenix, Ariz.
1995 Cristie Kerr, Miami, Fla.
1996 Grace Park, Phoenix, Ariz.
1997 Beth Bauer, Valrico, Fla.
1998 Beth Bauer, Cramerton, N.C.
1999 Candie Kung, Fountain Valley, Calif.
2000 Aree Song Wongluekiet, Bradenton, Fla.
2001 Elizabeth Janangelo, West Hartford, Conn.
2002 In-Bee Park, Eustis, Fla.
2003 Paula Creamer, Pleasanton, Calif.
2004 Julieta Granada, Asuncion, Paraguay
2005 Morgan Pressel, Boca Raton, Fla.
2006 Esther Choe, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2007 Vicky Hurst, Melbourne, Fla.
2008 Victoria Tanco, Bradenton, Fla.
2009 Victoria Tanco, Bradenton, Fla.
2010 Kristen Park, Buena Park, Calif.