This time, Noah Goodwin has come out on top. After a summer filled with close-call finishes in several of golf’s biggest junior events, the 16-year-old from Corinth Texas, was named winner of the AJGA’s Rolex Boys Junior Player of the Year Award.
The high school junior who has verbally committed to play college golf at SMU had six top-five finishes in seven national junior tournaments in 2016, including runner-up showings at the U.S. Junior, Thunderbird International and the Ping Invitational to go with a victory at the AJGA’s Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior. Combined with playing for the victorious U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team and the winning West squad at the AJGA’s Wyndham Cup, the collective resume of the No. 1 ranked boy in the Polo Golf Rankings was too impressive to overlook.
“When I outlined my goals at the beginning of the year, I listed two: to be the Rolex Junior Player of the Year and to be on the United States Junior Ryder Cup team,” Goodwin said. “I am proud to have accomplished both of these goals.”
Consistently impressive performances also marked the season of Thailand’s Paphangkorn Tavatanakit, who was named Rolex Girls Junior Play of the Year. The 17-year-old senior who is set to play for UCLA next fall, won the AJGA’s oldest event, the Rolex Tournament of Champions, and broke the tournament scoring record by six strokes en route to winning the Ping Invitational earlier this month.
“Being honored as the Rolex Junior Player of the year is surreal,” Tavatanakit said. “Winning the award means the world to me.”
Goodwin and Tavatankit were formally named recipients of the AJGA honor while appearing on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" on Thursday. Needless to say, the pair had plenty of fun being center stage on set.
Photos courtesy of the AJGA