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Girls' Golf Athlete of the Year
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Girls' Golf Athlete of the Year

 

2000

Christine Hentzner
Bishop Gorman High School, Las Vegas, Nevada

Hentzner helped lead Bishop Gorman to a second-place finish in the Class 4A Nevada girls golf state tournament last fall, finishing among the top 10 players individually. In the National Open High School Golf Championships held June 23-25 in Winter Garden, Fla., Hentzner was the highest-placing senior in the girls competition, finishing in ninth place. The tournament was part of the 3rd annual National High School Sports Festival, which attracted nearly 1,000 athletes to the Orlando, Fla. area for competition in golf, tennis, and soccer June 23-26. "Athletes like Christine Hentzner are one of the reasons these Championships are so gratifying," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills, and we are extremely proud to be honoring her." Hentzner put together three consistent rounds of golf at the Orange County National Golf Center, shooting 77-76-77 for a 54-hole score of 230. Christine Kim, a sophomore at Oak Grove High School in San Jose, Calif., won the event with a 215 total.

 

2001

Sarah Sparks
East Noble High School, Kendallville, Indiana

"Athletes like Sarah Sparks are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best golfers not only in the state of Indiana, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Sparks starred in two sports at East Noble High. In addition to her golf achievements, she was a three-year starter on the basketball team and captain as a senior, leading her team in field-goal percentage and earning second-team All-Conference honors. A two-time individual golf state qualifier, Sparks finished ninth in the state tournament last fall and was named the winner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association's Mental Attitude Award. Also an outstanding student, Sparks will graduate No. 1 in a class of 292 students, and will attend Xavier University. She earned a grade-point average of 11.2 (on a scale of 11.0) and scored 1410 on the SAT.

 

2002

May Wood
The Baylor School, Chattanooga, Tennessee

"Athletes like May Wood are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best golfers not only in the state of Tennessee, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Wood won Division II individual state titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000 after finishing third in the state as an eighth-grader in 1997. A wrist injury prevented Wood from trying for a fourth state title last fall. However, she competed in the Aerus Electrolux Tournament, the LPGA Tour's Nashville stop, this spring, and will continue her golf career in the fall as a freshman at Vanderbilt University. Wood also was a two-time All-American in the NHSCA National Open High School Women's Golf Championships. As a freshman in 1999, Wood finished second in the event to Natalie Gulbis, currently an LPGA Tour rookie, with a 311 total, when it was a 72-hole event. In 2000, Wood followed that up with a 221 total and a fourth-place finish.

 

2003

Mandi McConnell
Grand Blanc High School, Grand Blanc, Michigan

"Mandi McConnell has put together the type of high school career that makes it clear that she has been and will continue to be a force on the women's golf scene," said NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro. "The NHSCA is proud to name Mandi McConnell it's National High School Senior Girls Golf Athlete of the Year." The 2003 Michigan Miss Golf selection, McConnell averaged 73.2 strokes per round her senior season in winning the state championship. McConnell's title came after two runner-up finishes and one third-place award at the state championships. McConnell broke several records throughout her career, including a 38-year mark at Flint Junior Golf, and LPGA star Kelly Robbins' record for lowest round ever at the Davison Invitational. McConnell also played on the Power-Bilt Tour and posted 27 wins, while receiving the Player of the Year Award in three consecutive years.

 

2004

Amie Cochran
West Torrance High School, Torrance, California Cochran

Amie won the first California state title contested in girls' golf in over 20 years when she took the title in a playoff at the PGA of Southern California this spring. Cochran will join an NCAA championship squad at UCLA next year.

 

2005

Mari Chun
The Kamehameha School, Honolulu, Hawaii

Few athletes matched Chun's accomplishments on the course and in the classroom in 2004. She won the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association Tournament of Champions, the Hawaii State Women's Golf Association Match Play Championships, the Mayor's Cup, the Aloha Section of the Westfield Junior PGA Championships and the Callaway Junior World Championships. On the high school links, she was the state runnerup as a senior, fifth as a junior and seventh as a sophomore. With a 4.12 GPA, Chun is a member of the National Honor Society and was the recipient of the Wellesley Book Award, which honored her as its Outstanding Female Student of the Year. She will attend Stanford University.

 

2006

Morgan Pressel
St. Andrews School, Boca Raton, Florida

Pressel dominated Florida's Class A state meet for four years, winning state individual titles as a sophomore, junior and senior after finishing second as a freshman. She shot a sparkling 67-67-134 in the state meet last fall and won the title on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Eight days after winning the state crown, Pressel, the U.S. Women's Open runner-up in 2005, ended her amateur career by joining the LPGA Tour. Ranked No. 1 in the amateur ranks at the time, Pressel finished in the top 25 in each of the seven professional tournaments she played in last year.

 

2007

Esther Choe
Cactus Shadows High School, Cave Creek, Arizona

As a junior, Choe posted a 36-hole score of 15-under-par 125 - the lowest score in state history - to lead Cactus Shadows to the Class 4A state team title. She followed that with 11-under 129 as a senior for her second individual title, leading Cactus Shadows to a state runnerup finish and earning repeat Girls Golfer of the Year honors from the Arizona Republic. A two-time Junior Solheim Cup Team member who also competed on the Junior Ryder Cup Team in 2006, Choe is ranked No. 1 in the Junior Golf national rankings and was voted the Rolex Junior Player of the Year. She will attend the University of Arizona.

 

2008

Wesley Graham
Spruce Creek High School, Port Orange, Florida

A fixture near the top of the Florida golf scene, Graham averaged 68.5 strokes per round as a senior and did not shoot an over-par round all season. He finished second in the Class 2A state tournament last fall, shooting 2-under-par 142, and was the meet's highest-placing senior. He also was the Region 2 runnerup and shot a sparkling 67 to win the District 5 meet by seven strokes. As a junior, Graham finished third in the state tournament and was a four-time Flagler County Player of the Year. Currently the nation's top-ranked junior player, Graham was named to the Rolex Junior All-America First Team after advancing to the U.S. Junior Amateur semifinals and earning runnerup honors in the HP Boys Junior Championship last summer. He will attend Florida State University.

 

2009

Courtney Gunter
Porter Ridge High School, Indian Trail, North Carolina

After being tied for the lead following the first day of the Class A-2A-3A state tournament last fall, Gunter made it a runaway on the final day, shooting the tournament's only subpar round - a 2-under 70 in blustery, chilly conditions - to shoot 76-70-146 and win her third consecutive state championship by a whopping 10 strokes. She was a three-time South Piedmont Conference Player of the Year and a two-time Charlotte Observer Player of the Year. Also an outstanding junior player, Gunter was a Rolex Junior All-America Honorable Mention selection and was named North Carolina Junior Player of the Year in 2008 after finishing in the top 10 in eight of the 15 events she entered, and was an EA Sports All-American in 2007. She will attend the University of North Carolina.

 

2010

Jenny Shin
Torrance High School, Torrance, California

Shin, a native of South Korea, won her second consecutive individual state championship last fall, shooting a one-under-par 71. As a junior, she won her first title in a playoff after shooting 72, and she also finished 10th in state as sophomore and sixth as a freshman. She also helped Torrance win its third straight team title and fourth in five years. Shin won the Los Angeles City Championship at the age of 10, and in 2006, at the age of 13 years, nine months, she became the second youngest winner of the U.S. Girls Junior Championship. Down three holes in the final nine, she rallied and won the title on the first playoff hole. It was only her second-ever Girls Junior competition. Shin advanced to the finals of the Polo World Golf Championship in 2008, and is a three-time American Junior Golf Association Rolex First Team All-American. Last fall’s state tournament was the final amateur event for Shin, who has qualified for the LPGA Futures Tour and is pursuing a professional career.

 

2011

Aurora Kan
Chichester High School, Boothwyn, Pennsylvania  

Kan finished her career as the state champion in dramatic fashion. Holding a three-stroke lead after an opening-round 72, she needed to birdie the last two holes of the final round to salvage a 79 and force a three-way playoff. She won the school’s first girls state championship in any sport by sinking a 12-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole. The state runner-up her sophomore and junior years, Kan also finished fifth in state as a freshman. She won three District 1 titles and a region title, and is a three-time All-Delco selection and a two-time Delaware County Daily Times Player of the Year. The Purdue University commitment also had a successful Junior season, winning the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur Championship, the PGA Junior Series stop at Penn State University for the third time, and the CorseMax/Philadelphia Junior Runner, where she won a 15-stroke victory. She also qualified for the PGA Junior Championship and earned her third berth in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, advancing to match play.

 

2012

Megan Blonien
Altus High School, Altus,Oklahoma

Blonien became the second Oklahoma girl – and the first in 5A– in the 82-year history of the state tournament to win four individual titles. Trailing two golfers by a stroke after the first round, Blonien rallied with the only sub-70 round shot by anyone in the tournament – a 3-under-par 67 – to take the title by three strokes.She shot 75-67-142. She had four birdies and one bogey in her final round, and needed only 27 putts. The only other four-time state champion: Lacey Jones of Idabel High School, who won four 4A titles from 2001-04. As a freshman, Blonien shot a hole-in-one en route to a final-round 71 as she took her first title.The two-time defending Oklahoma Girls Junior state champion, Blonien also won the event’s Long Drive Contest in the 16-17age group with a drive of 291 yards. Her final-round 72 made her the first Oklahoma golfer to win the Girls Open title in the28-year history of the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament last summer, a title she won by a record 16 strokes, and also qualified for the match play portion of the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur.She will attend Oklahoma State University

 

2013

Jessie Sindlinger
Charles City High School, Charles City, Iowa  

Jessie Sindlinger joined an elite club in May when she won her fourth straight Iowa state golf championship. Sindlinger, who will attend the University of Iowa on a golf scholarship, shot a 65 at the Ames Golf and Country Club to become just the second four-time state champ in Iowa – an the first in over 50 years. Sindlinger qualified for the 2012 PGA Junior Championship.

 

2014

Maddie Szeryk
Allen High School, Allen, Texas

After finishing second once and third twice during her first three years of varsity competition, Allen High’s Maddie Szeryk captured the Texas Class 5A championship during the 2013-14 school year. Ranked #9 by the AJGA, the Texas A&M recruit, finished second as a sophomore and third as a junior and freshman. Szeryk shot 135 during the two-day tournament, which included a sizzling 65 on the final day of the tournament. Her gold medal performance also helped her school win the team title. In May, Szeryk qualified for the LPGA’s North Texas Shootout where she shot back-to-back 74’s before not making the cut. She also won the AJGA’s Thunderbird International Junior Tournament. Szeryk is the first Texas girls’ golfer to be honored by the NHSCA.

 

2015

Madison Odiorne
Summit High School, Bend, Oregon

Madison Odiorne closed-out her scholastic career by becoming the first four-time state champion in Oregon.  Odiorne won the Class 5A title with a record-shattering 140 over 36 holes, which was one shot off the all-classifications low score at the Oregon state championships.  The mark broke her previous state record in the 5A championship by ten strokes. In March, Odiorne won the girls’ 13-19 division at the Future Collegians World Tour event at the Silverado Resort and Spa in California. In 2014, she qualified for the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Odiorne will attend Washington St.

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