Congratulations Miles Russell & Yana Wilson!
What is the AJGA Rolex Ranking?
The Rolex AJGA Ranking is the proprietary system created by the AJGA to identify and rank the top junior players who have competed in premier junior golf tournaments in the U.S. Why is this important for junior golfers? First, the rankings are there to guide the Rolex Junior All-America selection process. They also help to select or round out AJGA Invitational fields and determine AJGA Wyndham Cup teams, the PING Junior Solheim Cup team, the Junior Presidents Cup team, the AJGA Junior All-Star team, and other international tournament selections.
As a junior golfer interested in having a lasting golf career, learning about the AJGA and becoming involved in their tournaments is very important. The AJGA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. It is considered by many leaders in the golf industry to be the premier junior golf association of the world. The AJGA has run elite tournaments for junior golfers, both male and female, in the United States since 1978.
Rolex Junior Players of the Year
Introduced by the AJGA in 1978, the Rolex Junior Player of the Year award recognizes one boy and one girl who had the most outstanding year in junior golf. The top eligible finisher in the year-end Rolex AJGA Rankings is the leading candidate for the award. The Rolex Junior Player of the Year honor recognizes not only an outstanding athlete but a well-rounded individual who has demonstrated a commitment to the goals and objectives of the AJGA while being a positive role model for other junior golfers. The Rolex Junior Player of the Year must meet AJGA Competitive Eligibility Criteria, with the exception of starting college, through the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
There are additional factors that may be included such as: Rolex AJGA Rankings position, conduct at national junior competitions and functions, participation in top amateur and/or professional events, position in other national junior rankings, etc.
Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach, Florida and Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nevada earned the top honor of 2023 Rolex Junior Players of the Year. With this they join a historical list of past winners including: Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Scottie Scheffler, Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park and Rose Zhang.
Miles Russell, at 15-years-old, is the youngest player in the Boys Division to receive Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors. Tiger Woods was previously the youngest player at 15 years, 10 months, and 2 days when he was honored in 1991. Both Russell and Woods are the only male players to win the award at age 15. While Russell is the youngest boy to win the title, he’s not the youngest winner ever. There have been three other instances of 14 year old’s winning Player of the Year. Most notable is Inbee Park, winning when she was 14 years, 4 months and 21 days old in 2002.
More on this year’s winners:
In 2023, Russell had four wins in eight national junior golf events to end the season at No. 1. The 2027 grad started his first full season of AJGA events with two Junior All-Star event wins in just three weeks. He won the TaylorMade TP5 Junior All-Star and the Moon Golf Junior All-Star by a combined 15 strokes. The TaylorMade TP5 Junior All-Star victory was his first career AJGA win.
The class of 2024 grad earned First Team Rolex Junior All-America honors for the second time, ending the season at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. In 10 national junior golf events, Wilson secured two wins and four additional top-three finishes. Wilson is the first Nevada native to win Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors in either division.
Russell, Wilson, and the 2023 Rolex Junior All-America Teams will be honored at the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 18, 2023. It will be hosted at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. Rolex Junior All-Americans and a field of the top players in the Rolex AJGA Rankings will compete at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, November 18-22 at TPC San Antonio – Canyons Course in San Antonio, Texas.
Current Rolex AJGA Rankings:
|Top 10 Boys||Top 10 Girls|
|1. Miles Russell||1. Yana Wilson|
|2. Billy Davis||2. Gianna Clemente|
|3. Wheaton Ennis||3. Anna Davis|
|4. Jay Leng Jr||4. Jasmine Koo|
|5. Phillip Dunham||5. Leigh Chien|
|6. Blades Brown||6. Asterisk Talley|
|7. Will Hartman||7. Alice Ziyi Zhao|
|8. Nicholas Gross||8. Ryleigh Knaub|
|9. Tyler Watts||9. Gracie McGovern|
|10. Henry Guan||10. Nikki Oh|
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