21 Jan 2022 Prestige of IMG Junior World Event Is Worth the Hard Work
It’s a dream of many junior golfers, to qualify for the IMG Junior World Championships in San Diego at the historic Torrey Pines. The course itself is iconic as is the list of champions from over the years of the event. The SNJGA operates several IMG Junior World qualifier events so local young golfers have the chance to compete in this prestigious event.
“IMG Junior World gives junior golfers the unique opportunity to represent their home state on a global stage,” says Renee Rocco, SNGA junior golf operations director. “We are proud to be a part of this historical event that celebrates the game and diversity, by having SNJGA members represent the association and state at this prestigious event.”
In addition to the prestige that comes from winning, many college coaches keep an eye on and attend the event to recruit young players. Doing well in the event can open many doors.
Notable past IMG Junior World champions include Notah Begay III, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Corey Pavin, Nick Price, Craig Stadler, David Toms, Jason Day and Tiger Woods. Past girls’ champions include Amy Alcott, Brandie Burton, Lorena Ochoa, and Jennifer Rosales.
HISTORY OF THE JUNIOR WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS
It was February, 1968 when John W Brown, A.S. “Lou” Smith and Norrie West decided the San Diego Junior Golf Association would host the Junior World Golf Championships. The three had discussed the idea of organizing a tournament where juniors from all parts of the world could come together to play golf and share in cultural exchange.
The following is taken from the 1968 Junior World Program created by Norrie West:
- The idea behind the Junior World Golf Championships is simply “YOUTH.” The San Diego County Junior Golf Association is founded on the principle of serving young people, in the hope that by doing so today’s youth will have a better chance of creating the world we all want. The Junior World tournament is an international extension of that principle. We believe that by bringing together young people from all parts of the world and all parts of our nation, we are helping to bring about greater understanding among people of differing cultures and values.
In its inaugural year, 475 juniors participated in the event representing seven countries and 20 states. Today, the tournament has grown to 1250 participants representing 56 countries and 42 states. The IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships is the largest international event in the world and is unique for its international representation and cultural diversity. The Junior World has enjoyed representation from the following countries and territories since 1968: