Top Juniors in the world coming to The Ritz

 Does the name Gary Gilchrist ring a bell?
 It should. He was the director of instruction at the Leadbetter Junior Golf Academy in Bradenton many years ago before moving on to start his own academy.

 The Under Armour® / Steve Marino Junior All-Star Championship, a Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series Event, will be played at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club, starting Monday.

Gilchrist's academy is located in Howey-in-the-Hills, and his best known student is the No. 1 ranked women's player in the world --- Yani Seng of Taiwan.Seng has won three tournaments this year, eight for her career, and almost $6 million in earnings.

When he was in Bradenton, his top student was Michelle Wie.

The tournament at the Ritz is an American Junior Golf Association event. It boasts 84-player field for 54 holes of stroke play. Juniors represent 17 states, and also are from Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela. There are
26 players from state of Florida.

The week begins Monday with a practice round, starting at 2 p.m.  Play begins on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow after Thursday's final round.

For area junior golf fans, this will be a great opportunity to watch some of the top juniors in the world. Here are some off the players to follow:

    Tyler McDaniel, Manchester, Ky.: McDaniel is looking to continue his success thus far in AJGA events. With a win at the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star and a third-place finish at the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior, both in early June, he has finished strong in both AJGA events in which he has competed.

    Daniel Jaramillo, Medellin, Colombia: With three top-15 finishes in AJGA events, including second place at the 2010 Sean O'Hair Junior All-Star Championship, Jaramillo is sure to be a contender for the Boys Division title.

      Bernardo Curbelo, (Venezuela) Bradenton:  The Boys Division will feature Curbelo, who has amassed top-20 finishes in five of the eight AJGA events in which he has competed. The high school freshman is looking to build on his success from 2010, when he tied for sixth at the Stars of Texas Junior All-Star and placed seventh at the Sean O'Hair Junior All-Star Championship.
    Anna Newell, Tampa: Looking to build upon her success thus far in 2011, the Florida native is looking for her first AJGA win after a fourth-place tie at the Under Armour® / Vicky Hurst Championship in April.

    Janet Mao, Johns Creek, Ga.: Mao has started her AJGA career and the 2011 season with very strong showings at all three AJGA events in which she has competed. Her three top-five finishes are capped by a win at the 2011 Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star.

   Taylor Tomlinson, Gainesville: The Girls Division will include Tomlinson, who has started 2011 strong with top-10 finishes in all three events in which she has competed. Most notable is a second-place finish at the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star in early June.
    The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, a full-time signature golf instruction program located in Howey-in-the-Hills, began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series for juniors ages 12-15.

    Under Armour® is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand's moisture-wicking fabrications are engineered in many different designs and styles for wear in nearly every climate to provide a performance alternative to traditional products. The Company's products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland, with European headquarters in Amsterdam's Olympic Stadium, and additional offices in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Guangzhou, China. For further information, please visit the Company's website at
     The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) 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. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.

     AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
Tournament Field
Boys Division
Name                                                                                    Hometown
Ben Albin                                                                             Santa Fe, N.M.
Andrés Arango                                                                  Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador
Philip Barbaree                                                                  Shreveport, La.
Jordan Batchelor                                                               St. Johns, Fla.
Greg Bechtel                                                                    The Woodlands, Texas
Harrison Brown                                                                Marietta, Ga.
Hayden Buckley                                                                Belden, Miss.
Sam Burns                                                                           Shreveport, La.
Andres Caballero                                                              Mexico City, Mexico
Ryan Celano                                                                       Naples, Fla.
Tian Yi Cen                                                                        (China) Bradenton, Fla.
Nathan Chuwait                                                               Herndon, Va.
Bernardo Curbelo                                                            (Venezuela) Bradenton, Fla.
Joaquin de Aduriz                                                            City Bell, Argentina
Noah Edmondson                                                            Davidson, N.C.
Sean Foley                                                                           The Woodlands, Texas
Wilson Furr                                                                         Jackson, Miss.
Luis Gagne                                                                         Orlando, Fla.
Buzz Ganow                                                                       Haymarket, Va.
Jorge Garcia                                                                       (Venezuela) Miami, Fla.
Pedro Gil                                                                              Mexico City, Mexico
Hartej Gill                                                                            Monroe Township, N.J.
Jacob Gurock                                                                      West Windsor, N.J.
Davis Holman                                                                   Yorba Linda, Calif.
Zachary Hoskins                                                              Orlando, Fla.
Bret Howey                                                                         Nazareth, Pa.
Daniel Jaramillo                                                                Medellin, Colombia
Wyatt Larkin                                                                      Morganton, Ga.
Jalen Ledger                                                                       Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Kenneth Li                                                                           Westmont, Ill.
Jack Little                                                                             Montgomery, Texas
Seiya Liu                                                                              Beverly Hills, Calif.
David Mackey                                                                    Bogart, Ga.
Matthew Marquez                                                           (Trinidad and Tobago) Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
Russell Matos                                                                     Lombard, Ill.
Colin McCaffrey                                                                Wheaton, Ill.
Tyler McDaniel                                                                  Manchester, Ky.
John Berdon Mitchell                                                       Houston, Texas
Curren Mody                                                                      Monmouth Junction, N.J.
Gustavo Morantes                                                           (Venezuela) Key Biscayne, Fla.
Matthew Mourin                                                              Miami Lakes, Fla.
Sean Murphy                                                                      Decatur, Ga.
Anthony Perrino                                                               Mooresville, N.C.
Tharusyan Pillay                                                              San Jose, Calif.
Jimmy Pitenis                                                                    Daytona Beach, Fla.
Matthew Plunkett                                                            Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Andrew Priest                                                                    Houston, Texas
Reid Rathburn                                                                   Alpharetta, Ga.
Austin Rose                                                                        Tupelo, Miss.
Sam Rosenberg                                                                  Dallas, Texas
Connor Smith                                                                     Birmingham, Ala.
Zachary Smith                                                                   Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
David Snyder                                                                     McAllen, Texas
Jino Sohn                                                                             Honolulu, Hawaii
Christopher Troy                                                               Greenwich, Conn.
Edward Wajda III                                                              Brookfield, Wis.
Danny Walker                                                                   Bradenton, Fla.
Jeremy Walsh                                                                    Tequesta, Fla.
Johan Werge                                                                       San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Edric Wung                                                                         McLean, Va.
Jin Zhang                                                                            (China) Bradenton, Fla.
Terrence Zhang                                                                (Canada) Orlando, Fla.

Girls Division
Name                                                                                    Hometown

Natalia Azcue                                                                    Mexico City, Mexico
Daniella Castañeda                                                          Bogotá, Colombia
Klara Castillo                                                                     Albuquerque, N.M.
Sara Ciliberto                                                                     Coral Gables, Fla.
Jordan Daniel                                                                     Newnan, Ga.
Brooke Dillon                                                                     Prairieville, La.
Jamie Freedman                                                               Miami, Fla.
Caroline Gilhool                                                               Tampa, Fla.
Diana Gonzalez                                                                Bogota, Colombia
Carmen Lucía Gutiérrez Ballón Valdivia                                 Lima, Peru
Tiffany Kuroki                                                                    West Covina, Calif.
Janet Mao                                                                              Johns Creek, Ga.
Anna Newell                                                                     Tampa, Fla.
Katharine Patrick                                                              West University Place, Texas
Sara Riascos                                                                       Bogota, Colombia
Isabella Skinner                                                                 Cumming, Ga.
Idoyaga Sofia                                                                      Buenos Aires, Argentina
Angella Then                                                                      Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Taylor Tomlinson                                                            Gainesville, Fla.
Phoebe Zhao                                                                      (China) Bradenton, Fla.



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