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Sorenstam & Mahan Named AJGA National Chairs
Hunter Mahan and Annika Sorenstam have been named the new AJGA National chairmen, the American Junior Golf Association announced Wednesday. The two have been highly involved with AJGA tournaments, as well as the ACE Grant program.
Former National chairmen include Phil Mickelson, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Betsy Rawls, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Watson.
During her tenure on the LPGA, Sorenstam amassed 72 wins, the third most all-time by a member of the Tour. Of those 72 victories, 10 were major championships. An eight-time LPGA Tour Player of the Year, the Swede made eight appearances in the Solheim Cup on the European squad, earning a record of 22-11-4.
"I am very honored to become the National Chairman for the AJGA, who I feel runs the best junior golf tour in the world," Sorenstam said. "The AJGA provides incredible opportunities for juniors in golf, and also great life lessons off the course. My foundation hosts a tournament each year and we look forward to inspiring kids with the AJGA for many years to come."
Since retiring from competitive golf to devote time to her family and business interests, Sorenstam has served as a USGA Ambassador and advisor to the LPGA Board of Directors. She has worked as Olympic Global Ambassador and successfully lobbied to have golf added as an Olympic sport. In 2009, Sorenstam teamed up with the AJGA to conduct the ANNIKA Invitational, a 54-hole, invitation-only event for the best female junior golfers from the United States and abroad. As host of the event, she took a hands-on approach. From speaking engagements to conducting a clinic for the juniors to hosting educational events for the tournament participants, Sorenstam was involved with every element of the tournament.
Aside from her work at AJGA tournaments, the LPGA Hall-of-Famer supports AJGA youth development programs. Sorenstam has committed to endowing an ACE Grant, which will continue to support junior golfers into perpetuity. The ACE Grant is a financial assistance program aimed at providing golf opportunities to juniors with the talent, but without the resources, to play a national junior golf schedule.
Mahan, who turned professional in 2003, is ending a stellar year highlighted by victories at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the WGC- Bridgestone Invitational, as well as an appearance on the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team. His success has helped him ascend to No. 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
"The AJGA had a major impact on my development as a golfer, and it was only 11 years ago that I was the Rolex Junior Player of the Year," Mahan said. "I want other young players to have those same opportunities, which is why I have been giving back to the organization the last few years. I am happy to be able to serve with Annika Sorenstam as the national chairmen, because it provides more avenues to help today's junior golfers."
Despite the rigors of a full-time touring schedule, Mahan has remained true to his roots. The 1999 Rolex Junior Player of the Year helped create the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship in 2009 in his hometown of McKinney, Texas. The 54-hole stroke-play event has been held at TPC Craig Ranch for two years, with Hunter serving as the namesake of the tournament and a hands-on host who stages a clinic for juniors.
Mahan also supports the AJGA's ACE Grant through a charitable giving program set up through the Ryder Cup. Throughout his involvement with the program, he has also committed to endow an ACE Grant, guaranteeing financial assistance for future generations of golf.
AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel. For more information, visit www.ajga.org.