Former U.S. Junior champ Liu picks Stanford

Jim Liu

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Sorry, coaches: A former U.S. Junior champion has made his college decision.

Jim Liu, who won the biggest prize in junior golf in 2010, told Golfweek that he has given a verbal commitment to Stanford University. He will start in fall 2013.

After visiting Texas, USC, Georgia, Texas A&M, Virginia, UNLV and Wake Forest, Liu ultimately narrowed his search to the Longhorns (currently the top-ranked college team in the country) and Stanford.

“They all have great programs, and after visiting these schools, my first decision was that I wanted to go West,” Liu, of Smithtown, N.Y., said in an email. “It was a tough decision, especially since both programs have strong teams, top-notch facilities, strong academics and a great coaching staff.”

Liu chose Stanford, he said, because of the relationship he developed with coaches Conrad Ray and Philip Rowe, and that the Siebel Training Complex “fit me very well.”

“I am excited to be a future Cardinal,” Liu said.

Liu’s announcement ends the pursuit of one of the country’s most sought-after recruits. At age 9, he shot 59 in a Plantation Junior Golf Tour event and became the only player to win four consecutive U.S. Kids World Championships. Then, in July 2010, he defeated Justin Thomas in the final match to become the youngest U.S. Junior champion in history, at 14 years, 11 months and 15 days.

Since then, Liu, now 16, has compiled an impressive resume that includes five runners-up (Terra Cotta, Azalea, Puerto Rico, New Year’s, St. Augustine) among eight top-6 finishes in junior and amateur events. He is No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings.

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