Top junior girls of 2012: No. 10 Esther Lee
From Ariya Jutanugarn's dominating performance at the Concession Golf Club to her older sister Moriya making her way through LPGA Q-School, 2012 was a year to remember for girls junior golf.
Over the course of 10 days, we will bring you the top 10 players of the year starting at No. 10 and ending with the player who we think had the most impressive season.
Who's No. 10? None other than California native Esther Lee. And, for a bonus today, we've also thrown in three Honorable Mentions, including Casie Cathrea, Shannon Aubert and Andrea Lee.
• • •
10. Esther Lee (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
The resume: Lee was a member of Team USA at the Junior Ryder Cup and the West Team at the Wyndham Cup. Lee finished No. 4 in the Golfweek girls junior rankings. The first team Rolex Junior All-America, played five AJGA events, and finished in the top-10 each time. She earned co-medalist honors at the Polo Junior Golf Classic.
Commentary: A player who went 5-for-5 at AJGA Invitationals in finishing inside of the top-10. E. Lee finished 3-0 at the Junior Ryder Cup helped her cause, too. She still hasn’t won an AJGA Invitational, though, the only back burner to her junior career. With only a few months left of her junior career it will be hard to get one. It depends if she will make the jump to play more amateur events this summer or stick around the AJGA / Junior PGA Championship.
• • •
11. Casie Cathrea (Livermore, Calif.)
The resume: Cathrea, in her one AJGA tournament this year, tied for fourth at The Ping Invitational. She was a member of Team USA at the Junior Ryder Cup and was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
Commentary: Who could forget the epic, hard fought battle between Cathrea and Ariya Jutanugarn at U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship? Enough said. She has the game to back up her confidence.
12. Shannon Aubert (Reunion, Fla.)
The resume: Aubert had three top-five AJGA finishes, including a runner-up finish at the Annika Invitational. She finished No. 10 in the Golfweek girls junior rankings and played in the U.S. Women’s Open.
Commentary: I feel like she has been on the AJGA forever. Seriously, forever. And she is always a high finisher at the best AJGA tournaments. Aubert has a college decision to make soon, as she doesn’t graduate until 2014.
13. Andrea Lee (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
The resume: Lee had five out six top-10 finishes during the 2012 AJGA season. The first team Rolex Junior All-American finished at No. 9 in the Golfweek girls junior rankings.
Commentary: Lee doesn’t graduate until 2016, which seems light years away, but she is dominant. No doubt. Make sure to keep an eye on her in years to come.