The American Junior Golf Association has named Cody Proveaux and Ariya Jutanugarn the 2011 Rolex Junior Players of the Year. The award, introduced in 1978, annually recognizes one boy and one girl as the most outstanding junior player at the national level.
Jutanugarn, 15, earned the honor after a whirlwind, five-month golf odyssey in the U.S. with her family. Jutanugarn first arrived in the U.S. from her native Bangkok, Thailand to play on a sponsor exemption in the LPGA tour’s Kraft Nabisco Championship. She was the sole amateur to make the cut there, and earned low amateur honors. Jutanugarn also made her second consecutive U.S. Women’s Open appearance in July, and went on to win the the U.S. Girls’ Junior and Junior PGA Championship later in the summer. She has eight career top-10 finishes in AJGA events, winning the 2011 Rolex Girls Junior Championship and finishing runner-up four more times, including at last month’s Ping Invitational.
Jutanugarn finished the season with a 70.27 scoring average in AJGA events, and currently is the top-ranked junior by Golfweek. It’s a position she spent the summer trading with older sister Moriya, 17, who was named to the AJGA’s list of first-team All-Americans.
Proveaux, a 17-year-old Clemson commit, also is a first-time Player of the Year after earning three runner-up finishes in AJGA Invitationals in 2011 (HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods, FootJoy Invitational, Rolex Tournament of Champions). Proveaux broke through with a win at the Junior PGA Championship, and also finished runner-up at the 2011 Bobby Chapman Junior.
Proveaux’s trophy shelf also includes hardware from the 2010 Polo Golf Junior Classic, which helped him earn second-team Rolex Junior All-American honors in 2010. He is ranked No. 4 by Golfweek.
Jutanugarn, Proveaux and the remaining 94 junior All-Americans will be honored Nov. 20 during the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The season’s final invitational, the Polo Golf Junior Classic, also will be played that week.