From Tianlang Guan’s Asia Pacific Amateur victory to Beau Hossler’s memorable U.S. Open performance at the Olympic Club, 2012 was a year to remember for boys junior golf.
Over the course of 10 days, we’ll 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 will be No. 1? Who else will make the list? Keep checking back to find out as we continue with No. 9 on our list: Matt Gilchrest
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No. 9: Matt Gilchrest
Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 27
Credentials: Goodman Networks Junior (champion); Harvey Penick Junior (champion); Genesis Shootout (champion); Texas Junior Open (champion); Polo Golf Junior Classic (T-5); Junior Players (T-9); Thunderbird International Junior (11th); HP Boys Championship (T-50); Ping Invitational (25th); U.S. Amateur (MC).
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So what if the Auburn signee didn’t get the recognition of some of the other top juniors? Gilchrest, a two-time Rolex All-American honorable mention, still had a special year.
He started slow, following an 11th-place finish at the Thunderbird International Junior with missed cuts at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and FootJoy Invitational.
But once July rolled around, he picked things up – and in record fashion.
Gilchrest tied an AJGA record with three straight victories after winning the Harvey Penick Junior, Genesis Shootout (his second straight victory at the event) and Goodman Networks Junior.
His record-tying performance at the Goodman Networks Junior came at his home course: Timarron Country Club in Southlake, Texas. He would also set a career mark, shooting 10-under 62 – his lowest in AJGA competition – in the final round to win by nine strokes.
Now, the feat was equaled by Jacob Solomon – on the same day, nonetheless – but Gilchrest’s season didn’t just stop there. He went on the next week to play in the U.S. Amateur, where he missed the cut.
He then finished T-9 at the Junior Players, notched another top 25 at the Ping Invitational and capped his season with a quarterfinals appearance at the Polo Golf Junior Classic.