Junior golf: Hall headed to UCLA in ’13

Gavin Hall hits his tee shot at No. 9 at the 2011 Junior Players at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.-

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One of the most intriguing prospects in the 2013 class is heading to L.A.

Gavin Hall, who won the AJGA Junior Players Championship in October, gave a verbal commitment to UCLA earlier this week, he told Golfweek. The sixth-ranked player in the 2013 class, Hall plans to sign his National Letter of Intent in November.

“UCLA has a great combination of academies and athletics,” said Hall, of Pittsford, N.Y., who also considered Stanford, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn and Oklahoma State.

“I built a solid relationship with head coach Derek Freeman, and felt like the school, golf program and competitive schedule was a great fit for me. I am very fortunate to have this opportunity at UCLA.”

Hall, 17, underwent surgery in January to repair ligament damage in his right wrist, an injury that has bothered him off-and-on for the past two years. It was his second surgery in the past nine months; in March, after high-school basketball season, he underwent an arthroscopic procedure to clean up “wear and tear.” When he returned six weeks later, at the Junior PGA Championship, a horde of college coaches followed him the first two rounds. “Gavin Hall could miss the next two years and it still wouldn’t matter,” one coach said at the time. “We all want him.”

Though he set no timetable for his return from his latest surgery, Hall hopes to return sometime during the summer. (He hasn’t played competitively since October.)

Among his most notable achievements in junior golf, Hall played the PGA Tour’s Turning Stone Championship as a 15-year-old, shot 62 in stroke-play qualifying at the 2010 U.S. Junior, and has 10 top-10 finishes in AJGA events, including his breakthrough triumph at the Junior Players, held at TPC Sawgrass.

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