Junior Girls

Preview: Morales, Aubert are girls’ heirs apparent

Shannon Aubert
Shannon Aubert ( Tracy Wilcox )

Sunday, January 6, 2013

With the departure of Thai super sisters Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn to the professional ranks, girls’ junior golf is looking for two heirs apparent atop leaderboards. Nicole Morales and Shannon Aubert are good bets.

Morales, of South Salem, N.Y., is No. 1 in Golfweek Junior Rankings for the Class of 2014, No. 7 overall. Her momentum into the 2012 season started in November 2011, when she won the Polo Junior Golf Classic after being 3 down through four holes. Since then, she has had four AJGA top-10 finishes, including a victory at the Genesis Junior Open and a runner-up finish at the TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook.

The Alabama-commit gave it her all at the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior when she played No. 1-ranked amateur Lydia Ko in the Round of 16. Morales took the match to the 17th hole. For the first time, she was named a Rolex Junior All-American.

Shannon Aubert of Reunion, Fla., has made some noise at the junior level. Aubert, No. 2 in the Golfweek Junior Rankings for the Class of 2014, has three top-5 AJGA finishes. In five years on the AJGA, she has seven runner-up finishes and no invitational titles. The only title she owns dates to 2008 at the Medicus Preseason Junior at Rochester (N.Y.). A big college decision looms.

Morales and Aubert can go 1-2 in 2013.