Top 5 junior golfers make their move in 2018

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Top 5 junior golfers make their move in 2018

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Top 5 junior golfers make their move in 2018

As the summer comes to a close, it’s time to look back at what we’ve seen among junior golfers so far in 2018. There’s been plenty of interesting action over the last several months, and some young players have really made a name for themselves.

Here is a look at the top five junior players who pushed themselves into (or further into) the spotlight this year:

5. Yujeong Son

The 2019 product already had plenty of accolades entering this year, but she’s really stepped it up in 2018. It started with a victory at the Harder Hall Women’s Invitational and continued with wins at the Oklahoma Junior Girls and the Rolex Girls Junior Championship. She sprinkled in four other top-10 finishes in 2018. That all means she’s been one to reckon with this year.

4. Michael Thorbjornsen

He only has one win in 2018, but it’s a big one. That would be the U.S. Junior Amateur, beating Bhatia in a close final. That’s pretty high-profile for the Class of 2020 prospect. He also has a pair of other top-10s and has risen to No. 3 in his class. Many more now know how good this kid is than they did at the beginning of 2018.

3. Cole Hammer

So technically Hammer will be a college freshman this fall, but for now he’s still a junior and he’s ending his junior career in fine fashion. The future Texas Longhorn, who first came on the radar when he qualified for the 2015 U.S. Open at age 15, won the Azalea Invitational in March and followed with a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball title (alongside Garrett Barber) in May. He then made the semis at the U.S. Junior Amateur and saved his best for last – earning co-medal honors at the Western Amateur and battling through a series of tight matches to capture one of amateur golf’s most prestigious titles. Quite a stamp to put on a memorable junior career.

2. Yealimi Noh

She’s been absolutely red-hot this summer. The 17-year-old recently won four consecutive events starting with the California Junior Championship. She went on to win the Girls Junior PGA, the U.S. Girls’ Junior and the Canadian Women’s Amateur. Her streak was just snapped when she lost in the Round of 32 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur –still a solid result. Noh also won an AJGA event in April for five victories in six starts. Little has stopped Noh, even comments questioning her decommitment from UCLA in order to turn pro next year. What did Noh do after those comments? She won those four straight events.

1. Akshay Bhatia

The 16-year-old began his run to the top of junior golf with last summer’s record victory at the Boys Junior PGA, and he hit the accelerator this year. Bhatia started 2018 by capturing the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley and followed with a dominant 10-shot victory at the AJGA’s Polo Golf Junior Classic. Then he reached the final at the U.S. Junior Amateur and defended his Boys Junior PGA title by chipping in for eagle on the 72nd hole. What a year, and the 2020 prospect is considering skipping college to turn pro. Considering this rise, why not? Gwk

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