29 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Junior Golf 2012 Highlights

Mike Baylis was elected president of the Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association, replacing his father and they started on a high note as they successfully defended the Triangual series at Chapman. Two other representatives at this year's Doral junior Publix Golf Championships did well with Ben Follet-Smith coming on a credible 13th position.

The year saw United States-based Zimbabwean teenage golf sensation Sean Crocker getting a reward for his outstanding performances on the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) circuit this season.

The California-based 15-year-old golf prodigy was named among 15 Southern California junior golfers in the prestigious Rolex Junior All-Americans by the American Junior Golf Association.

Crocker is the son of Bulawayo-born former Zimbabwe Test cricketer Gary Crocker.

In only his second season with the AJGA, Crocker finished in the top 20 in all six AJGA starts this season, including second-place finishes at the Cleveland Junior Open, AJGA Junior at Fox Hill and the AJGA Junior at Robinson Ranch.

Crocker, who is currently a junior at The Westlake High in California, has reportedly verbally committed the University of California, Los Angeles, for his tertiary education.

Introduced by the AJGA in 1978, the Rolex Junior All-America teams annually recognise players who have proven to be the world's premier junior golfers.

The Rolex Junior All-America teams were determined exclusively through the Polo Golf Rankings as of October 9.

Crocker finished a creditable 38th on the rankings out of well over 600 junior golfers throughout the US.

Early this year in July, Crocker lifted the Zimbabwean flag high by finishing an impressive 16th out of 200 hopefuls at the Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, California.

Golf will return to the Olympic Games in 2016 and Crocker will be eligible to play for Zimbabwe.

Another upcoming junior, Mbongeni Maphosa, went on to represent the country at this year's British Open were he brought with him some experience.

The player was rewarded by captaining the national team at the recent Tri-nations.

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