Hayden Nguyen

Hayden Nguyen of Peoria received the 2021 JGAA Player of the Year award for the girls 10 and younger division during the Troon banquet at the Papago Golf Course on Nov. 30.

The JGAA named the 2021 Player of the Year Awards and Sportsmanship Awards across five age divisions at the awards banquet presented by Troon at Papago Golf Course. 

Thanks to Troon’s support, the night included a talk by mental strength coach Howard Falco, who shared “mindfulness” strategies for breakthrough athletic success.

“Congratulations to everyone who made the list,” said Scott McNevin, executive director of the JGAA. “The 2021 season was a great year for the JGAA, and we applaud not only these award winners but all the junior golfers who competed this year.”

In the boys championship division, Gilbert’s Rylan Johnson posted five wins, including three straight, in 13 tournaments entered to take player of the year. Set to play college golf at Oregon State, the 18-year-old went low twice this season, shooting rounds of 9-under-par en route to victory at the Scottsdale City Junior Championship (62) and Mesa City Championship (63) two weeks before. In the five highly competitive PING Junior Masters Series (PJMS) tournaments, Johnson posted three T5 finishes, with his best finishes, T3 and solo-third place, respectively, at the Willie Low Invitational and Fisher-Bryan Invitational. He finished the season in fifth place for Scoring Average, with an aggregate total of 68.96 across 25 rounds.

Jennifer Seo earned player of the year honors in the girls championship division, racking up four wins in 13 tournaments entered. She pulled off her biggest win at the final PJMS tournament of the season, Willie Low Invitational. Leading up to her win, the 16-year-old also performed well in the four preceding PJMS tournaments, placing T3, T4, T5 and T2 before breaking through. Her lowest round of the season came at home; the Chandler resident shot a 4-under-par 66 en route victory at the Chandler City Junior Championship. Seo’s 72.42 scoring average over 26 rounds places her in fourth place overall for the season.


2021 JGAA Award Recipients

Player of the Year awards

• Boys championship: Rylan Johnson, Gilbert

• Girls championship: Jennifer Seo, Chandler

• Boys 15 to 18: Nicholas Lippe, Chandler

• Girls 15 to 18: Lily Huether, Tucson

• Boys 13 to 14: Ajay Morris, Avondale

• Girls 13 to 14: Aubrey Hilgers, Litchfield Park

• Boys 11 to 12: Zachary Schaefer, Tucson

• Girls 11 to 12: Hannah Nguyen, Phoenix

• Boys 10 and under: Henry Newkirk, Scottsdale

• Girls 10 and under: Beau Ellington, Paradise Valley


Sportsmanship awards

• Boys championship: Wyatt Chapman, Gilbert

• Girls championship: Kendall Hayward, Mesa

• Boys 15 to 18: Oliver Corwon, Oro Valley

• Girls 15 to 18: Grace Rubelsky, Phoenix

• Boys 13 to 14: Matthew Lee, Paradise Valley

• Girls 13 to 14: Mallory McRee, Tucson

• Boys 11 to 12: Jack McDonough, Chandler

• Girls 11 to 12: Phoebe Brethower, Chandler

• Boys 10 and younger: Dominic Bustos, Phoenix

• Girls 10 and younger: Hayden Nguyen, Peoria


Most improved awards

• Boys: Chase Rogers, Litchfield Park

2020 – 87.67

2021 – 78.57

• Girls: Delaney Stamp, Anthem

2020 – 97

2021 – 83.50


Volunteer of the year

• Bill Evans


Hole-in-one awards

• Ben Carr: Feb. 21

Phoenix Metro Junior Championship

No. 12, Stonecreek Golf Club

192 yards, 5-iron

• Brady Sheridan: Feb. 21

Phoenix Metro Junior Championship

No. 7, Sun City North Golf Course

175 yards, 8-iron

• Karissa Flores: March 20

Desert Mashie Championship

No. 14, Encanto Golf Course

145 yards

• Matt Herberger: April 25

Tucson Conquistadores Spring


No. 12, Silverbell Golf Course

175 yards, 8-iron

• Parker Servoss: June 2

Tucson City Junior Championship

No. 2, Randolph Golf Complex – Dell Urich

170 yards, hybrid

• Reid McNulty: June 9

Antigua Milt Coggins AZ Junior Stroke Play

No. 11, Papago Golf Course

146 yards

• Collin Welle: July 7

Prescott City Junior Championship

No. 8 at Antelope Hills Golf Complex – North Course

165 yards, 8-iron