The PING Invitational

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By Stephanie Dittmer, AJGA Communications


One of the biggest accomplishments for an AJGA junior is to
win an AJGA Invitational. With more than 6,000 members in 2013 and only 12
prestigious AJGA Invitationals on the schedule, it’s easy to see how meaningful
it is to not only be invited to the event, but also to finish atop the
leaderboard in the presence of the best junior golfers from the United States
and around the world. Some of the best players in our 35-year history have not
accomplished this feat. However, those who’ve been crowned champions at The
PING Invitational have seen continued success.

This preview is a look back on The PING Invitationals best

Of the 13 individuals who’ve earned The PING Invitational

  • Eight have gone on to play college golf
    and four continued their careers after high school on professional golf tours.
  • 2013 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Jordan
    Spieth, is the only AJGA alum to win the event twice, in 2008 and 2010.
  • Vicky Hurst is the only former champion
    that currently hosts an AJGA event, the Under Armour® / Vicky Hurst
  • Two have won the event in sudden-death
    playoffs. In 2009, Rachel Morris defeated defending champion Victoria Tanco in
    a one-hole playoff. In 2012, Gavin Hall outlasted Cameron Champ in a two-hole
    playoff to earn the victory.

    In order of year, our champions from 2006-12.Yun, Choe - 06 Champions
    Hurst, Main - 07 Champions
    Tanco, Spieth - 08 Champions
    Grillo, Morris - 09 Champions
    Spieth, Park - 10 Champions
    Green, McInerney - 11 Champions
    Lee, Hall - 12 Champions 

Oklahoma State University and Karsten Creek have a strong
history among AJGA golfers and staff members. AJGA alums Rickie Fowler, Hunter
Mahan and Peter Uihlein all competed on the Oklahoma State men’s golf team,
while former staff member Courtney Jones is now the Head Golf Coach of the
women’s team.

Rickie - 06
Uihlein - 06
Courtney Jones photoshoot (4)

We pooled the AJGA staff members for some of their all-time
favorite PING Invitational moments and we gained quite an extensive list. Below
are a few we were able to capture through the years.

  • Flag
    football at Boone Pickens Stadium
  • Awesome
    volunteer support
  • Gavin
    Hall making an 11-stroke comeback and winning a two-hole playoff to win in 2012
  • Hunter
    Mahan’s visit and talk to the field. He also played No. 18 with four juniors
  • Ariya
    Jutanugarn’s final-round women’s course record of 66 in 2011
  • Andrew
    Yun, the first Boys Division champion, played No. 18 with his dad’s shoes after
    he had to hit his second shot out of the water
  • Great
    Golf Ball race on Nos. 17 and 18 lead to former senior tournament director Tommy
    Tangtiphaiboontana giving play-by-play as he ran side-by-side with Bud Cauley
    riding bike down No. 18

    FIeld pic used
    Tommy chasing juniors (1)

Learn more about The PING Invitational and join the
conversation on Twitter by tweeting @AJGAGolf and using the hashtag #PINGInv.