Storylines For 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur

By Rhonda Glenn, USGA
July 14, 2012

Alex Angard, 17, of Encino, Calif., is working with three of his friends to start a charitable golf program to provide golf clubs to kids.

Khaied Attoeh, 17, of San Diego, Calif., won the Monday qualifying event to compete in the 2011 Dubai Desert Classic and played two practice rounds with Rory McIlroy.

Brandon Barrows, 14, of Lake Orion, Mich., this year became the youngest qualifier in the history of the Michigan Amateur Championship.

Brandon Bauman, 16, of Las Vegas, Nev., says he loves riding his unicycle.

Derek Bayley, 16, of Rathdrum, Idaho, first qualified for the Idaho State Amateur in 2005 when he was nine years old. His excitement was short-lived, Derek says, because visited a water park with his dad. His father landed on him during the ride, Derek broke his collarbone and couldn’t play golf for a month.

Andrew Bonner, 17, of Ripon, Calif., says he’s probably the only the only child from California who never went to Disneyland. When he was a child, his parents also told him that a popular chain of toy stores wasn’t open after dark.

Timothy Conover, 16, of Holly Springs, N.C., won the New Jersey Kids Championship when he was just seven years old.

Gregory Conrad, 17, of Barrington, Ill., was 12 years old when he traveled to Cooperstown, N.Y., with his team for the 2005 Little League World Series. He hit a grand-slam home run, helping his team advance to the quarterfinals.

When George Cunningham of Tucson, Ariz., was three years old, he nicknamed himself, “pony head.” He’s now 16 and his dad, Tracy, still calls him, “pony head.”

Zecheng Dou, 15, of China, has had nine holes-in-one.

Michael Decker, 17, of Pebble Beach, Calif., has had 32 holes-in-one. All but one of the aces came at the Peter Hay Golf Course, a par-3 layout next to Pebble Beach Golf Links. Decker had his first hole-in-one at the age of seven.

Brad Dalke, 14, of McKinney, Texas, is the youngest of seven children. He says his four sisters and two brothers keep him humble and that there is never a dull, or quiet, moment in the Dalke household.

Connor Flach, 16, of Ellicott City, Md., was born on Sept. 6, 1995, the day that Cal Ripken Jr., broke Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played in major league baseball.

Nicolas Galletti, 17, of Clayton, Calif., made his first hole-in-one in 2000 when he was five years old. He aced a 117-yard par-3 hole, using his driver.

Luke Graboyes, 17, of Watchung, N.J., has coached fifth and sixth-grade youth basketball for three years. His team won the league championship in March.

Art Griffin, 16, of Lake Placid, N.Y., loves freestyle skiing. In winter he builds skiing aerial jumps and rails in his backyard. Art used to practice his jumps from the roof of the family home until he had to stop because he was ruining the shingles.

Danny Guise, 17, of Greenwich, Conn., plays varsity basketball as well as varsity golf at his high school. His AAU basketball team finished third in the 2010 AAU national championship.

As a child, Christopher Hatch, now 17, of Mukilteo, Wash., liked searching for lost golf balls at a local course with his father. Chris cleaned the balls, sit in his yard and sell them to passing golfers. He says his parents were frustrated that he could make more money selling golf balls and doing his chores.

Jake Judkins, 17, of San Antonio, Texas, loves trucks, especially his 2005 model, on which he rebuilt the engine. When he’s not working on his golf game, he’s working on his truck.

Tyler Kertson, 17, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., won his high school’s school-wide ping pong tournament as a freshman. His father, Scott Kertson, was a member of the 1980 United States Olympic Archery Team.

Craig Hornberger, 17, of Lancaster, Pa., first began to learn about golf at the age of two from his grandfather, who put together a small club for the toddler. Craig spent hours hitting balls in his grandfather’s yard. At eight, he began playing at an executive course, where his mother and grandmother would bring food and drinks so he could play all day. Craig says it was the best way to spend a summer.

Since 2004, Nicholas Jan, 17, of Northbrook, Ill., has worked as a volunteer for a Special Olympics floor hockey team. Since 2010 he has also taught physically and mentally challenged people to ice skate.

Eddy Lai, 13, of San Jose, Calif., is part of the Gracious Foundation. The foundation receives donations for every birdie Eddy makes in a tournament and the money goes to the Stanford Children’s Hospital.

Tae Won Lee, 17, of Orlando, Florida, was a national team member for Korea, the country of his birth, for four years. At 13, he made the cut in a Korean PGA professional tournament.

Jim Liu, 16, of Smithtown, N.Y., in 2010 became the youngest winner in the history of the U.S. Junior Amateur at the age of 14, breaking a record held by Tiger Woods. When he won a 2005 junior tournament at age nine, shooting 59-66, he received congratulatory notes from Fred Couples and Chris DeMarco.

Matthew Mahie, 17, of Lexington, Ken., says he is a master of sports trivia. His mother, Kerry Nemecek, says if sports trivia was the SAT exam, Matthew would ace it.

Emilio Maurer, 18, of Mexico, says his ambition is to become the first native-born Mexican to win a major championship on the PGA TOUR.

Maverick McNealy, 16, of Portola Valley, Calif., plays ice hockey most of the year for the San Jose Junior Sharks, a team that has won two state championships. He has been the team captain for four years.

Tyler Moore, 15, of Escondido, Calif., says he is a jokester and likes to mock the golf swings of various players, most notably former NBA star Charles Barkley.

Matt Oshrine, 16, of Baltimore, Md., says a highlight of his golf career was playing against his brother, Sam, in the club championship. Matt won on the 36th hole.

John Oda, 16, of Honolulu, Hawaii, who was on the Honor Roll and won the Scholar Athlete Award last year at Moanalua High School, says he has never owned a baseball, a bat or a glove.

Caleb Proveaux, 14, of Leesville, S.C., made a 70-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff to win the Blade Junior Golf Classic, sponsored by Jay Haas.

Rhett Rasmussen, 14, of Draper, Utah, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout this year.

Hunter Rappleye, 17, of Elk Grove, Calif., works at the Sacramento Food Bank as a volunteer. The SFB provides clothing and food to those in need.

Will Seger, 17, of Jasper, Ind., helps his local golf professional give lessons to junior players ages three to 11 each summer.

Jonathan Shaw, 15, of Mill Valley, Calif., has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He has traveled to 14 different countries and, for a time, lived in Hong Kong.

Connor Slane, 17, of Helena, Ala., says he does a mean hand jive and he eats healthy so he can live to be 100 years old. He also notes that one of his favorite foods is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Jack Vanderburg, 17, of Lubbock, Texas, last year purchased his own mobile car wash, using it as a great way to make extra money.

Sam Weatherhead, 17, of Grand Rapids, Mich., is on his high school bowling team.

Jackson Weede, 15, of Greenville, S.C., plays basketball for his high school junior varsity team and is a volunteer at Meals on Wheels.

Josh Whalen, 17, of Canada, says he can’t wait for the ponds to freeze in his country in the winter because he plays pond hockey every day after school.

Adam Wood, 16, of Zionsville, Ind., performs in the orchestra at Zionsville Community High School, where he plays violin. Adam has also studied Mandarin Chinese for four years.

Andy Zhang, 14, a native of China who lives in Reunion, Fla., in June became the youngest competitor in the history of the U.S. Open.

William Zalatoris, 15, of Plano, Texas, has a new hobby – collecting antique putters.

Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at 

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