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October 29, 2021

Huntsville’s Nick Dunlap named AJGA Rolex Player of the Year

By Gregg Dewalt AGN Editor
Nick Dunlap named to Walker Cup team

Nick Dunlap joins plenty of big names in receiving the AJGA honor

A good year got even better for Huntsville’s Nick Dunlap Thursday when he was named the AJGA’s Rolex Junior Player of the Year.

Dunlap, who won the U.S. Junior Amateur, is the first Alabama native to win the award. New Jersey’s Megha Ganne was named the Girls Player of the Year.

The two join a list that includes Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods, Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn and Inbee Park.

Both players were named first-team Rolex Junior All-Americans.

The Rolex Junior All-America Teams annually recognize the world’s premier junior golfers. The 2021 class includes 48 boys and 48 girls, ages 14-19, from 23 states and five countries, including Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States.

Dunlap, Ganne and the 2021 Rolex Junior All-America Teams will be honored virtually through a Rolex Junior All-America Awards celebration on Dec. 3.

Nick Dunlap’s 2021 resume

Nick Dunlap, who plays at The Canebrake Club in Athens and is verbally committed to the University of Alabama, had three national junior golf victories to end the season at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.

The high school senior played in 11 events recognized by the Rolex AJGA Rankings and finished outside the top five just twice. He notched his first win in 2021 in March at the Dustin Johnson World Junior after carding the low-round of the tournament at 5-under-par 67 at TPC Myrtle Beach.

He shot 66 to win a U.S. junior Amateur qualifier and he went 6-0 to win his first AJGA event at the Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National, the host of the PGA Tour’s The Northern Trust.

In mid-July, Dunlap became the first Alabama native to win the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

In his final national junior golf appearance this season, Dunlap was one of 12 players selected to the Junior Ryder Cup U.S. Team in September. He will make his fourth-career appearance at the Rolex Tournament of Champions later this year, with his previous best finish in 2018 at T12.

Dunlap’s 2021 highlights:

  • Two-time Rolex Junior All-American
  • Won, Dustin Johnson World Junior
  • T2, Wyndham Invitational presented by Truist
  • T5, Western Junior Championship
  • T5, Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational
  • Won, Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National
  • T2, Boys Junior PGA Championship
  • Won, 73rd United States Junior Amateur Championship
  • Runner-up, The Junior PLAYERS Championship
  • Member of the Junior Ryder Cup U.S. Team
  • Two-time member of the victorious Wyndham Cup East Team

Megha Ganne’s 2021 resume

The Stanford University women’s golf verbal commit earned Rolex Junior All-America First Team honors for the second time in 2021, ending the season at No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Ganne played in five events recognized by the Rolex AJGA Rankings, without ever finishing outside the top four.

Ganne started her campaign with a top-three finish at the 2020 Rolex Tournament of Champions at PGA National Resort & Spa, the host of the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic.

Making her 2021 debut, Ganne had her third appearance at the Diamond Resorts ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex at World Golf Village in January and finished in third place.  She also competed at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in the spring.

In her first event of the summer, Ganne won the Scott Robertson Memorial.

Ganne entered the national spotlight with her play at the U.S. Women’s Open. As a 17-year-old amateur, Ganne held a share of the first-round lead with her score of 4-under  67. After two rounds of 71-72, she was tied for third heading into the final 18 holes. Playing in the final group, Ganne finished her exceptional performance at 3-over-par 287 and earned low-amateur honors at T14.

Ganne’s 2021 highlights:

  • T3, Rolex Tournament of Champions
  • T3, Diamond Resorts ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex
  • Won, Scott Robertson Memorial
  • Earned low-amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open
  • Fourth, Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National
  • Third, Girls Junior PGA Championship
  • Member of the Curtis Cup U.S. Team
  • Member of the PING Junior Solheim Cup U.S. Team
  • Member of the Junior Ryder Cup U.S. Team

Gregg Dewalt is the editor of Alabama Golf News

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Featured image: courtesy of Darren Carroll/PGA of America

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