ATLANTA -- U.S. Kids Golf is excited to announce the first-ever recipients of the National Player of the Year Award. The award, which will be presented during the TOUR Championship in Atlanta, GA, on Saturday, September 22, 2012, is sponsored by FedEx, which has provided special invitations for the winners and their families to attend the event at East Lake Golf Club.
Winners of the U.S. Kids Golf National Players of the Year Award for the 2012 season are Yujeong Son, 11, of Norman, Okla., and Michael Thorbjornsen, 10, of Wellesley, Mass.
"Michael and Yujeong have had tremendous years on the golf course and are deserving recipients of this award," said Dan Van Horn, President and CEO of U.S. Kids Golf. "We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to watching their games develop in the future."
The award is presented to one boy and one girl. To be eligible, players must earn Player of the Year honors at the Local Tour level in the United States. This is done by winning the Local Tour points standings and competing in four or more events within a season from the previous year's summer season through the current year's spring season. Players must participate in an age group that plays 18 holes in the World Championship (Girls 10 and older, Boys 9 and older).
The National Player of the Year Award winner will be the highest finisher at the World Championship who meets the above criteria. In the event of a tie, the lowest score relative to par at the World Championship will determine the winner.
Both Son and Thorbjornsen won their respective age division at the 2012 World Championship.
Son, a sixth grader, has been playing golf for more than two years after a golf camp coach suggested that she had a "natural talent" for the game. In those two years, she has competed in eight championship events, amassing four wins, including back-to-back Oklahoma State Girls Junior Championships in 2011 and 2012, the 2011 South Central PGA Junior Championship and the U.S. Kids World Championship in August. Yujeong adds the National Player of the Year honor to three others: the 2011 and 2012 U.S. Kids Golf Oklahoma City Local Tour POY and the 2011 U.S. Kids Golf Dallas Local Tour POY.
Thorbjornsen started swinging a club as a toddler and now the fifth grader plays year-round. He first played in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in 2010, when he was also named U.S. Kids Golf Boston Local Tour POY. In 2011, he finished fourth in the World Championship and added another Boston Local Tour POY title. This year, Thorbjornsen was named both the Hartford Local Tour and Boston Local Tour POY, as well as winning the Boys Age 10 World Championship in Pinehurst, sealing his victory with birdies on the final two holes.
Winning the National Player of the Year Award will offer Son and Thorbjornsen a lifetime exemption for all U.S. Kids Golf events through age 18.
The U.S. Kids Golf National Player of the Year Award is presented by FedEx. The annual Award will be presented during the TOUR Championship in Atlanta Georgia on Saturday September 22, 2012. FedEx has provided a special invitation for the award winners and their families to attend the presentation and Tour Championship as their guests. As part of the partnership with U.S. Kids Golf, FedEx has arranged to donate U.S. Kids Golf equipment to the local First Tee program at Eastlake Country Club.
U.S. Kids Golf Foundation:
The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, a Georgia non-profit recognized as a 501(c)(3) charity, was created in 2001 and provides services that include competition and instruction. The Foundation organizes more than 600 golf tournaments for kids each year, including Local Tours in more than 40 cities, ten Qualifiers across the nation, seven Regional Championships, a European Championship and the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship and Teen World Championship, which are held each year in Pinehurst, N.C.