BRASELTON, Ga. –– University of Arkansas true freshman Jordan Payne was named an honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American by the American Junior Golf Association Tuesday, thus joining an esteemed collection of current and former top-level junior golfers from around the world.
Payne, a native of West Memphis, Ark., is now a two-time Rolex Junior All-American. The Razorback freshman won the 2005 Bubba Conlee National Junior for his first national title and tied for third at the True Temper/David Gossett Junior Championship in July.
Since his arrival in Fayetteville, Payne has played in all four of the Hogs’ fall tournaments and boasts a 74.8 scoring average over nine rounds. He posted a tie for 30th in his first tournament at Arkansas at the Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions in Knoxville, Tenn., in September. Introduced by the AJGA in 1978, the Rolex Junior All-America Teams annually recognize those players who have established themselves as the world’s premier junior golfers. This year’s selections distinguished themselves through their outstanding play in 70 national events, 54 of which where conducted by the AJGA. The teams are comprised of 135 junior golfers, ages 13-19, from 29 states and three foreign countries. These standouts will be recognized Nov. 20, during the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet at the Jekyll Island Convention Center in Jekyll Island, Ga. Former Rolex Junior All-Americans comprise the top players on both the PGA and LPGA Tours. Of the PGA TOUR’s current top-10 money leaders, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, David Toms, Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia were all Rolex Junior All-Americans. On the LPGA Tour, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Hee-Won Han and Candie Kung were named Rolex Junior All-Americans as junior golfers before working their way to the top of the pay-for-play ranks. Other AJGA alumni who help make up the list of past Rolex Junior All-Americans include Justin Leonard, Sean O’Hair, Scott Verplank, Billy Mayfair, Marisa Baena, Heather Bowie and Jennifer Rosales.