The Thunderbird International Junior celebrates 20-Year anniversary

Grayhawk Golf Club hosts top junior golfers worldwide for two decades 

Ariya Jutanugarn won the championship in 2012 before going on to win 10 times, including two majors, on the LPGA Tour.

The Thunderbird International Junior – a major on the AJGA schedule – will reach a momentous milestone this Memorial Day weekend: its 20th anniversary.   

“It has been very gratifying to watch this event grow,” said Del Cochran, Grayhawk’s Captain of the Club, member of The Thunderbirds and co-chairman of the tournament. “I can’t say enough about the way The Thunderbirds, Phil and Amy Mickelson, AJGA and Under Armour developed it into one of the most competitive junior golf tournaments in the world.”   

The list of past champions includes Ryan Moore, Brian Harman, Brad Dalke, Sam Burns and Norman Xiong. Other distinguished participants include Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay, Kyle Stanley, Beau Hossler, Kevin Na, Justin Thomas and Hunter Mahan. 

Ariya Jutanugarn, Morgan Pressel, Belen Mozo and Brittany Lang are all champions, while players such as Paula Creamer, Inbee Park, Anna Nordqvist, Azahara Munoz, Amanda Blumenherst, Alison Lee and Lexi Thompson also participated. And last year’s champion, Yuka Saso of the Philippians, recently made headlines with a T3 finish at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

For the second year, Ashley Menne will be the “Lone Ranger” from Arizona to play. She turned in an eight-place finish last year, and she is currently listed at No. 32 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. With a win, Menne will join Philip Francis as the second Arizona resident to win. The tournament will be played May 24-27 with tee times each day at 7 a.m.