The Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Awards recognize the achievements of junior golfers around the world. Young athletes who distinguish themselves with high level of junior tournament play as well as excellence in academics, a commitment to community service and exceptional character are selected each year.
Byron Nelson, a revered philanthropist, is remembered for more than his incredible golf game. Nelson is known and remembered as a role model with outstanding character and integrity. As a professional golfer, Byron Nelson attained 52 professional victories, five major championships, and even an unprecedented 11 wins in a row (75 years later he still holds this record!). Nelson used his name and legacy to dedicate himself to not only the children and families of Momentous Institute, but also young players, offering them advice on the game of golf, humility, and good sportsmanship. Byron Nelson led by example through demonstrating an incredible golf game and even more incredible morals.
Each year, the Byron Nelson International Junior Gold Awards chooses to highlight junior golfers who embody the same values of integrity and sportsmanship that Byron Nelson upheld in his own life. Past recipients have gone on to win The Masters, U.S. Opens, British Opens, PGA TOUR events, European Tour events, NCAA National Championships, and USGA Junior Amateur Championships.
This year David Ford, Gordon Sargent, Jackson Van Paris, Kelly Chinn, and Rose Zhang are the 2021 Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award recipients. This year is especially noteworthy as Zhang makes history as the first female to ever receive the award! Read along as we take a brief look at each of this year’s outstanding recipients!
Irvine, California native, Rose Zhang is the first female recipient of the Byron Nelson International Golf Awards. Zhang will be staying in her home state as she attends Stanford University in Fall 2021. Zhang is currently #1 in the AJGA for girls and #1 ranked amateur in women’s golf. She has participated in and won multiple tournaments such as: The 2020 Rolex Girls, 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur, 2018 & 2020 PING Invitational, and the 2019 & 2020 Rolex Tournament of Champions. In addition, She was named the 2019 & 2020 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and received the 2020 McCormack Medal.
Zhang was chosen to receive this special award for more than just her impressive golf game. Zhang volunteered for the ANA Junior Inspiration for two years and served as an officer for Make-A-Wish at Pacific Academy, her high school. Zhang’s efforts to make money for terminally ill children has not gone unnoticed. Along with her golf skills and philanthropic practices, Zhang is also a noteworthy student; she serves as a member of Student Ambassadors at her high school and upholds her own part in keeping the Earth and it’s beaches clean by volunteering at Coast Keepers. What a well-deserving young woman!
These five recipients show clear integrity in their impressive golf game, but more importantly in their own philanthropic efforts. These young adults know and demonstrate the importance of sportsmanship, helping those in need, and showing humility. An awards ceremony will be held on-site the week of the AT&T Byron Nelson. 2021 Byron Nelson International golf Awards Committee Chair, Andrew Woodward states, “The five recipients of the 2021 Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Awards embody the same values of integrity and sportsmanship that Mr. Nelson upheld in his own life”. Woodward believes, “These young athletes have navigated the uncertainty and challenges of the pandemic with grace and have given back to their communities at a time when it was needed most.”. How amazing to see five incredible young adults carry on the legacy of our beloved, Byron Nelson. Congrats to the recipients- I know we can’t wait to celebrate your amazing achievements at the tournament!