East Valley golfers win at JGAA awards banquet

The winners of the JGAA Player of the Year award. (Submitted Photo)

The Junior Golf Association of Arizona announced the 2018 Sportsmanship and Player of the Year Awards across five age divisions at the annual awards banquet Sunday, Oct. 21 at Moon Valley Country Club, 151 W. Moon Valley Drive in Phoenix.

Of the various awards, several hailed from the East Valley. Alexis Vakasiuola of San Tan Valley earned the Player of the Year Award in the Girls 11-12 Division, according to a press release.

Vakasiuola notched 11 top-3 finishes this year including six wins at the Maricopa Jr Championship, Mesa City Jr, IMG Jr World Qualifier, Spring Stableford, Desert Mashie and the Phoenix Metro Jr Championship.

Meghan Singh of Mesa also won Player of the Year in the Girls 15-18 Division.

Singh played in nine events this season and finished in the top 3 six times and won three of those events. Her wins include the PING AZ Jr Masters, Phoenix City Jr and the IMG Academy Jr World Qualifier. Her consistent play over the entire year was a big factor in her success, a release states.

The winners of the JGAA Sportsmanship Award. (Submitted Photo)

In the Sportsmanship Award, Kohl Kuebler of Gilbert won it in the Boys Championship Division and Breann Brennan of Chandler won it in the Girls 15-18 Division. Gavin Krist of Chandler won the Most Improved Award while Brennan won the same award on the girls side, a release states.

The JGAA also recognized hole-in-ones from the past year. Lauren Garcia of Gilbert hit one on the seventh hole at Talking Rock Golf Club in Prescott during the June 20 State Junior Championship. She hit it 131 yards with a 9-iron.

Hayden Sayre of Phoenix won the Boys Championship Division Player of the Year and Ashley Menne of Surprise won the same award in the Girls Championship Division. May Benita of Tucson took home the same award in the Girls Championship Division.

“As we look forward to the 2019 season, it’s important to take a moment to honor our shining stars of 2018,” Scott McNevin, executive director of the JGAA, said in a prepared statement.

“Ashley and Hayden certainly played well all season long, and we also saw a bunch of new faces making the list. Congratulations to the players, and thank you to all of the sponsors, parents, volunteers, golf clubs and supporters of the JGAA for making the 2018 season a successful and rewarding experience for the juniors.”

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