Conway honored

Kelsey Conway, of Ventura was named a Presidents’ Youth Leadership Award recipient. Below is the release from the AJGA:

USGA, AJGA Name 2008 Presidents’ Youth Leadership Award Recipients
Smylie Kaufman, Kelsey Conway rewarded for exemplary community volunteerism

BRASELTON, Ga. — Smylie Kaufman, of Birmingham, Ala., and Kelsey Conway, of Ventura, Calif., were named the 2008 Presidents’ Youth Leadership Award recipients, the United States Golf Association and American Junior Golf Association announced Wednesday.

This award was created to recognize one boy and one girl junior golfer who demonstrated leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the USGA AJGA Youth Leadership Club – a joint initiative founded in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism. Previous winners include Katrina Delen-Briones, of San Francisco, and Adam Michel, of Orinda, Calif., in 2006, and Angela Villela, of Sylmar, Calif., and Joseph Suarez, of Richmond, Va., in 2007.

Kaufman and Conway will be honored and formally presented the award during the Rolex Dinner of Champions Thursday, July 3, 2008, during the Rolex Tournament of Champions at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind. Additionally, they will each receive four tickets to a future U.S. Open of their choice, access to the USGA hospitality tent during the U.S. Open, and an automatic entry into the 2008 Rolex Tournament of Champions – one of the most prestigious junior golf events in the country.

About the USGA
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world’s golfers and golf courses.

The Association’s most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur.

The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, funds research for better turf and a better environment, maintains a Handicap System and administers an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program, which has allocated more than $59 million over 11 years to successful programs that bring the game’s values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org

About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.

The largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 foreign countries.

Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the AJGA’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA’s second Premier Partner.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.