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Thursday, June 4, 2015

13 & Rising - Morgan Goldstein Climbs The Ranks

Junior Profile

13 & Rising

Morgan Goldstein climbs the ranks

Story and photography by Nikki Villoria

For Morgan Goldstein, 2015 has kicked off to a good start. With eight tournament events between January and April, she has began what she hopes to be a great year of golf

Goldstein placed sixth at the 8th Annual San Diego Junior Amateur (15-18 age group) and the Toyota Tour Cup Golf Club at La Quinta. She placed first at the USGA 4 Ball Qualifier in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and at the beginning of April, she placed first in girls 12-13 at the Drive, Chip & Putt Finals at Augusta National and made history as the first and only player to win all three of the skills and place the only perfect score in the two-year-old event.

When she picked up her first golf club at age eight, her swing displayed she was a natural. After launching into lessons, securing a coach and fitting in a lot of practice time, her game picked up and in 2010 she competed in her first tournament, a local U.S Kids Golf event.

A few years later, tournaments are a routine occurrence in her schedule and her golf game continues to improve. Going forward this year, Goldstein, who is just 13, will compete in the 18 and under category in the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). She will also compete in adult USGA tournaments as well as in her age group for the Junior Worlds, which takes place in San Diego in July.

“I have school tournaments on Thursdays and outside of that I play in about five AJGA’s throughout the year, I am playing in Junior World and some USGA tournaments,” Goldstein says.

Since July of 2014 she has been rated number one in the state for all girls graduating in 2015 and younger on Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings, and as of recently, she is ranked fourth in the country for all girls graduating in 2019.  

At age 13, her golf career is already impressive and at this rate her goal of advancing in golf through high school, achieving a full-ride scholarship to college and moving on to the LPGA as a professional golfer is high on the list.

“I love being active in golf and meeting new friends throughout the world. It feels awesome to know you’re a great player and you’re only in the 8th grade,” says Goldstein. “I just have to keep myself in check and always think before I speak to make sure I stay humble and remember to have fun.”

Kicking off the month of May, Goldstein played in the inaugural USGA Women’s 4 Ball at Bandon Dunes, where she and her partner (Veronica Joels, also from Las Vegas) made it through qualifying and even won their first found of match play. As we went to print with this issue, she was attempting to qualify for the Ladies US Open and will soon attempt to qualify for the US Girls Junior as well. 

Aside from immersing herself in golf tournaments and the Faith Lutheran golf team, Goldstein says much of her free time is spent enjoying the game of golf with friends or setting up fun games with her younger brother Aidan, who also plays and has begun competing. But there’s always some time for fun mall trips and times to enjoy being a kid.

“My favorite part about playing golf is the competition and all the friends I’ve made. Most of my friends are golfers and we all play for fun,” says Goldstein. “I am a golfer but I also do other stuff. I enjoy hanging out with friends and going shopping at Downtown Summerlin or going to get my nails done with my mom and to have a girls’ days. When I think of school I don’t think of homework, I think of all the friends I get to see there and hang out with so school’s another thing to have fun with.” 

Despite her competitive edge, for this 13-year-old golfer it’s about having fun, being a good student and staying humble along the way to success and so far she’s got all those bases covered.

To learn more about Goldstein and to keep up with her golfing progress visit her website www.morgangoldsteingolf.com, a site specifically designed to help college coaches learn more about her as she advances in her game.

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