Junior Golf Championships to Bear IMG Brand



The world's top tour for junior golfers will soon bear IMG Academy's brand at its premier event. Starting in 2015, the Bradenton sports academy will be the title sponsor for the Junior World Golf Championships. The world championships, hosted by the San Diego County Junior Golf Association, provided a career start for such golf legends as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Erne Els. 

Callaway Golf has provided the title sponsorship for the championships since 2002 but will pass that honor on to IMG starting next year. This year's championships started Monday in San Diego and continue through Friday. Organizers said a team from IMG is on hand to watch how this year's tournament is run. "What we are really looking forward to as far as the title sponsorship with IMG is how broad a networking base they have," said Megan Mahoney, executive director for the Junior World Golf Tournament. "They can help secure additional sponsorships and, with the size of the company, we are just excited about the potential of the partnership."

The stroke play championships next year will remain in San Diego, but with the promotion of IMG to title sponsor, the tour also has added the IMG Academy Junior World Golf Match Play Championship, which will be hosted in Florida this December. A venue has not been announced.

“The Junior World Golf Championships and the San Diego County Junior Golf Association have significantly contributed to the development of youth players for more than 40 years,” said Gary Pluchino, IMG vice president. “With the development of student-athletes also being our core mission at IMG Academy for the past 35 years, we recognized the tremendous opportunity for impact by joining our two organizations in this way.”

Last week, the IMG Junior Golf Tour announced its complete 2014-15 tournament schedule last week, showing the entire tour will kick off with a Sarasota event, the Southeast Kickoff at Sara Bay Country Club Sept. 20-21, and will culminate with the IMG Junior Golf Tour Championship in Lecanto. Other tour stops include an event at the TPC Prestancia Oct. 4-5, at Laurel Oak Country Club Jan. 17-19, and at IMG Academy Golf and Country Club Jan. 24-25. The top golfers coming out of the IMG Tour will progress to the Junior World Golf Championships.

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