HARRISON, NEW YORK – Michelle Wie has been named an ambassador for PGA Junior League Golf, which introduces kids ages 13 and under to the game in a fun, social and inclusive team-based environment.
Wie, the reigning U.S. Women's Open Champion, joins defending PGA Champion Rory McIlroy, who was named PGA Junior League Golf ambassador in 2014.
PGA Junior League Golf, which is owned and managed by the PGA of America, featured a soaring number of participants in 2014 with 17,500 boys and girls participating on 1,425 teams nationwide, a 95-percent increase from 2013. Nearly 30,000 youth are involved this year.
"It's only natural that a fun team concept like PGA Junior League Golf has taken hold in just a few years," said Wie. "For generations, boys and girls have grown up in team sports. To see how they can come together and learn golf through this program is most encouraging in shaping golf's future."
Wie advanced in golf at an early age, inspired by her mother, Bo, who was the 1985 South Korean women's amateur champion. Now, Wie will look inspire youngsters to participate in PGA Junior League Golf and also encourage PGA and LPGA Professionals to host a team or league at their individual facilities.
"We couldn't ask for a better partner in helping spread the word about PGA Junior League Golf than Michelle Wie," said PGA of America President Derek Sprague. "PGA Junior League Golf is opening new doors to attract more young golfers. With Michelle as ambassador, we can only further drive interest among youth."
McIlroy added his praise of Wie joining the support team for PGA Junior League Golf.
"It is really exciting news that Michelle is coming on board as an ambassador for PGA Junior League Golf," said McIlroy. "We both share a real love of the game and Michelle is a superb role model for young people. I look forward to working with her to help grow the game, bring more kids into PGA Junior League Golf and produce tomorrow's champions."
PGA Junior League Golf is similar in structure to other youth sports, where participants wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with friends.
Teams are comprised of boys and girls ages 13 and under, with no prior playing experience required. They play 9-hole matches in a popular two-person scramble format, reinforcing the team concept that creates a nurturing environment for learning the game; PGA and LPGA Professionals, who serve as team Captains, can substitute players every three holes, so that all of the golfers on each team can participate.
Teams play regular-season matches before entering city and regional championships. Eight regional champions will advance to the PGA Junior League Golf Championship, held Oct. 17-19, in Los Angeles in conjunction with the 33rd PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National Golf Club.