Class of 2024 Geographic Rankings Analysis

1/9/24 CGC Staff

We've taken a look at the top 100 boys and top 100 girls in the class of 2024 Junior Golf Scoreboard rankings to evaluate the regional distribution of players from around the United States, in addition to several international countries. Through this analysis, it was interesting to see the mix of states that produce the top golfers. It was also surprising to discover some states that did not produce top golfers in this graduation year, and others that unexpectedly produced top golfers.

Class of 2024 Boys

The Top Ten: The top ten in the boys rankings line the east and west coasts, with the Midwest's Asher Whitaker of Kansas right in the middle. As expected, California is home to four of the ten players, with its warm climate and heavy population. Jay Leng, Billy Davis, William Ma, and Eric Yun all call California home, and are the only representatives from the West. Surprisingly, the Southwest (and not Texas!) has only one representative in the top ten in Arizona's Wheaton Ennis. It should be noted that Ennis moved from Idaho over a year ago. Another surprise might be the two players originating from the Northeast, as Pennsylvania's Nick Gross and Massachusetts' Ryan Downes surface in the rankings, proving the cold weather may not affect their game. The southeast region is home to two top ten players: North Carolina's Ethan Paschal and South Carolina's William Jennings. Florida, notably is absent from the top ten.

Let's take a look at the top 100 by region. Please note, the stars on each regional picture represent the number of athletes in the top-50.

The Northeast: As noted above, both Gross and Downes reside in the top-10, and they are joined in the the top-50 by New York's John Hiller and Bennett Espenshade of Maryland. Three of the four are heading to a warmer climate for college, with Gross to Alabama, Downes to Vanderbilt, and Hiller to Duke. Espenshade will remain in the Northeast with Rutgers in the fall of 2024. When we expand our search to the top-100, only one additional Northeast golfer makes our list. When looking at the overall top-100, it can be generalized to say that the colder climate and shorter golf season have an effect on athlete performance. Digging even further, the next player from coldest climate New England, specifically, isn't found until 152 on the rankings list for this class.

The Midwest: This region's representation in the top-50 is also at four. In addition to Oklahoma-bound Whitaker, three other players hail from the Midwest. Ohio's two top players, Jack Vojtko and Bradley Chill, are head to the Big 10 with Ohio State and Indiana. Illinois' grant Roscich rounds out this group, and he is heading south to play for North Carolina. Although the midwest, another area with mostly cold climate, has a small group in the top-50, their presence is expanded in the top-100, with eight additional golfers covering six different states. Interestingly, seven out of the twelve players are attending college in the Midwest region.

The West: As mentioned above, California has a large representation in the top -10. Once one golfer, Jay Leng, is staying on the Pacific coast with Stanford. The other three are traveling, with Billy Davis to Auburn, William Ma to Harvard, and Eric Yun to Princeton. When expanding our search to the top-50, there are four additional California natives: Stanford bound Logan Kim, Grand Canyon's Matthew Diehl, UC Davis bound Zackary Tarter, and Oklahoma's Clark Van Gaalen. The only other Western state to crack the top-50 is Utah, boasting Arizona State signee Boston Bracken and Oklahoma State's Parker Bunn. Nine additional Californians make the top-100 list and Washington is the only other state with a player in this rankings bracket. The west may be large in square mileage, but top golfers seemed to be condensed into a small amount of states in the class of 2024. Thirteen of the 20 athletes are staying in the West region.

The Southwest: The lone top-10 representative, Ennis, is staying in the Southwest region at Texas A&M. His fellow Arizonans that fall in the top-50 are Auburn signee Tyler Spielman and Marquette's Vincent Cervantes. The top-50 is where Texas makes an appearance, with six golfers in this rankings bracket. Charlie Wylie has signed with in-state TCU, Bowen Ballis will head slightly north to Vanderbilt, and Byungho Lee heads west to Pepperdine. Rounding out this group is Iowa signee Ryan Shellberg, future Rice player Daniel Zou, and North Texas bound Blake Keen. Oklahoma's two players in the top-50 group are Parker Sands, who heads west to Florida, and Grand Gudgel, who remains in-state at Oklahoma State. When we looked at the top-100, we found six additional Texas natives and one from Oklahoma. Overall, ten of the 18 Southwest golfers will remain in the same region.

The Southeast: As expected, the Southeast region is home to the largest numbers of golfers in the top-100 in the rankings, due to both favorable climate and large geographic area. The two top-10 players, Paschal and Jennings, are staying in region at North Carolina and Alabama. Looking at the top-50, Florida has the largest group with five. It includes Barry Zhang, whose commitment is not public, Texas A&M signee Alex Long, and Jason Schwartz, who is heading north to Wisconsin. They are joined by Brett Moore, who is staying in-state with Florida Gulf Coast, and Princeton bound Reed Greyserman. Tennessee has the next highest amount of top-50 players with three. Christian Pardue and Jackson Herrington are staying local with Tennessee, as is Ethan Whitaker with Chattanooga. In addition to Paschal, North Carolina is home to Clemson bound Colin Salema. Two other states, Virginia and South Carolina, have two top-50 players. Trey Marrion and Michael Lee are heading to Illinois and Virginia, although Lee is deferring for one year. South Carolina's top-50 duo includes Jennings and Georgia bound Matt Moloney. The following states have one top-50 player: Kentucky (Louisville's Brady Smith), Mississippi (Ole Miss' Jacob Blanton), and Georgia (uncommitted Anthony Purcea). When looking at the top-100, you will find five additional golfers from Florida, four from North Carolina, two from Kentucky, and one each from Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. The wealth of good players seems to be spread throughout the warm-climate Southeast region, and 27 of the 35 golfers are staying in the southeast.

International: Outside of the United States, several countries have representatives in the JGS top-100 rankings. These athletes either compete frequently in the US, or their country has submitted tournaments for inclusion in the rankings. Mexico natives Gerardo Gomez, who has signed with Arkansas, and Eduardo Derbez Torres, who is bound for Texas, have been mainstays in the top-50 for several years. The same can be said for Thailand’s Supapon Amornchaichan, who is heading for Purdue in the fall. The final golfer in the top-50 of this class is Zeqian Fang of China, who will enroll at Colorado. In addition to these players, Ukraine and Canada each have one golfer in the top-100.

Class of 2024 Girls

It is interesting to see how vastly different the region and country rankings distribution is for the class of 2024 girls when compared to the 2024 boys. Whereas the Southeast representation was high in the boys’ rankings, it is very small in the girls’ rankings. The girls have a much larger international presence, and an extremely high population of top-100 girls in the West, specifically California. Golfers from the Northeast fare very well in the girls’ rankings, and the Midwest presence is limited.

Looking at the top-10, you will find three athletes from Canada and five from California, with the remaining two from Nevada and New Jersey. Vanessa Borovilos, Michelle Liu, and Vanessa Zhang all hail from Canada, with both Liu and Zhang from Vancouver. Perennial top golfer Yana Wilson calls Nevada home, and Megan Meng resides in New Jersey. The five California top-10 representatives are as follows: Jasmine Koo, Anna Davis, Olivia Duan, Leigh Chien, and Kylie Chong.

The Northeast: The Northeast girls have a similar number of top-50 golfers to the boys with five. In addition to Northwestern bound Meng, New Jersey can claim Vanderbilt signee Angelina Tolentino as one of its own. Neighboring New York is home to Kennedy Swedick, who heads to Virginia in the fall. Maryland has produced two talented golfers in Helen Yeung, who will be playing at North Carolina, and Olivia Cong, who is on her way to Dartmouth. Whan analyzing the top-100 girls, we found one additional player from Massachusetts, two from Pennsylvania, one from Delaware, and two from New Jersey. In this class, there is a wealth of talent from the Northeast, and they are evenly split between staying north or heading south.

The Midwest: This region has only produced three golfers in the top-50 of this class. Indiana’s Samantha Brown is staying close to home at Purdue, Missouri’s Audrey Rischer is heading southwest to play at Oklahoma, and Wisconsin’s Jessica Guiser is traveling southeast to Florida. Michigan adds one additional top-100 player to this group. Could this be a colder weather/shorter season effect in this region?

The West: While the boys have 17 golfers from the state of California, the state is even more dominant on the girls side, with 24 in the top-100. There are 12 in the top-50, five of which are top-10 players. As mentioned above, Jasmine Koo and Kylie Chong are staying in state with USC, Anna Davis has arrived early this January to Auburn, and Olivia Duan will head to Princeton in the fall. Leigh Chien will join an international group at Stanford. Other top-50 players include Harvard’s Lucy Yuan, Houston signee Annika Ishiyama and Northwestern’s Elise Lee. Staying in-state is UCLA’s Angela Liu, Pepperdine signee Kylee Choi, and UC Irvine’s Alona Avery, while Yurang Li heads to the Midwest at Illinois. Nevada product Yana Wilson is staying in the northwest at Oregon, while UNLV’s Ali Mulhall remains in-state. The only other state with top-50 players is Washington, where Emma Wong and Amber Li will both represent the state’s University. Looking at the top-100, California adds 12 athletes, with Nevada, Washington, Colorado, and Hawaii all adding one representative. Overall, 17 of the top-100 West athletes are staying in the region, 12 are broadening their horizons, and two are unknown.

The Southwest: The girls' rankings from the Southwest mimic the boys' numbers, with Texas expectedly taking the lead. Five athletes in the top-50 originate from the Lone Star state, led by future ACU player Julia Vollmer, Oklahoma State's Summer Lee, and Colorado bound Sydney Givens. Also representing Texas are Chiara Brambilla, who will be a Houston Cougar in the fall, and Furman bound Jenna Madden. Arizona has snagged one spot on the list with Gracie McGovern, a TCU signee who had been in the top ten for years. Once you research the top-100, you will find six additional Texans, two athletes from Oklahoma, and one more from Arizona. Eight of the 15 girls will remain in the southwest region for college.

The Southeast: Most surprising was the small number of golfers from the Southeast region, with 12 girls in the top-100, as compared to 35 boys in the same rankings bracket. There are six representatives in the top-50, including Princeton bound Yufei Nancy Dai and Florida State signee Alexandra Gazzoli, both from Florida. Just north of them is Georgia's Mary Miller, who is staying in-state at Georgia Southern. Tennessee, Arkansas, and South Carolina each have one top-50 player, with Karlie Campbell heading just north to Kentucky, Anna Kate Nichols is staying home as an Arkansas Razorback, and Bridget Wilkie is leaving for Notre Dame. Reaching to the top-100, we find one athlete from Virginia, one from North Carolina, and two more each from Tennessee and Mississippi. The Southeast remains popular with its natives, as eight of the 12 golfers will say in the region for college.

International: There is significant international representation throughout the top-100 in the girls' rankings. As mentioned above, Canada has three athletes in the top-10, an incredible accomplishment for a northern territory. Vanessa Borovilos with join Texas A&M, while Vanessa Zhang will attend Harvard. Michelle Liu's destination in unknown. Canada's two athletes in the top-50 include Baylor signee Yeji Kwon and Rutgers bound Joline Truong, in addition to three more athletes in the top-100. There is some top-notch coaching up in Canada! Taiwan finds four athletes in the top-50, which includes uncommitted Yu-Chu Chen, Northwestern's Hsin-Tai Lin, South Carolina's I-Ju (Tiffany) Tsai, and Ting-Yu Chang, whose status is unknown. This country continues to produce more talented athletes each year, with an additional three in the top-100 of this class. Thailand is another country with a growing golf population, giving us Alisa Inprasit of Arizona and Kanyanol Aramkul of BYU in the top-50, and three more golfers in the top-100. China has one representative near the top-10, Siuue Wu, who is heading to Georgia, and New Zealand has two golfers in the top-100. Finally, Mexico is sending two top-50 golfers to the NCAA, as Clarisa Temelo heads to Arkansas, and Larissa Carrillo ventures to Ole Miss in the fall.