Paula Creamer, Casey Wittenberg and Chanin âTopâ Puntawong were at IMG Academy golf program today. They are all graduates of the program and they all overlapped being here at the same time. Casey spent 4 years at IMG, Paula spent 5 and Top was here for a record 8 years! Each one accomplishing impressive things then and continue to do so today.
While Top was at the academy he was a three-time AJGA All American, East Canon Cup Team member, was a two-time winner at Junior World, won four AJGA events, won the Optimist, was the Hong Kong junior Champion twice, was a 2001 U.S Junior Amateur Semi-finalist and a 2002 U. S. Junior Amateur Quarter finalist. Top also competed in the 2003 Thailand Open (as an amateur) and shot a tour record 61 (11 under par). Top will now compete this year as a professional on the Hooter's Tour.
Like Top, Casey Wittenberg was three time AJGA All-American during his time at IMG, with the ultimate honor being named the 2001 Polo Golf Junior Player of the Year. Golfweek went on to name him the 2002 Junior of the Year after Casey reached the round of 16 at the 2002 Western Amateur , finished first at the 2002 AJGA Thunderbird and won the 2002 Tennessee State Amateur title. During his junior golf days he also reached the quarterfinals at the 2001 and 2002 U.S. Junior Amateur Championships, won the 2001 Azalea Amateur Championship and posted a victory at the 2000 Polo Junior Golf Championship. Casey went on to compete in the 2004 Masters and finished 13th which was the lowest amateur finish in 41 years. Additionally, he registered the lowest Sunday back 9 score (31) of any amateur in Masters history. Casey competed in 2009 on the PGA tour and this year will split his time on the PGA and Nationwide tours!
Paula Creamer has really made a name for herself in the 4 years of playing on the LPGA tour. But during her 5 years at the academy her junior record was equally impressive. She won 19 junior titles, 11 of them AJGA titles! She was a 2003 Semifinalist at the U.S Girls Jr. and the U.S. Women's Am and duplicated that feat again in 2004. She represented the United States at the 2002 and 2003 Jr. Solheim Cup and at the 2004 Curtis Cup. She was the 2003 AJGA Player of the Year, the 2003 Golfweek Junior of the Year, the 2003 Golf Digest Junior of the Year as well as the 2003 Golfweek Amateur of the Year. In 2005 she was honored the Nancy Lopez Award, graduated from The IMG Academy School, won her first LPGA event and was the 2005 LPGA Rookie of the Year!
It is always so great to see our alumni return and our current full timers always enjoy practicing next to the pros!