Here is something I posted on the ASU athletic blog regarding one of our golfers who announced she was turning pro after one season.
When people hear the term “one and done” in regard to athletes, they instantly think of basketball players. What people don’t realize is that it also often applies to college golf.
With ASU’s Jennifer Johnson announcing she was turning professional after one year of playing college golf, I began thinking of how common of a trend this has become in the sport. Jennifer had a solid freshman season. While she did not win a tournament, she only placed out of the top 15 once and recorded two top five finishes including a runner-up performance at the NCAA Championship. She tallied a stroke average of 72.41 and garnered several awards including NGCA Freshman of the Year, Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and NGCA First-Team All-American honors.
After doing research on the previous NGCA Freshman of the Year recipients (side note: ASU leads the nation with four), I was astonished to find that only one, Amanda Blumenherst of Duke, had remained in school all four years. In fact out of the 13 Freshman of the Year winners, four turned professional after one year and six waited until their sophomore season to hang up their amateur status. Cydney Clanton, the 2008 winner, is still amateur heading into her junior season at Auburn.
Past Freshman of the Year
|Year||Player||School||Turned Pro||Yrs of Co. Golf|
|2008||Cydney Clanton||Auburn||Still playing||TBD|
*Satarak – I could not find when she turned pro, but she did not have any honors after her freshman season.
^ Rankin – She had an interesting situation, which she could not play in 2000 due to an injury, but did play in 2001. This could be considered either her junior (if she planned to redshirt) or senior (if she did not redshirt). Technically speaking, she only played three years of college golf before turning pro.
It is the risk you take when you bring in the finest athletes. ASU baseball goes through the same thing when the draft comes around and takes the top high school players. Virtually every basketball Freshman of the Year enters the draft following their first collegiate season. Jennifer, or JJ as the team fondly nicknamed her, is a great player and kid and we wish her the best in her professional career.