Tai Kinney, of Medford, Ore., has signed a National Letter of Intent to play her collegiate golf at the University of Minnesota, head coach Melissa Arthur announced today.
Kinney was named to the 2000 Polo Golf Junior All-America Honorable Mention team, placing her among the top 60 junior players in the nation. She qualified for both the USGA Junior Amateur Championship and the USGA Amateur Championship last summer and won her first American Junior Golf Association(AJGA) medalist honor by winning the AJGA/John Dropping Memorial Tournament in June. She has recorded three top-10 finishes in AJGA tournaments during her junior career and was selected to represent Oregon as a member of the Junior America's Cup team.
A perfect 4.0 student, ranked No. 1 of her class of 436 at North Medford High School, Kinney was one of only 10 junior girls golfers recognized on the prestigious 2000 Compaq Scholastic Junior All-America Team. She was named among Oregon's top 20 female scholar-athletes and is a three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American Scholar-Athlete.
Kinney has advanced to the Oregon 4A State High School Championship in each season of her high school career. Last spring as a junior, Kinney captured runner-up honors in the state tournament, finishing one stroke away from medalist honors. She added a sixth-place showing in 1999 and an eighth-place finish in 1998. In addition, she won Southern Oregon Conference District Golf titles in 1998 and 2000.
Kinney choose Minnesota over New Mexico State, San Diego State, Nebraska and Missouri.
"Tai is a great addition to our program," said Arthur. "She is an extremely focused golfer and student. Not only did she qualify for the U.S. Junior Championship, she qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship as a junior golfer. That is something that does not happen a lot. She has an AJGA win and has the experience and ability to make an immediate impact here at the University of Minnesota."