Chinn is a verbal commit to Duke and finished first in the season-ending AJGA rankings with a sterling résumé that includes a victory at last year’s Rolex Tournament of Champions, one of the most prominent events on the junior circuit, at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
“It’s pretty unbelievable to have my name on the same award [as Woods and Mickelson]," Chinn said. "It’s unbelievable, and it’s definitely encouraging, but it also makes me more motivated to keep going, and obviously I’m heading to the right direction, and if I keep working hard, continuing what I’m doing, then eventually I have a chance.”
Rose Zhang, who won the girls’ title at the same tournament, was named the junior girls’ player of the year. The Stanford commit won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in August at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, beating Gabriela Ruffels on the 38th hole in the final round of match play.
Among Chinn’s most convincing triumphs was at the 54-hole Virginia State Golf Association Junior Stroke Play Championship in late July at James River Country Club in Newport News, Va.
The Great Falls resident overpowered the course to fire a tournament-record of 16-under-par 194, eclipsing the previous mark by eight shots at the par-70 layout and finishing five strokes ahead of Chase Nevins, a teammate at Langley.
Chinn advanced to the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur championship in August at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., where he lost to eventual champion Tyler Strafaci, 4 and 2.
Chinn had secured a spot in match play by making birdie on his final three holes of the second and final round of stroke play.
Early this month, Chinn won the 54-hole Middle Atlantic Amateur by four strokes, carding a 3-under 207 at Bethesda Country Club.
Participating in the event for the first time, Chinn added his name to a list of champions that includes 1997 PGA Championship winner Davis Love III as well as Fred Funk, the former Maryland golf coach and longtime PGA and senior PGA tour player.
Chinn also has helped the Saxons win three straight championships since joining the team as a freshman.