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World #9 girl's junior golfer, Gracie McGovern makes her collegiate commitment AND is heading back to the NB3 National Championship on the Golf Channel!


Girls #9 world ranked junior golfer, Gracie McGovern of Scottsdale, Arizona is having quite the year! In February, she committed to TCU for her collegiate career after being contacted by 46 Division I schools. In April, she wins an AJGA tournament. In May, she won the Arizona State High School Championship. In June, she played in the LPGA Liberty National tournament. In August she played in her second US Woman's Amateur. In November, she'll be on her way back to the NB3 National Championships (aired on the Golf Channel) as the reigning girl's champion. This is her 4th straight year! All this alone would be quite the junior golf resume. But wait, there is more, much more!

TJG: Wow, what a year so far! Let's start out with you heading back to play on the Golf Channel in November. Last year you shot rounds of 68, 69,69 to pick up the win. What does the NB3 National Championship mean to you?

Gracie: The NB3 National Championship is one of my favorite tournaments of the year that I have the privilege to compete in. This is my 4th year in a row. I love how well organized this tournament is and the professionalism from all the Notah Begay tournament directors and staff that give us juniors the opportunity to play.

Gracie (far right) holding the first-place trophy at last year's NB3 National Championship

TJG: You got your 2nd AJGA win in April this year at The PING Heather Farr Classic Invitational at Longbow Golf Course, Mesa, AZ. You shot rounds of 71, 68, and 68. How big of a win was that for you?

Gracie: Longbow has always been a challenging course to me, so being able to feel like I finally conquered the course is just a win in itself. Winning the Heather Farr tournament brought me a lot of exposure and was a huge accomplishment for me. It is also an honor winning this tournament after seeing all the past champions who have gone on to be great professional golfers. Seeing the names of those amazing professionals on that trophy gives me the motivation and mindset of “if they can do it, so can I”.

Gracie holding the first-place trophy at the PING

TJG: Did you have a playoff?

Gracie: I did win on the first playoff hole with a par. I beat a girl I've known and been competing against since we were 8 years old. Lucy is a good player from California and deserved to win as much as I did. 

TJG: You recently committed to Texas Christian University (TCU) as your collegiate choice. How was the recruitment process?

Gracie: The recruitment process was probably more stressful for my Dad than me. He was contacted by 46 Division I schools wanting to recruit me. I wasn’t too stressed about finding the perfect school for me, although I was late to the recruiting game.

TJG: How many schools did you visit?

Gracie: I visited 2 other schools before TCU and it only took one trip to TCU to make me want to become a Horned Frog.

TJG: Really? What was it about TCU that made the difference?

Gracie: What attracted me to TCU the most was the huge support system for students. The school also provides amazing facilities and resources to better myself both in golf and academically. To be able to play Shady Oaks where the great Ben Hogan hung out and Colonial Country Club is going to be so incredible. I knew I had to pick a warm climate school having grown up in Arizona. I needed to be outside, and knew I wouldn't be happy training indoors half the season.

TJG: Talk about the coach at TCU.

Gracie: I really hit it off with Coach Angie at TCU. We had some great conversations after one of my tournaments where she came to watch me play. I really felt she and the staff would be very committed to my success on and off the course. I also loved the sense of family I got from the coach and the team. It was just a really good vibe.

TJG: Do you have any golf expectations going in to your collegiate career?

Gracie: I think everyone wants to play in a national championship while in college so that's a very basic answer. Above all, I hope to grow as a person, student, and a golfer. I'm looking forward to the future memories that you can only make when being part of a team. I think it's going to be a nice contrast to the individual or solitary aspect that so often comes with  pursuing greatness in golf. 

TJG: Have you decided on a major area of study?

Gracie: I will likely become a business major.

TJG: Let’s talk about playing in your first LPGA tournament ever this year. That had to be exciting and stressful.

Gracie: It was at the beautiful Liberty National Golf Club, in New Jersey. It was Rose Zhang's first LPGA victory so it was great being part of the tournament. I was paired with Charley Hull and Leona Maguire in the final round. They were so nice and professional. Playing with these elite professionals was a learning experience like no other. I still communicate with them both and look forward to another chance to play with these ladies.

Liberty National Golf Club, New Jersey
Leona Maguire, Gracie and Charley Hull

TJG: Let’s talk about the US Women’s Amateur.

Gracie: I won the US Women's AM qualifier in Arizona this summer shooting six under par. This earned me the right to play in my second U.S Women’s Amateur at the iconic Bel-Air Country Club, in Los Angeles. For me, the US Women's AM is the most prestigious golf event you can play in as an amateur. I made it to match play, but did not bring my game to the first match. I had such bad blisters coming into the tournament that I had to play a round in my socks only. My Dad laughed and said you are probably the first person to play Bel-Air without shoes.

U.S Women’s Amateur at the iconic Bel-Air Country Club, in Los Angeles, 2023
Gracie at the US Woman's Amateur at Chambers Bay, 2022

TJG: Any other tournaments that we may have missed?

Gracie: I ended the summer playing in my very first Epson Tour event and nearly made the cut. Last month my partner Brynn and I shot 7 under and won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Fourball Qualifier at Moon Valley Country Club, Phoenix, Arizona. We are both looking forward to playing in another USGA Championship next May in San Antonio, TX.

Gracie with her Grandpa Bernie McGovern
Gracie and partner Brynn at the Woman's AM Fourball Qualifier

Rapid Fire:

Favorite golfer(s): Charley Hull, Leona Maguire, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy, Dylan Wu.

Typical day in the life of the golfer (daily schedule) Luckily for my senior year I get out of school at 12:30 PM, have a quick lunch, then immediately head to the course. I try to get at least 10 hours a week in at the golf course.

Tournament day routine: I try to wake up 3-4 hours before my tee time and try not to eat too much before my round. I like about a 1.5 to 2 hour warm up so I can take my time and not rush. I start with putting and chipping then head to the range then end on a few makes on the putting green.

Favorite foods: Poke Bowls and Mexican food. On the course I like a homemade sandwich or wrap and some peanut butter pretzels.

Who calls the shots out on the course (you, caddy, both): We bicker back and forth a lot but my caddy is usually right. We usually end up finding and committing to the correct shot.

What is your favorite go to shot: Straight shot.

Line on your ball for putting? Its sorta in the shape of a cross, the longer line I use to line up and then there are 2 shorter lines on the side of the line

Cross hand putter or regular: Cross hand!

Any golf superstitions? Lucky ball markers, hitting certain clubs on the range, I HAVE to make a putt on the putting green before I go out to go play. A lucky golf tee sometimes.

Parent(s) role in your golf journey: My dad has been my coach and caddy ever since I started playing tournaments at the age of 6. I have always been grateful to have such an amazing support system from both my friends and family.

Top 3 colleges you’d like to play for: TCU, TCU and TCU

What is the best part of your game: Depends on the day but I’d say irons.

Interesting fact about you #1: I Played 9 holes of golf with my 92-year-old Great Grandfather when I was 5 years old.

Interesting fact about you #2: I was ranked as high as 7th this summer in the Rolex Junior Rankings.

Interesting fact about you #3: I was a 2-time World Champion by the age of 9.

Gracie age 8 receiving the US Kids World Championship trophy (2014)

Interesting fact about you #4: This year I qualified for Team USA in the Jr. Solheim Cup but opted not to go to Spain due to conflicts with school.

Interesting fact about you #5: I finished T5 in 2022, at the IMG Junior Worlds at Torrey Pines. I had 4 solid rounds (73, 69, 69, 70).

Interesting fact about you #6: I got to hit golf balls with Rickie Fowler at his Puma launch party.

Gracie and Rickie Fowler

Interesting fact about you #7: In May, I won the Arizona D3 State high school golf championship. D3 school golf consists of co-ed teams. I had to beat the best girls in the state, and some of the best boys in the state. I became only the second female in state history to win the title. It hadn't been done in 16 years. 

Interesting fact about you #8: Recently awarded AJGA Rolex 1st Team All American 2023.

Interesting fact about Gracie as told by her dad Sean #9: There is one story about Gracie that is hilarious. The morning of the state championship this year, Gracie called me from Tucson and told me that she had forgotten her contacts, which basically makes her blind as a bat. I frantically grabbed her contacts and started driving from Scottsdale to Tucson, but was not able to get there before she teed off on the first hole. Little did I know she had borrowed some contacts from one of the volunteers. So, she played the first round wearing somebody else’s prescription contacts and shot a 63!

Any hole in ones: Two! My most recent one was last year at Koasati Pines at the NB3 National Championship.

How far do you carry your driver: 235-250

Who inspired you to play golf: My dad, he started me at age four.

Gracie and her dad Sean

Any obstacles you overcame to play golf: I didn't pick up a club for about a year and 7 months in 2019 - 2020 from a wrist injury. Also, long days grinding in the Arizona heat for sure.

Exercises you do for golf: I have a trainer.

Role model: My mom Lauren

Favorite actor: Chris Pratt and Tom Holland

Favorite singer: The Weeknd, Michael Buble, Jim Croce

Favorite movie: 10 things I hate about you, Top Gun: Maverick

School: Private

Pets: One loving adorable Doodle.

When people or kids hear your name, what do you want people to think or say about you? Hopefully they’ll say I’m a kind person and a pretty DECENT golfer.

TJG: Gracie, thank you for the opportunity to share your story with the junior golf world. Not only is your resume the best of the best, but your journey, character and big heart are second to none. Good luck the rest of your senior year and into college. May all your dreams come true!

Player Profile

Name: Gracie McGovern

Age: 18

Grade: 12th

State: AZ

Golf tour(s): JGAA, AJGA

Jr Golf Scoreboard rank: 8th (Class of 2024)

Rolex Scoreboard rank: 9th in the World

Sponsors: Ping, Titleist, and Paradisevalleyhomes.Com

Where can we find you on social media: Click here —> Instagram