Anna Cullinan has played stellar golf this season, and her exploits have not gone unnoticed.
Cullinan of Bettendorf, her parents, Brian and Louise Cullinan; both lived separately in Ottumwa in the mid-1980s, has been named the 2012 Junior Player of the Year among 16-18-year-old girls by the Iowa Section PGA. Cullinan, who is in her senior year at Pleasant Valley High School, secured this honor by amassing 4,215 points in the 12 IPGA tournaments she competed in.
Cullinan typically shot scores in the 70s, which often proved to be good enough to earn her a first place finish. According to the IGPA’s website, she won the Junior Tour Classic in Oskaloosa; the Quad Cities Junior at Duck Creek in Davenport; the Quad Cities Junior at Short Hills in East Moline, Ill.; the Lexus Lujack Junior Championship in Bettendorf and Muscatine; the Eastern Iowa Junior in Peosta; the Junior Tour Team Event and Stroke Play in Polk City; the Quad Cities Junior at Glynns Creek in Long Grove; and the Junior Tour Championship in Moravia.
Cullinan, however, also had a phenomenal junior varsity season as a member of the Pleasant Valley golf team this past spring. She carded the lowest individual score in all Class 4A Regionals, a 4-over-par 76; which also was the third lowest score in all the classes. She went on to place sixth at state. Cullinan also is a two-time defending Mississippi Athletic Conference champion and she was a part of Team Iowa, a four-girl team that finished first in the annual 2012 Missouri Junior Girls Four State (Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas) Championship in late June.
Louise Cullinan said competition and socialization are the two aspects of the game that most appeal to her daughter, adding that Anna has made a number of friends from all over the world — she has friends from South Africa, Thailand, Venezuela and Mexico — through playing in international tournaments.
Anna Cullinan said she started out playing multiple sports but, at age of 11, she decided to solely focus on golf.
“Once I got a passion for it, I decided this was the sport I was going to play and I dropped every other sport,” she said.