Shane Lebow estimates he's been playing golf since he was 4 or 5. Emily Tubert says she picked up the game about four years ago. One thing the two high school seniors are sure about: Time flies when you're managing time well.
Lebow and Tubert were among 24 golfers named to the 2009 HP Scholastic Junior All-America Team by the American Junior Golf Association. Those chosen excel not only on the course but in the classroom and community, as well.
"It's a real honor," said Lebow, a repeat selection who is in the top 2 percent of his class at Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, Calif.). "One of the big things for me has been working real hard in school. I definitely worked really hard for it."
To be eligible for the team, boys must have placed in the top 10 of an AJGA event and girls in the top five. Other factors include grade point average, class rank, test scores and writing ability (candidates were required to submit an essay).
Although most of Lebow's junior tournaments are in the summer, the Stanford-bound golfer -- who works in student government at Santa Barbara -- knows no off-season.
"It gets pretty crazy during high school golf season," said Lebow, winner of this year's Cleveland Golf/Srixon Boys Championship. "I just learned how to manage my time and make the most of it."
For Tubert, a first-time Junior All-American who volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, it also comes down to prioritizing, to "knowing what you have to accomplish each day and making your own mini-goals." The Burroughs (Burbank, Calif.) standout used to play volleyball in addition to softball and basketball but decided to drop that sport for golf.
"I had never tried golf," she remembers, "and I said, 'All right, let's just try golf and see what happens.'"
What happened was Tubert became an accomplished player. She recorded five top-10s in AJGA events in '09, including a runner-up finish at the Emerson Junior Golf Classic in Poway, Calif. Next year, she will continue her career at Arkansas.
The 24 All-Americans will be honored at a banquet next month in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Each player also is eligible for the Nov. 21-27 Polo Golf Junior Classic, one of the most prestigious events in junior golf.
"It's an honor to be one of the 12 girls chosen," Tubert said. "If you look at the past recipients of the award, they have gone on and done great things."
Andrew Drennen covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com.