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Michigan’s Mueller Recipient of David Toms Overcoming Adversity Award presented by the AJGA


NORMAN, Okla. – Kyle Mueller, a senior at Michigan, has been named recipient of the David Toms Overcoming Adversity Award presented by the AJGA.

On July 6, 2016, Mueller’s mother, Monica Mueller, was killed in a single-car accident while traveling to watch Kyle in an amateur golf tournament. She had originally planned to drive down with her husband at the end of the week, but decided to travel out late that evening as Kyle’s older brother was caddying for him that week.

Monica’s passing had a drastic impact on the Mueller family and the community in which they lived. A veterinarian, Monica founded Good Hands Veterinarian Hospital in 2001 and her passing impacted her clients, employees, veterinary students, and countless friends. Monica’s visitation was scheduled to last two hours, but due to the significant turnout of those that wished to pay their respects, it was lengthened to four-and-a-half hours. Even then, many people were unable to visit due to the lengthy wait. The memorial service was scheduled to be held at the family’s regularly attended church but was moved to a larger venue to accommodate the 800-1000 relatives, friends, and clients that wished to attend. The family still receives notes, cards, and calls describing the positive impact Monica had in their lives.

Although Mueller could have taken the rest of the summer to be with family, he eventually resumed his summer schedule. When he returned to Michigan that September to begin his junior year, he was a team leader in both word and action. While serving as a team leader, Mueller posted his best season at Michigan. He earned PING All-America recognition and was named All Big Ten First Team. Mueller won two events and broke his own school scoring record with 71.36. He was also a standout in the classroom, earning Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar and Academic All Big Ten honors.

Thus far his senior season, Mueller has led the Wolverines in three of their four events and with his worst showing 12th. Additionally, he set a school mark by shooting 63 and holds a season scoring average of 69.18. Mueller is scheduled to make his 42nd consecutive start for Michigan at the Big Ten Match Play Championships - not missing an event his entire career.

On a more personal level, the tragic loss of his mother helped Kyle to realize how individual actions can have positive impacts on he lives of others. He uses an acronym continually repeated by Monica - PACE - Positive Attitude Changes Everything. While the time since her passing has been difficult for the family, PACE has continually motivated Kyle to be the best version of himself.

“Since my mother’s passing I have become more cognizant of how my attitude and actions can influence someone’s life,” said Mueller. “While I always knew she was a wonderful mom and person, it was not until the weeks and months after her passing where I truly understood the type of positive impact she had on others. Thinking of my mother’s impression on those around her and her favorite acronym, PACE, continually motivates me to become the best version of myself in all aspects of my life. I am very honored to be this year’s recipient and hope that my story can positively impact others who may be dealing with a similar situation, much like my mother would have done.”

- GCAA -

About the AJGA:
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, the American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 6,900 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2017, adidas joined the AJGA as a Premier Partner, serving as the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas, Stacy Lewis, Ariya Jutanugarn, Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.