CHICAGO, Ill. – Just a week before the 39th Ryder Cup will be contested in the Chicago area, a group of junior golfers from California (San Francisco) won the first-ever PGA Junior League Golf Championship at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club Sunday (Sept. 16).
California was the only undefeated team in the two-day, three-match Championship with teams from Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, Texas and Illinois also competing. The Final saw two undefeated teams playing for the Championship, with California besting Georgia 8.5 – 3.5.
The Florida All-Star team had representation from the SFPGA Junior Tour, including: Michael Checo, Justin Cao, Matthew Glenn, Sarah Noonan, and Griffin Thompson.
“We offer congratulations to not only the team from California but to all of the teams,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “The PGA of America is proud to bring this recreational youth sports team concept to golf. This was an incredible finale to a great first year, and we look forward to engaging many more young golfers next year.”
Coordinated by The PGA of America and LEJ Sports, PGA Junior League Golf (www.PGAJrLeagueGolf.com) is a new team concept for aspiring young golfers, ages 7-13, similar to “Little League Baseball.” More than 1,800 children competed on more than 120 teams from 22 markets in league play this summer. Five Regional champions, plus the Illinois team (host market), advanced to the championship.
Each team played three head-to-head matches with the Championship decided by the team with the best overall record:
Champion: California (San Francisco) 3-0 Captain Andy Nisbet, PGA 29 Points
2nd Georgia (Atlanta) 2-1 Captain Chuck Scoggins, PGA 23 Points
3rd Texas (Houston) 2-1 Captain Aurora Kirchner-McClain, PGA 18 Points
4th Florida (Boca Raton) 1-2 Captain Roger Van Dyke, PGA 19.5 Points
5th Illinois (Chicago) 1-2 Captain Dennis Johnsen, PGA 11.5 Points
6th New Jersey 0-3 Captain Bill Fox, PGA 7 Points
The concept brings players together to learn the game among their peers under the direction of PGA/LPGA Professionals (team captains). Parents play an active role, making the program a family activity to create another generation of players to enjoy the game. No previous playing experience is required and players of varied skill levels filled out the teams. Matches are coed, two-person scrambles, reinforcing the team concept and limiting the pressure on any one player. Much like other league sports, participants play in team uniforms with jersey numbers. The program will be available nationally in 2013.