LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The first two sessions of the 2015 PGA Junior League Golf Championship have concluded at Disney's Palm Course in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
In the West Division, Team California is off to a strong start. They are the only undefeated 2-0 team after the first day of competition, earning 13.5 points. Team Ohio and Team Illinois both stand at 1-1 in the Division.
"Team California played their hearts out today. We were down early in both matches and rallied at the end," said California Coach John Mason. "Junior golf is alive and well in the United States of America, these kids are awesome. I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us – this team has really stepped it up and risen to the challenge while smiling and having fun at the same time."
Meanwhile, in the East Division, Team Georgia and Team New Jersey, who each played one match, both started with a victory to sit atop their Division at 1-0. Team Georgia earned 9.5 points in their win, while Team New Jersey had 8.5 points.
"We had a great first day of play at the PGA Junior League Golf Championship," said John Newkirk, Director of Player Development Operations for the PGA of America. "Team California took an early lead, and everybody had a fun time on the course with their friends. We look forward to tomorrow's third and fourth sessions, which will determine who advances to the Championship rounds Sunday."
Each team will play three matches between Friday and Saturday to determine the winner from each Division, and the Division champions will compete for a title on Sunday.
The PGA Junior League Golf Championship features nine-hole matches played in a popular two-person scramble format, with points awarded based on number of holes won. Final scoring is based on the record of matches won, tied and lost.
East Division - Friday Record:
Georgia (Alpharetta): 1-0
New Jersey (Hillsborough): 1-0
South Carolina (Columbia): 0-1
Connecticut (Hartford): 0-1
West Division - Friday Record:
California (San Diego): 2-0
Ohio (Cleveland): 1-1
Illinois (Chicago): 1-1
Oklahoma (Tulsa): 0-2
The PGA Junior League Golf Championship opened with a skills challenge Thursday among four teams, which combined the 80 boys and girls participating in the Championship, competing in long drive and flop shot competitions. The Purple Team captured the competition by two points over the Green Team, winning 457 to 455.
Purple Team members included: Andrew Hennessee and Jenni Roller, Team Oklahoma; Blake Parkman and Will Stakel, Team Georgia; Calen Sanderson, Eegan McDermott and Hannah Trinh, Team New Jersey; Chris Petri and Troy Nason, Team Illinois; Chris Reed, Christopher Patenakis and Jaydon Thammachack, Team Ohio; Daina Tsuru, Jaycie Stewart and Krando Nishiba, Team California; Jackson Roman, North Chery and Phoebe Brinker, Team Connecticut; Jalen Castle and Matthew Hutto, Team South Carolina.
Following the skills challenge, Golf Channel's Lauren Thompson opened the welcome reception dinner with a surprise visit from Mickey Mouse and his friends, who took photos with teams and their families.